05 February 2024

Last Friday our Sixth Form welcomed Premier League and FIFA Referee, Mr Rob Jones, to give a lecture entitled, ‘From Birkenhead to the Premier League’.

By Dillon B, Sixth Form student

Rob told us how he started refereeing at age 14, simply as a hobby because his uncle had been a referee. Over the years he kept working and learning his craft, gaining experience and developing right to the top level. Rob was inspirational in sharing with us how, throughout his career, he had continued to suffer setbacks and failures, explaining that the key to his success was being able to pick himself up, and work harder to get the outcome he wanted.

We were told of the great opportunities that refereeing has given him, such as travelling to nearly every country in Europe and several countries even wider, meeting some very famous faces such as Kevin Durant. Rob highlighted how his job is very high pressure, and the importance of being switched on and aware every second, as in his career he has had moments ranging from the 12th second to the 98th minute where he has had to make a ‘make or break’ decision. He also highlighted the importance of self-reflection in becoming successful, and the hard work and dedication that goes on behind the scenes that no one sees, using the metaphor of the tip of the iceberg of success.
After the lecture, Rob was asked many questions on his own personal footballing experiences, such as “Who is the most annoying player you have had to referee?”, to which Rob answered very honestly, receiving a laugh from the whole audience with his reply.
The lecture lunch involved a wide conversation of football talk, touching on topics such as “Do you think VAR has a positive influence on the game?”, and much more. We would like to thank Rob for taking the time out of his schedule to visit us, and we wish him the very best in the future.