respect the ref - callum taylor-barry

Respect the Ref - Callum Taylor-Barry

As part of the Respect the Ref campaign, we are profiling local Referees who will be sharing their experiences and journeys

respect the ref

Respect the Referee is the first part of 2021-22 season campaign to help people think about their behaviour towards referees. 

This campaign is aimed at Players, Spectators, Leagues, Clubs, Referees, Coaches, and all Volunteers. Essentially everyone across football.

As part of the campaign, we will be profiling match officials from across the County, who will be sharing their experiences and referee journeys.
To kick off this series we spoke to Level 7 Referee, Callum Taylor-Barry (17). Callum has been officiating for the past 3 years and we caught up with him to talk about his journey so far. 

 respect the ref - callum taylor-barry

  • Why did you become a referee?

I originally became a referee when I was 14 to earn a bit of income but I found that I really enjoyed it. I stopped playing for my local team at the age of 16 however being a referee has given me the opportunity to stay involved in football.

  • What has been your experience of the training course along with the support/mentoring post qualification?

Once I made the step up to officiating adult games, I was offered mentoring by Martin Peters [Bristol & Suburban League Referee Secretary] and additional mentoring by the County FA. I am part of the 16-24 Referee Mentor Group [since January 2021] my mentor Billy Wilde, has observed my matches offering support, and constructive feedback to aid my development as a referee. I would highly recommend this program to any young referee starting out.


callum taylor-barry


  • Do you have a moment(s) that stands out in your officiating career so far?

It would have to be running line on the 2019-20 GFA Intermediate Cup Final [played in 2021]. It was a great atmosphere and enjoyable, competitive match. 


  • What is the best thing about refereeing?

Two things spring to mind. One of them is the social aspect of it, the interactions and banter pre-match, during the game and over food after the game with colleagues and players. Secondly, is being told 'good game ref' at the end of matches is really rewarding, as we always go out aiming to have the best game we can.


callum taylor-barry


  • Have you experienced any difficult moment(s)?

I have two very different ones. Only recently, a player suffered a head injury leading to the abandonment of the match. It didn't really hit me how serious it could have been until I found out the next day the injured player was ok. It reminded me of the risks that can be involved with football.

The other was being threatened to be assaulted - it affected me in my day-to-day life for at least a month after and still affects how I approach games now.


  • What skills have you learnt from being a referee?

It has given me some great life skills such as people management, communication and improved my confidence. It’s also allowed me to stay involved and enjoying football since I no longer play. 

If you are interested in becoming a Referee or know anyone that is, please fill out the below form and we will be in touch with you as soon as we have details of any upcoming courses.

We are organising further courses in the new year, and we are in the process of identifying dates for 2022.

Referee Expression of Interest Form

You can find more information on the Respect the Ref campaign on the England Football website.