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The self importance of being Jeffrey
on 6 September 2007
They say that you can tell when a football referee has had a good match when you forgot he was there. Jeff Winter didn't seem to believe this adage. To me he seemed to enjoy getting himself noticed, as if the crowd had paid to see him, as well as a game of football.
This may be unfair, but this book does little to dispel these feelings. Instead, Jeff Winters overwhelming feelings of self importance radiate from almost every page and 'Who's the b******' turns into a bit of a tedious read.
It is largely a recounting of matches that he has officiated in - Jeff Winter's greatest hits? - but there is the occasional gem thrown in. The one that stands out in my mind is the anecdote about his last game at Anfield. He recalls that after the final whistle had been blown the crowd burst into a particularly rousing burst of applause. He speculates that this was directed at him, as an appreciation of the career as a referee. This may be so, but I think that it is most likely done because the home team had played excellently, winning 4-0!
One day someone will write the definative book about being a referee. It hasn't been written yet and and this certainly isn't it.