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Brian Stevens ‘humbled’ after lifetime achievement award

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Legendary former football referee Brian Stevens said he felt very honoured and humbled’ to receive a Lifetime Achievement accolade for services to the beautiful game.

In a surprise ceremony at Stonehouse FC, the 84-year-old, who crossed the white line 31,002 times in a stellar career that took him from Wembley to Charfield, finally blowing his final whistle at the age of 80, was handed the award by Stonehouse secretary Mike Smith where the players from Stonehouse Town and Cheltenham Saracens formed a guard of honour as he was presented the award on the Oldends Lane pitch.

“My grandson invited me to the game and I thought something was fishy when my wife and other members of my family turned up, said Stevens who took charge of the likes of George Best, Bryan Robson, Kevin Keegan, David Beckham and Paul Gascoigne in a stellar career at the top level.

The award was the brainchild of Stroud Times editor Ash Loveridge, who said: “It was very moving to see Brian pick up this award and he thoroughly deserves it. I remember watching Brian on Match of the Day in the 1980s on Saturday night and then the following day he would referee a youth game in Stroud. More importantly, he is a gentleman and they broke the mould when they made Brian.”

Stevens added: “This was totally unexpected and I’m very honoured and humbled to receive this award.”

DSC2851 | Brian Stevens ‘humbled’ after lifetime achievement award
Brian with some his family. Pic: Matt Bigwood.

Brian’s grandson Dan Shaw paid a glowing tribute, he said: “Gramp has refereed at Wembley as well as just about everyone professional football club up and down the country you can name, even abroad.

“However, to be given this award at our local football club was very apt. Even during his long career as a professional referee, he would always invest his time in local football, refereeing regularly.

“Even at the grand age of 84, he’s still actively involved in the local committee and stands as a lifetime chair of the Gloucestershire FA. With a trophy room full to the brim of trophies, letters from the FA and very famous names, I feel this award will be one of his favourites, as it stands as a testament to his commitment, love and enjoyment for local football. Well deserved old man. We’re all very proud of you.”

Pictures by Matt Bigwood, video by Dan Shaw

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