Meet the Referee: Tom Bishop

We continue our feature looking at the members of the Scunthorpe Referee’s Association and their career as a match official.

The latest featured Scunthorpe Referee’s Association member is Tom Bishop, who began his career in the area just over a decade ago, before moving away. Now based in London, the 2A official is just one step away from the EFL after his latest promotion.

Talking about the transition to becoming a southern-based official, he said: “There are definitely differences between football in the north and south, particularly at supply and contributory level, which took some getting used to. 

“The stereotype about northern teams expecting referees to show fewer cards certainly has some truth to it for a start! When I first moved down to London the clubs seemed to enjoy this style, but it’s probably swung the other way now and I’ve become slightly “southern” in my style of refereeing over the years. 

“I’ve done a couple of National League North games in recent seasons which were really challenging.”

Climbing the pyramid and almost reaching the pinnacle has thrown up some prestigious games along the way though, with the appointment to play-off encounters almost an indication to a promotion come the end of the marking season.

“I’ve just refereed Havant & Waterlooville v Dartford in the National League South play-offs,” he added. 

“It was a huge game but slightly bittersweet with no fans allowed to watch. 

“I’ve been fortunate enough to referee at a number of Premier League grounds, with Goodison Park and Craven Cottage probably being the highlights – two old school football grounds steeped in history. 

“My favourite ever game would have to be the Isthmian South play-off final a few years ago. It was a baking hot May bank holiday, but the game couldn’t have gone much better for me personally and the news of my promotion to 2B followed a few days later.”

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