Barry Vaughan - a highly regarded referee and administrator - part 2

Barry Vaughan todayWe recently featured Barry Vaughan’s reminisces of the good old days at Haverfordwest County – and very popular they were amongst our regular readers too – and now in this second instalment from this well-known former footballer, referee and administrator  we are delighted to tell you all about his time as a highly regarded referee.
Barry had started playing as a left winger in his home village of Clarbeston Road, where he was a founder member after they had set up a team when he was 15 – and was a regular in the side at 16 alongside such genuine characters such as John Brown (centre half and captain), John Rowlands (a right winger from Walton East) and Mostyn Rowlands for a short while before he went on to bigger things at Haverfordwest County.
“I really enjoyed playing for Clarbie but then went off to Swansea University to get my degree in history, followed by two years at Manchester University studying hospital management so I didn’t have much time for playing football.
“When I moved back to Cardiff for four years in Cardiff Royal Infirmary Hospital Where I was encouraged to take up refereeing in the Pontypridd League and remember tough clubs like Glyncoch Social and Talbot Green, alongside other clubs like Hopkinstown. BOAC, Rhydyfelin and Park Rovers in Treforest, where Mr Carne started out his playing days.
Barry as linesman to Pedr McMullen at a charity match for the Bradford City Fire Disaster Fund (Colin Williams as other official)“It was a good standard but never easy and games were made more difficult to officiate because they played without goal nets so there were some difficult decisions to make. I was told to always look at the reaction of the goalkeeper first because they often showed disappointment at the ball going between the posts. It wasn’t easy but we refs managed somehow and it provided a good grounding for later on.
“It was there that I met up with top quality referees like Iorrie Jones and Keith Cooper, who both officiated at the top of the English Leagues.
“After a short spell at Swansea I came home to be the final administrator at the old County Hospital and was also given the task of being the commissioning officer at the new Withybush Hospital and in my ten years there I took up the whistle under Joe Vernon, who like Eddie Oliver later, did a great job in his time as Pembrokeshire League Secretary.
“My dad Josh was also a referee and Refs’ Society president later on so I had every encouragement there, whilst Peter Beaumont (Fishguard) was another former English Leagues’ official who was something of a local mentor to me. At first I took charge of lower division fixture but was soon getting matches in the first division after being regularly assessed by experienced officials.
“In 1978 I was promoted as a linesman in the Welsh League and within 18 months I was the man in the middle at Welsh League matches, travelling all over South Wales to take charge alongside other great characters like Pedr McMullen, Danny Thomas, Graham Sheppard, Rob Lewis, Colin Williams, Dennis Warlow, Dai Rees and Don Maclean-Walker.

Barry - described as showing fussiness as Pembroke Borough lost 2-1 to Barry Town in a Welsh Cup third-round replay
We often travelled in threes to venues like Llanelly (spelt with a ‘y’ in those days), Merthyr, Lovells Athletic, Afan Lido, Port Talbot Town, plus the second sides of Cardiff City, Swansea Town (their name then) and Newport County.

“Nearer to home I reffed Carmarthen Town in Division Two, and local derbies in front of big crowds between Pembroke Borough, Milford United and Haverfordwest County. In all I had eight seasons of Welsh League Football, five of them in the middle.
“I became ‘the official that the crowd loved to hate’ (a nickname penned by Vernon Scott, who was the doyen of local reporters in those days), after one Welsh Cup match at London Road against Haverfordwest.
“The Borough were 3-1 up with five minutes to go and I awarded County TWO penalties, one for a bad tackle and the other for handball – and The Bluebirds beat The Magpies in a tense penalty shoot-out!
“Borough manager Des Shanklin, gentleman that he was, didn’t say anything unkind but vociferous players like Martin Cole, Mark Ashman and Bobby Bell gave me some fierce ‘stick’. When I was leaving the ground I had clods of earth and verbal abuse thrown at me, something that hit the headlines in local papers.
“Things got even worse,” admitted Barry, “as the result of a Welsh Cup replay at London Road where the Borough and Barry Town, then in the Southern League, piled into each other from the start and both sets of vociferous supporters were on my back.
“There were no goals until the 90th minute, when Barry finally broke the deadlock but in the fourth minute of time added on The Borough equalised to set up some joyous celebrations – but because there had been so many stoppages to speak to players I had to play an extra nine minutes, and in the last of them Barry Town got the winner!”

Barry officiating at the Senior Cup Final

Barry can look back and laugh now but he never really looked forward to games when he was assigned to London Road, but there were lots of other memorable moments, Not least when he was chosen to referee at the  1982/83 Senior Cup Final, when New Hedges Saundersfoot beat Johnston 2-0, with Graham Sheppard and Dai Rees as his linesmen.
“They were two very good sides,” Barry told us, “New Hedges having players of the calibre of Alan Brindley, Richard Eastlake, Neil ‘Spider’ Webb and Gary McNeilly, whilst Steve and Richard James, big John Codd, Dave Dickerson, Micky Algieri and both Chris Walters were playing for ‘The Tigers’.
“It was a cracking match, full of good movement and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
Other memorable games for Barry came as linesman to John Gow at the West Wales Senior Cup Semi-Final at London Road with a Pembroke Borough team taking on a Swansea team managed by John Toshack and with John Maloney involved – and the West Wales Amateur Cup Final between Ragged School and St Josephs at the Vetch Field.
Ask Barry about players from Pembrokeshire and he recalls from his refereeing days and he would quickly nominate Gerald Hicks as the best midfielder he came across and Mickie Ellis as a terrific player up front.
“Mickie was a brilliant header of the ball, great with his left foot and had loads of tricks – and was a cheeky blighter in a quiet way. In one game when Mickie was playing for The Borough he sauntered up behind him and whispered, ‘not having one of your better games today, Barry,’ before strolling away as Barry had to give a quiet chuckle at his cheek!
“Brian Morris (Goodwick) was another good player and ‘nagger’, as was Marty Byrom, who played as goalkeeper for RAF Brawdy when they had a team in the league.”
When he finally stood down Barry had around 800 games under his belt, including almost all the different finals in our county. Ask him what his thoughts are on looking back and his answer is immediate:
“It was a great period of my life which I loved as I met so many lovely characters on the field who remain my good friends, and some brilliant administrators off it. I really enjoyed the company of loads of referees and although there were some challenging moments they were few and far between – and I wouldn’t have missed a single second of it all!

Barry - sporting his Zipata moustache - when Terry Scutt praised him as a Milford United game