I emigrated from Wales and England in 1963, stayed in Nova Scotia for two years, then went to the University of Kansas to work towards a Ph.D. in geology. In 1969, after playing both soccer and rugby at KU, I moved to Dallas, Texas to work in a geological research laboratory. I figured that my soccer career was over. Hah!
Little did I know that senior soccer had been played in Dallas for a long time, and in the late sixties, when I arrived, youth soccer was beginning to grow as a sport. Within a week or two I was practising with the German-American club, the local league champions, and not long afterwards, I was asked if I would like to coach the team. This was not a difficult task, since the club had some very fine, if aging, players, and we won both the league and the cup for 1969-70.
I had first qualified as a referee in 1964, while recuperating from a broken leg incurred in the Nova Scotia senior league. In Dallas I started refereeing again, in youth and senior soccer. By the early seventies, the fledgling North American Soccer League was expanding and looking for more officials, so I threw my hat in the ring.
By any decent standards I was unprepared to officiate professional soccer. In fact, the first time I ever ran line was in a professional game! But I learned fast and in my second season in the NASL, I was put in the middle of an exhibition match between Dallas and Monterrey of Mexico. A league match came my way shortly afterwards, and I stayed as a referee in the NASL until it folded in 1984. I joined the International Panel in 1979, retired one year early to take over as National Director of Referee Instruction in 1988, and started the National Testing sessions by taking up on the idea put forward by my predecessor Bob Sumpter.
In the meantime, I had a full research career as a geologist, but decided to change direction in 1996. The notion of writing had been whispering in my ear for several years, and when it became clear that my employer was giving up on pure research, I decided to leave to give it a try. I went back to school (at the University of California at Santa Cruz for 1996-97), took an internship in Idaho for eight or nine months, and have been freelancing ever since, from our home in California.
Readers will notice as this site progresses, that I will make reference to aspects of my life besides soccer. I will occasionally put something up about science, including geology, which still holds me captive, and about writing, be it about scientific or other themes.
Science is more than a subject at school; it is a way of thought, a way of facing the world, and I have to say that it has permeated my life. Even in the world of soccer, science has its place, and so research into various aspects of the game and refereeing will appear on this site from time to time.
If you are interested in good refereeing, good science, good writing, then you are welcome to visit (and comment) as you wish.
Mellifluous adagios; rainy days; Dylan Thomas's works; flying light aircraft; intelligent movies, books and ideas; the power of science as a way of thought; skillful and subtle use of language.