Referees' Feature - Angus Scourfield - Part 10

Angus Scourfield, James Olyott, Shaun O Connor

Angus always enjoys every match in the middle!

Someone who has missed Pembrokeshire Football as much as anyone during the current pandemic has been Angus Scourfield because the well-known referee from Whitland, who is held in high regard by his colleagues, players and club officials, has really immersed himself in the local game over recent seasons after setting out with his whistle in Ceredigion, where he also played his football.
Since then he has had the honour of officiating at The Senior Cup Final in 2016, been in the middle for other Pembrokeshire Finals and has been involved in lots of matches ‘up the line’ including being fourth official in the West Wales Intermediate Cup – but more of those matters later.

Coronavirus has given him a rest

“But I have to say that if there was an awful virus like this at any time at least it has given me the chance to rest because I’m having ongoing treatment for arthritis to my knee and hip,” admitted Angus, “but I still can’t wait to get restarted because my refereeing ambition is to continue enjoying my involvement for at least another five years, until I reach the ripe old age of 60!”
And it is safe to say that few could have been more involved because before the enforced break he rounded off a busy week in work by refereeing a junior match in his home area on Saturday mornings, taking charge of a game in the higher echelons of the Manderwood Pembrokeshire League in the afternoon – and on a Sunday enjoyed helping out the Haverfordwest County Academy by reffing one of their age groups!

Enjoying his Senior Cup Final

Going back now to his refereeing of the Senior Cup Final between Hakin United and Goodwick United he would describe, it like most refs, as the highlight of his career in the middle.
“I can’t tell you how delighted I was when Brian Hawkins phoned me with the good news and it was worth waiting for that special day, the 9th April 2016.
“I had James Olyott and Charles Davies as my assistants with Paul Rooney as fourth official, and we enjoyed the traditional pre-match lunch at ‘The Friars’ in Haverfordwest with lots of my fellow referees but I settled for a sandwich and a glass of water before strolling across to the Conygar Bridge Meadow Stadium and seeing a huge crowd already building up.
“I really enjoyed the game, which Goodwick United edged 2-1, and the only disappointment for me came when I had to send a player off who doesn’t normally commit a red-card offence but I knew as soon as I saw what happened that he had to go.
“Otherwise it was a competitive game played in a hard but fair manner, although by the time I got home I was knackered!”
“I was also delighted that all my family and lots of friends were there from Whitland to share my big day with me.”

Angus ScourfieldThree days later Angus was at Stebonheath for another final!

But three days later he was back in action at Stebonheath as the referee for The Ray Nedin under 14 Cup Final between Bryn Rovers and Gorseinon Boys Club, which he also regarded as a big honour and he had Jeff Hurton as one of his assistants.
“It was a good, hard game where Gorseinon eventually won 2-0 but some daft behaviour broke out between the teams after the final whistle and I had no option but to issue two red cards.”

Family matters . . .

Angus would say that he is very lucky to have total family support as his wife Jenny Davies-Scourfield is with him all the way and is a very efficient scorer with Whitland CC.  Then there’s son Iestyn (who was previously a Whitland CC captain and Narberth AFC player) and daughter Ffion (who also played cricket for Wales when they were younger), plus stepsons Jack and Conor Bowen, who are also good all-round sportsmen.

Finally, there is one year old grandson Gwilym as the next generation of what is clearly a close-knit sporting family.

Playing days started at Llanboidy

His involvement as a player began as long ago as 1981/82 when he set out with a Llanboidy team that had joined the Ceredigion League a year earlier.
"I played in almost every position for over two decades but principally as a hard-tackling midfielder and I must admit that I had my share of yellow cards so I suppose that in my present role in the game I am now a bit of a poacher turned gamekeeper!
"During my time there I think I was the only player to captain both the first and second teams and it was a smashing club to be involved with.
"I played in SEVEN cup semi-finals but I didn’t once reach a final and my only silverware came when the seconds gained promotion from division three."

Harder to get over bumps and bruises so switched to refereeing

Angus stopped playing because he found it was getting harder to recover from the bumps and bruises but didn't really consider taking up the whistle until the seconds found themselves short of a ref and he was 'volunteered'.
"A few players suggested I ought to take up refereeing and I attended a course at Ffostrasol where Alun Thomas was a superb instructor.
"I began taking charge of games in the Ceredigion League with my debut between Lampeter 2nds and Newcastle Emlyn 3rds - but before that I also had a game in Carmarthenshire, in a match between Abergwili and Loughor.

Several Ceredigion finals followed

It was the start of appointments every weekend and at the end of his first season he was chosen as assistant referee for the league's Youth Cup Final and a year later was in the middle as Aberaeron took on Ffostrasol.
"I reffed the Mond Cup Final, which is sanctioned by the West Wales FA, where Johnstown took on Newcastle Emlyn at Richmond Park, Carmarthen.
"The undoubted highlight was taking control of the 2010 Cardiganshire Cup Final between St Dogmaels and Newquay at Aberaeron and it was afterwards that I decided I needed a new challenge, and at the same time cut my travelling down.”

Allegiance switched to Pembrokeshire

So he decided it was the right time to change his allegiance to the Manderwood Pembrokeshire League, decision he has never regretted in the intervening decade.
It was a decision made on the premise that it meant far less travel from his home in Whitland, where he is parts manager at Riverlea, but also because he had got to know a number of the Pembrokeshire whistlers at seminars and enjoyed their company.
“When I contacted league secretary Brian Hawkins I was made very welcome, as I was when I started going to the monthly meetings of the Pembrokeshire Referees' Society, where I encountered real characters like the current president Danny Thomas, Graham Shepherd, Pedr McMullen, Sean O'Connor and Chris Stapleton, plus excellent younger refs like Kevin Bowen and Tom Bevan - and the refereeing 'Legend' that was John Gow from Swansea.”
."After a season in the lower divisions I took charge of my first match in the top echelon between Johnston and Haverfordwest County at Glebelands.

Angus Scourfield with assistants


Cup finals have featured in his matches ever since

"In 2012 I took charge of the under 12s final, followed by running the line for Sean O'Connor in the Senior Cup Final - and two years later I officiated at the third division final between Tenby and Haverfordwest Cricket Club.
"It was a great year but things got even better in 2014/15 because I was fourth official at the West Wales Youth Final at Stebonheath Park, was in the middle as Hakin United beat Tenby in the Pembs Under 14s Cup Final and was again on the line when Paul Rooney took charge of the Senior Cup Final, where Goodwick beat Neyland.
At the start of the next campaign Angus took charge of the Jubilee Cup Final, between Goodwick and Hakin at the Conygar Bridge Meadow Stadium, with Goodwick winning a good game 3-1.
"But my overall highlight came off the pitch in the Referees' Society's centenary dinner when I was presented with the 'Referee of the Year' award by top Premier League official Mike Dean!"

Tense matches in league deciders

Since then Angus’s work in the middle has seen him heavily involved in vital local matches, none more so than in May 2016 where he took charge of the championship decider between Hakin United and Goodwick United at The Observatory Field.
“I have never seen such a big crowd for a local league match and there was an electric atmosphere as Goodwick grabbed a late goal by Kieran O’Brien to level matters and take the silverware – but again I had to issue a red card after working closely with assistant ref Dave Badger.
“It was a similar story in May 2018, when the same two teams met at Phoenix Park and on this occasion I was assistant to Tom Bevan in a tense 3-3 draw helped The Vikings to go on and win the title.

Enjoyed his fourth official role in top matches – and more finals as well

“I also enjoyed being fourth official at other big games like the 2017 Senior Cup Final between Clarbeston Road and Merlins Bridge, the West Wales Cup Final at The Liberty Stadium between CRC Rangers and Team Swansea (with Tom Bevan in charge), plus the West Wales Cup semi-final last year when Merlins Bridge and Hakin United met: and I received the news of my appointment as I was at Heathrow Airport ready to go on holiday.
“In 2018 I was referee for the fourth Division Cup Final between Monkton Swifts 2nds and Pennar Robins 3rds, a real local derby if ever there was one, and last season I added another divisional cup final to my list when I reffed the second division cup between Johnston and Kilgetty.”

And finally . . .

In such a long career as a referee there have inevitably been a few moments when he thought 'What the hell am I doing here?' but says that they are few and far between - and one only has to chat to Angus Scourfield for a short time to see his love for football and his enjoyment of refereeing.

So we wish him continued success and enjoyment when football does eventually return to the Manderwood Pembrokeshire League!

Angus Scourfield in charge at the Obs in title decider