Two successful candidates enter the SCORE 20 Programme!

Congratulations to Alex Shepherd and Mark Harris who have been successful on their applications to the SCORE 20 programme!

The Scottish Centre of Refereeing Excellence (SCORE) is a programme ran by the Scottish FA Referee Operations department in collaboration with Heriot Watt University. It helps to identify and develop talented referees and assistant referees through intensive coaching, observation and training. It has provided the officials with opportunities to obtain one to one coaching and training from experienced coaches. Aside from the refereeing benefits, it will also expose the officials to a number of academic topics which will help them manage and deliver their matches successfully.

Martin Clark had the following to say:
I am confident that the members will join with me in offering their congratulations to both Alex Shepherd and Mark Harris in having secured a place as one of 9 for the 2020 SCORE programme.

The inclusion of both Alex and Mark has ensured that the EDRA are yet again well represented on this prestigious programme. This latest success for Alex and Mark replicates the fortunes of a long list of their colleagues who have successfully completed the SCORE programme.

Exciting times ahead for them both, and it is hoped that their success will be sufficient inspiration for others to want to follow in their footsteps.

Congratulations gentlemen.


Martin Clark
Association Manager

Regional Training Day 2020

Hi everybody,

Martin and I would like to remind and encourage you to attend the forthcoming Regional Training Day for categories 4, 4Dev, 5, 6 and 7 which shall be held on Saturday 16th May online between 10am-12 noon.

Normally we would be holding this at The Oriam as one of the showpiece training events of the year however circumstances dictate otherwise but this should not deter us!!

Football will return and we will still need to be prepared as possibly as we can be so the Training Day will have its usual emphasis on coaching with the use of clips and discussion groups being led by some of the country’s top officials.

No doubt by now you are an expert on Zoom etc so I hope you will find the session both interactive and informative.

Many of you may not have attended a training day before or thought it was not for you but this is a great way to get involved; after all we all love refereeing, we are always learning and unlike other years when we may not have been available due to games we can hopefully attend so why not give it a go?

If you have not already intimated your attendance I would be grateful if you could come back to Martin and I as soon as possible and as always if anybody has any questions please get in touch

I look forward to hearing from you and joining you virtually on the 16th

Mark and Martin

COVID-19 Updates

Update 03/04/20
AGM & Updates from Scottish FA:

All AGM notices have been sent via email and post in the last couple of days. The AGM will be taking place on 16th April via Zoom, details are within the AGM pack on how to join. Should you have any questions please see the hints and tips guide within the AGM pack, if this doesn’t assist then contact the Secretary.

The Referee Operations department have put a number of updates on the Extranet, we have inserted the highlights below but recommend you all log on and read these:

– Referee Operations Online Coaching Schedule: In line with what would have been the original calendar of events the department are putting on some optional Online Coaching events. If you are available to attend please do, I have copied the timetable at the bottom of todays update. These will be available by Zoom and the department will provide information on how to access these.

-Physical Training Material: John McQuade has pulled together a mixture of training material which there should be something for all levels. Whilst your own health and safety is of paramount importance, and any excerises done should be in accordance with government guidelines, we would encourage all referees, where practical, to remain fit and ready for when football recommences. I have attached these materials below for you to access.

Training Programme 2020
FIFA Training Programmes
Training Programme
Pre-Season Training Guide

Referee Operations Video Update: The Referee Operations Department have also recorded a video update for us all. The video introduces options which will allow referees to continue to (voluntarily) benefit from online coaching sessions over a few upcoming Saturday mornings (replaces the previously planned calendar of events), some physical training programmes supplied by John McQuade to help you keep fit whilst stuck in our around your home, and also gives an update on the staff situation within the Referee Operations team.

Click here to view


Vikki Allan

Update 31/03/20
Annual Dinner and AGM
The Management Committee can now confirm that we have taken the difficult but obvious decision to postpone our Annual Awards Dinner which was due to take place on 2nd May.

This has now been moved to 7th November 2020 and we hope that our members, their friends and families can join us then. All details remain the same apart from date change. Anyone who had purchased tickets can use these for the new dates, however if you can no longer attend please contact the member of the Management Committee you purchased these through to receive your refund.

I can also confirm the AGM will take place on 16th April, AGM packs will be issued in the coming days with information on how we are planning to run this.


Vikki Allan

Update 19/03/20

We have been requested by the Scottish FA to cancel all Association Training/Meetings until end of June. As a Management Committee we will continue to meet (via phone) as and when required to ensure the Association is still running.

Centrally this includes Scottish FA cancelling the remaining Calendar of Events, which includes the final SCORE / Female training day on 26/4, Regional Training Days planned for 17th May at Ross County academy (north of Scotland referees) and the Oriam (south of Scotland referees) – as well as Summer training Camp currently planned for Saturday 6th June at Oriam.

They plan to run a shortened summer camp / start of new season camp on a Sunday in either late July or early August where they will combine a fitness test with relevant material and LOTG downloads and will be in touch once further clarity around dates is obtained.

They will also be putting a message on the extranet.

We are currently in discussion with The Village around the Annual Dinner and options for this which we will confirm in due course.

We have also asked the query around membership fees and Scottish FA plans so will update the membership as soon as we have clarity on this also.

Many Thanks,

Vikki Allan
SFAR Edinburgh & District

Update 15/03/20 –

Please see below from Scottish FA –

Please note that the official line to clubs from the Scottish FA on training is that “the decision to suspend or continue training is at each club’s discretion at this time, however clubs must ensure to follow current medical guidance when making this decision”.

“Under no circumstances will friendly matches or ‘bounce games’ be permitted, even if these take place within a scheduled training session”.

Please do not agree to officiate at any friendly, closed door match or training match until further notice.

Update 13/03/2020
Dear Member,

Following the Joint Response Group’s decision to suspend ALL domestic professional and grassroots football under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA until further notice.

The advice from the Referee Operations Department is to suspend all RA meetings and Association training until further notice.

Therefore the SFAR Edinburgh and District will cancel training each week for the foreseeable future and our AGM/April Meeting will be cancelled then rearranged.

Whilst our priority is the health and safety of all match officials, we would encourage referees to continue to train individually, where possible in order to ensure readiness for the resumption of football. However, we would re-iterate that your health and safety is your priority so please do not put yourself at unnecessary risk.

Our advice is to keep an eye on the extranet for updates from the Scottish FA and we will send emails/update social media as the situation progresses.

Many Thanks,

Vikki Allan
SFAR Edinburgh and District

Crawford Allan Appointed Head of Referee Operations – Note from Martin Clark

It gives me immense pleasure and satisfaction to have acknowledged the news of Crawford Allan’s appointment as Head of Refereeing following the sad passing of his predecessor John Fleming in October.

Crawford has been a member of the EDRA throughout his career, one which saw him reaching Category 1, a position he held until his voluntary retirement, albeit then taking up a position as fellow Observer. Clearly he will relinquish that position but now has the opportunity of managing the refereeing family, something I know he looks forward to doing with great pride and pleasure.

I am also confident that the members will be in unison with me in rallying behind and supporting Crawford in everything he chooses to do in his new role.

I look forward to a new era in refereeing and working with Crawford in the months and years ahead.

Martin Clark
Association Manager

For full statement from Scottish FA click here.

2019 Highlights – SFAR Edinburgh and District

Similar to last year at this stage, the Association has enjoyed another successful year, not only measured by the excellent number of new entrants, subsequent numbers attending training, prestigious appointments and promotions but by the extremely healthy activity which has taken place throughout the year as outlined by Vikki who yet again has done a tremendous job in pulling together the highlights and major talking points.

What continues to be remarkable is the amount of time and commitment shown to the Association not only in terms of on the park where it matters most in terms of performance but by all the off-field activity. In terms of commitment however it would be wrong not once again highlight the examples set by George Smith who sadly passed away in May after a Courageous and brave fight lasting over 3 years. Similarly, the loss was exacerbated when the refereeing family lost John Fleming in late October. Both of these gentlemen were very close friends and colleagues to us all and will be sadly missed.

Conversely, from a positive perspective, I am confident the Association has a bright future ahead in the next year. Mark continues to do a fantastic job in supporting me……..and that’s no mean feat, but particularly with those on the development path, where he arranges the regular training evenings and seminars supported by an equally enthusiastic Michael Banks. likewise our President (Stuart Luke) continues to ensure that time at our meetings has a strong emphasis on coaching and reflection on refereeing which provides healthy debate. The support from those on the management committee is another very positive aspect and the effort and time given by them is very much appreciated.

This year has also seen a large number of new entrants, promotions and also prestigious appointments. It would be wrong to be blasé about the representation our women referees receive in regards to the finals of the major competition but once again the EDRA are the forerunners.

A particular highlight of the year though was not only Peter Stuarts promotion to Category 1 status but his appointment as the referee to the Scottish Junior Cup Final. A first for the association since Brian Colvin.

Similarly Ralph Gordon’s appointment as an Assistant Referee to the Scottish Cup Final was due to recognition of Ralph as a first class Assistant Referee and role model for all.

These appointments along with David Doig, Graeme Leslie and Gavin Duncan to the Challenge Cup Final marks one of our most successful years for some time and marks our progress.

Similar to the message from Mark at this juncture last year, If you have not been to an Association meeting, can we encourage you to come along. You will be made very welcome and gives you the opportunity to keep abreast with changes to the laws and put your points over in a very friendly and open atmosphere.

New Year, a New Decade and new goals…and I hope that you will use the short festive break to refocus and evaluate what you want to achieve from your refereeing. It does not matter what level we are at or what role we play I am sure we all wish to continue to develop and to do our best.

Wherever this year takes us can I therefore on behalf of Calum, Mark and I wish you and your families every success and a Happy New Year.

Martin Clark (Association Manager)

2019 Highlights:

February 19 – Introductory Class – First highlight is back in February where we welcomed 18 new officials during our February class! Our Feb class is 5 Sundays and we are running another in 2020. For info click here

February 19 – This year we also launched our skills videos on the website! These can be a great tool for new officials but also for experienced referees to also look back on! These videos have been viewed just under 900 times. If there is anything you would like to see added get in touch!

February 19 – Visit from English Referee Association. – We not only collaborate with our colleagues across Scotland but also from other International Associations. This year we had the English Referee Association visit us here at EDRA where they shared some of their practices and we shared ours back. It is a great way to ensure we are both doing that most we can for our officials!

February 19 – Two of our female officials were out officiating in Oman in February 19! Niamh and Sandie went to officiate in the MESAC Football tournament in Oman with some of our other Scottish Colleagues.

February 19 – Borders Recruitment story in paper – Jonathan Gall helped with recruitment down in the Borders by having an article in the local paper!

February 19 – One Year on Story on website. – It’s important that we share our stories so in February Sean Duff shared his journey one year on in refereeing!

March 19 – International Women’s day – Celebrating our female members and their experiences in officiating. – In March we celebrated International Women’s day by asking some of our current female officials their thoughts and highlights of officiating so far! We are very lucky at EDRA to have a number of female officials, which we have had 5 come through the class this year alone. If you are interested in signing up for a class see more info here

March 19 – International Friendly Appt – David Doig was appointed to an International Friendly – England C v Wales C.

March 19 – Craig Ferguson was appointed to a UEFA U17 Euro Qualifying Tournament in which he officiated Poland, Russia and Portugal.

March 19 – Vikki Allan was appointed to a UEFA U17 Euro Qualifying Tournament in which she officiated Republic of Ireland, Norway and Germany.

March 19 – In March we had three officials appointed to the IRN BRU Cup Final. Congratulations again to Graeme Leslie, David Doig and Gavin Duncan! – Connah’s Quay Nomads v Ross County.

April 19 – First Super League Appt – In April Dominic Falconer received his First Futsal Super League Appointment – TMT v Polonia Edinburgh 3rd Official Glasgow City v Polonia Dundee 1st referee

April 19 – In April Mr George Smith was made Honorary President of our Association. Sadly Mr Smith passed away not long after he was appointed our Honorary President. Our Association Manager Martin Clark shared a tribute on our website to him. 2019 sadly saw us lose a number of the refereeing and footballing family. For those who have passed we take a moment to remember our own memories of them. Of those that have passed this included our Honorary President George Smith and also Head of Referee Operations John Fleming.

May 19 – SFA Youth Cup Final – In May Daniel Graves was Fourth Official at the Scottish FA Youth Cup Final – Celtic v Rangers

May 19 – SWFL1 Cup final – In May Emma Hingant (Ref), Vikki Allan (AR1) and Scott Downie (4th Off) were appointed to SWFL1 Cup Final – Celtic v Renfrew.

May 19 – SWPL Cup Final – In May Vikki Allan (AR1) and Emma Hingant (4 Off) were appointed to SWPL Cup Final – Glasgow City v Hibernian.

May 19 – In May we held our Annual Dinner, which is a Celebration of the Achievements from the Association members.

  • National Cup Finals –
  • o 1.05/30 – National Cup Final Awards – Emma Hingant – SWFL Cup final 18, SWFL1 Cup Final 19 & SWPL Cup Final 19
    o 1.10/30 – National Cup Final Awards – Niamh Westwood – SWFL Cup Final 18
    o 1.15/30 – National Cup Final Awards – Vikki Allan – SWFL2 18, SWFL1 18, Women’s Scottish Cup 18, SWFL 1 19 & SWPL Cup Final 19
    o 1.20/30 – National Cup Final Awards – Scott Downie – SWFL 1 Cup Final 19
    o 1.25/30 – National Cup Final Awards – Iain Snedden – Scottish FA Youth Cup final 18
    o 1.30/30 – National Cup Final Awards – Gavin Duncan and Graeme Leslie – Scottish Challenge Cup Final 19
    o 1.35/30 – National Cup Final Awards – Ryan Lee – Scottish FA Youth Cup Final 18
    o 1.40/30 – National Cup Final Awards – Daniel Graves – Scottish FA Youth cup Final 19
  • The Presidents Award is awarded by our President each year to someone who has gone above and beyond for the Association. This year Stewart Luke presented this to Jimmy Duncan!
  • The Frank Campbell Assistant Referee of the Year award was presented to Iain Gallacher!
  • The Trainers Award this year was renamed to the Bill Mullan Award. Bill sadly passed away late last year but was a very respected member of the Association. We were delighted to have his son Gerry in attendance to present the award. This year the award went to Ralph Gordon!
  • The Development Team Award is chosen by the Development team and given to someone who has excelled during the season. Congratulations to Daniel Silva!
  • The Referee’s Referee of the year Award is nominated by the membership and then attendees vote a shortlist on the evening. This year the award was presented to Peter Stuart, congratulations!
  • Our final award of the evening was the Bill Tait Award. This award is presented to an official who has performed extremely well over the season in the Juniors. This year the award was presented to Daniel Graves!
  • At the Dinner we also share a video of achievements from throughout the season – check it out here!!!

May 19 – U19 SYFA Cup Final – In May Ian Baillie (Ref), Kevin Kyle (AR1) & Raymond Hume (4th Off) were appointed to the U19 SYFA Cup Final between Harmony Row YC v Kirkintilloch Rob Roy FC.

May 19 – We were very lucky to have had a number of promotions during the season! Congrats to all! – Peter Stuart (Cat 1), Ryan Lee (Cat 2D), Greig Haynes (Cat 3), Scott Downie ( Cat 3D), Will Pare (Cat 3D), Daniel Silva (Cat 3D), Tommi Kerr (Cat 3D) & Derek McNee (Cat4).

May 19 – Observers – In May our Assistant Association Manager Mark Doyle was also appointed as an Scottish FA Assistant Referee Observer!

May 19 – Scottish Cup Final – In May Ralph Gordon was appointed at AR2 in the Scottish Cup Final! – Hearts v Celtic.

May 19 – Recognition of Contribution to Refereeing award – In May Bob Wilson was recognised by the Scottish FA for his Contribution to Refereeing and was given an award.

May 19 – SCORE 19 – We were very lucky to have three members accepted onto the SCORE programme this year!

June 19 – Junior Cup – In June Peter Stuart was appointed as Referee to the Junior Cup Final! – Auchinleck Talbot v Largs Thistle.

June 19 – SWFL 2 Cup Final – In June Fiona Morton (Ref) and Vikki Allan (AR1) were appointed to the SWFL2 Cup Final Dryburgh Athletic v Morton.

June 19 – Choose Life Suicide Awareness Charity Tournament – In June four of our members volunteered to take part in the Choose Life Suicide Awareness Charity Tournament! Well done to Abdul, Stuart, Sandie and Kostas.

June 19 – EDRA Women’s training day – In June the EDRA held it’s first all female local training day! We ran through practical activities and also clips later in the afternoon!

September 19 – Champions League last 32 – Vikki Allan was appointed as AR2 to Champions League last 31 Atletico Madrid v Spartak.

October 2019 – EDRA are passionate about Women’s recruitment in Scotland. One of our female officials Vikki Allan has been part of the promotions this year.

October 19 – Presentation to Drew Herbertson – In October the Association made a Presentation to Drew Herbertson who had retired in May from the Scottish FA after 38 years service!!

October 19 – Presentation to Scott Millar – Scott Millar was presented an award at our October Meeting for stepping down from the Senior List.

October 19 – Presentation to retired members – At our October Meeting we also presented retired members with awards to mark their service to the Association. These were presented to Steve McGeouch, James Tucker and Paul Gartland.

October 19 – Euro Qualifiers – In October Vikki Allan was appointed as AR2 to Euro Qualifier Germany v Ukraine.

October 19 – In October Niamh Westwood was appointed to UEFA U17 Euro Qualifying Tournament, she officiated Italy, Northern Ireland and Montenegro.

October 19 – In October Peter Stuart was appointed to UEFA U17 Euro Qualifying Tournament, he officiated Germany, Andorra & Belarus.

November 19 – Women’s Scottish Cup Final – In November Vikki Allan (AR1), Emma Hingant (AR2) & Niamh Westwood (4th Off) were appointed to the Women’s Scottish Cup Final! – Hibernian v Glasgow City.

December 19 – In December Gianluca Marini officiated his first match in the Futsal Super League Fair City Santos v Dundee West FC.

August/October 19 – New Entrants Class – We recently had 48 new entrants pass their exam and join the EDRA! This class was August to October over 10 Monday evenings. If you are interested in our next class starting February see the following link

Malcolm Jones

Having been given the extremely sad news early on Saturday evening of the passing of Malcolm Jones, it left me, and I am sure all who came into contact with Malcolm, dismayed and shocked to say the least.

I, like a number of my peers over the years made many visits down the coast to Dunbar, indeed my last visit as an observer was only a few weeks back when I was warmly welcomed by Malcolm and his fellow team officials. The hospitality and friendly smile, irrespective of the result, was always extended by him, always keen to make sure you were looked after and that everything was as it should be.

It was a team effort from the Jones’s with his son Geoff as manager and a regular visitor being his other son Graeme (Well known to all senior listed officials as the SFA sport scientist, working until very recently with the refereeing family).

Malcom was a gentleman and one who will be sadly missed by everyone including us all in the refereeing family.

Our thoughts at this, the saddest of times, are with the Jones family.


Martin Clark
Association Manager
SFAR Edinburgh and District

Three successful candidates enter the SCORE’19 programme!

Brent Falconer, Calum Doyle and Steven Wilson

Congratulations to Brent Falconer, Calum Doyle and Steven Wilson who have all been successful on their applications to the SCORE 19 programme. Brent will enter the programme as a Referee and both Calum and Steven are following the Assistant Referee pathway.

The Scottish Centre of Refereeing Excellence (SCORE)is a programme ran by the Scottish FA Referee Operations department in collaboration with Heriot Watt University. It helps to identify and develop talented referees and assistant referees through intensive coaching, observation and training. It has provided the officials with opportunities to obtain one to one coaching and training from experienced coaches. Aside from the refereeing benefits, it will also expose the officials to a number of academic topics which will help them manage and deliver their matches successfully.

Congratulations again to all three, we wish you all of the best throughout this programme and also to the other successful candidates across Scotland.

Recognition of Contribution to Refereeing Award

On Saturday 25th May prior to the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden, Bob Wilson was presented by the Scottish FA with an award to recognise his contribution to refereeing.

The Association nominated Bob for this award for the amount of work and years he has contributed to developing our up and coming referees, especially within Schools football. There isn’t a new referee who Bob hasn’t given advice to or helped them when starting out over the years. The commitment Bob has for developing officials goes above and beyond, attending all association meetings and giving up his free time to watch many of our new referee’s first matches.

We are glad and very thankful the Scottish FA presented him with this very deserved award, congratulations Bob!

John Fleming, Head of Referee Operations at Scottish FA presenting Bob Wilson with his award.

A personal tribute to George B Smith (GBS)

I begin by thanking the association most sincerely for allowing me the privilege to share this personal tribute with the membership.

Having known George (GBS or in early years Mr Smith) since the day I joined the EDRA in 1977, it was in January 2016 that our relationship took on a completely new slant for reasons out-with football.

Prior to this, I was as aware, as were all other members, of the unrivalled career George enjoyed in terms of refereeing, all of which has been well documented and will remain documented in the history of this association.

Whilst I will always be aware of the success George enjoyed, both on and off the field, it is the more personal side of George that I have the great pleasure of sharing with you all.

George and I readily acknowledged and agreed that we could not be considered as ‘buddies’, albeit he had been instrumental during my refereeing career or should I say he ensured I remained there until my retirement from the senior list in May 2000. Nevertheless, we had mutual respect and the call I referred to above in 2016 was to move things in a different direction.

I do not use the word ‘Dignified’ to often, but I assure you that from that day forward and until his sad passing, George epitomised the meaning of the word in every sense of it. He took me into his confidence and something that remained there until the latter months of his life when he thought he should release me from what he called a ‘burden’. I never considered it that, yet also respected his opinion. I have to say at this juncture that it was my pleasure to offer any support for a man who had provided the same for me.

In the early days following diagnosis of Prostate Cancer, George was placed on medication and closely monitored, albeit even then, he had a very good idea of the eventual prognosis / outcome. Notwithstanding, never at any stage did he resort to self-pity or defeatism but instead being an extremely proud man, he fought through things whilst only thinking of others.

I was allowed and extremely privileged to share in George’s journey, regularly visiting to enjoy long chats, nostalgia and his aspirations for the younger members looking to replicate the success George enjoyed from refereeing.

Regular Monday visits included Hot X buns on offer from Pamela, when she was also more than happy to throw in her tuppence worth into the varied topics of conversation.

George was also a very proud family man, married to Pamela and their two children (Euan and Lynsey) gifting them with four lovely grandchildren. Away from refereeing, and particularly after retirement from the day job, it was the family that took up most of George’s time, including some excellent cruises that Pamela and he enjoyed.

I would like to suggest that if ‘Legends’ exist in football, then that was what George achieved in terms of his 58 years as a member, during which witnessed him refereeing at a level only some can dream off.

He was extremely proud and supportive of this association to the end. Whilst he fought his illness with great dignity and support from his loving family, he may have succumbed to the illness, but I would suggest that his memory will live long with us all.

One fond memory I share with you in terms of refereeing took place when we attended the various Observers meetings, where for some obscure reason, George insisted that I sat close to him when it came to the Laws of the Game tests. I can only assume he got the same results as me then, and therefore, albeit only on the odd occasion………..for that I’m truly sorry George.

A gentleman, his standards were of the highest calibre throughout his career, and on becoming a ‘Supervisor’ (As it was known in those days), you would only have to ask referees who allowed unparliamentary language to pass without intervening what the feedback was like.

In closing, I am aware that a separate note has been posted regarding George’s funeral arrangements, and I would like to think that time permitting in our busy lives, as many as possible can attend to say farewell to our ‘Legend’ and show respect and support for the family at this desperately sad time.

Thank you yet again for allowing me this platform to share some of my thoughts with you.

Martin Clark
Association Manager

Funeral Details:
Tuesday, 28th May
Warriston Crematorium, 36 Warriston Road, Edinburgh EH7 4HW
12.00 noon

Mr George Smith – Honorary President

Mr George Smith – Honorary President
It is with great pleasure that I can announce Mr George Smith as Honorary President of the SFAR Edinburgh and District. This comes after it was unanimously agreed at our recent AGM to bestow this position upon Mr Smith, who has served the association with distinction for 58 years.
I am sure members will join me in congratulating George in being presented with this position, and will agree that there is nobody more deserving of this recognition.

Stewart Luke
EDRA President