Tim Lawrence, Surrey FA's RDO Announces His Retirement

Tim Lawrence has been Surrey FA’s Referee Development Officer for almost 12 years. 

Tim Lawrence, Surrey FA’s Referee Development Officer has announced his retirement.

Tim Lawrence has been Surrey FA’s Referee Development Officer for almost 12 years and has seen a huge amount of change in both the organisation and the laws of the game in his time with us.

Tim joined Surrey FA in June 2008 and developed a strong relationship with our referees and County Members, providing mentoring and support for officials in addition to running training courses and development events. Over the 12 years, Tim estimates that he has trained over 2,000 new referees – including a number of members of the Surrey FA workforce!

Tim has had many achieved many great things in his time with us. Something which he is most proud of is almost trebling the number of female referees in Surrey and, subsequently, our first ever female Level 4 referees. Tim is also takes pleasure with the manner in which the tutor workforce now works cohesively as a team, delivering courses as a team around the county rather than as individuals in separate areas.

Another significant development since Tim came into the role is the establishment of the Surrey FA Referees Academy, providing opportunities for young referees to officiate at the Chelsea FC and Fulham FC academy centres. The Academy has now been passed into the capable hands of County Members Gordon Harrison and Peter Ashdown.

Tim takes great satisfaction in seeing the referees he has trained work their way through their promotions, as high as Level 3 (Referee on Contributary League Football/Specialist Assistant on League football or National League) in his time. He has also provided support for Surrey FA’s own Craig Hicks, who is now a Football League Referee.

This month will see Tim oversee his final annual Referees Event. Kevin Friend will be the latest Premier League official to attend, following in the footsteps of the likes of Howard Webb and Mike Dean.

Surrey FA Chairman Les Pharo commented;“I have known Tim since he joined Surrey FA. He has worked tirelessly in his time with us to ensure that referees in Surrey have been supported in all aspects of their refereeing. His efforts in ensuring we at Surrey are inclusive have been rewarded in particular with the increased recruitment of female referees. Tim's knowledge and dedication to the role has been appreciated and I along with many others wish him well in his retirement”

Tim would like to say a big thank you to all the many people he has worked with over his time at Surrey FA and believes he would not have been able to achieve what he has in the role without them. He added, “It has been a privilege and an honour to support many referees and see them progress in one way or another and to help them achieve their full potential. I would not have been able to achieve what I have in the role without help from the many people who I have worked with in my time at Surrey FA. In particular, I would like to take the opportunity to thank Vince Penfold, Vic Rolland, David Hutchinson and Rod Wood for their continued support during my tenure.”

Tim will continue to play an active role in the grassroots game in Surrey after he leaves the role at the end of February, overseeing our Development Group and working as an FA observer in his retirement. Surrey FA will be reviewing the Referee Development Officer role, with a view to finding a replacement for Tim to allow for a smooth handover period.

Tributes to Tim Lawrence:

Below are just a few of the tributes paid to Tim by to some of the people who know him best.

Vic Rolland, Life Vice President, Surrey FA:

“The day that Tim joined the SFA I began a close working relationship with him on referee matters and this still continues today. Throughout the many years that Tim has been with the SFA his number one priority has always been the development of the County’s referees and he should look back with great pride at a job well done, as evidenced by the many and widespread refereeing successes achieved under his stewardship. I have much enjoyed the many years I have had working with Tim and our resulting friendship, and I take this opportunity of wishing him a long and healthy retirement.”

Joe Wright, Level 5 Referee:

“I've known Tim for about 4 years now. He's helped me with anything I've needed - making it seem like no issue at all. He's helped me gain promotion to Level 5 within the Counties Development Group and is continuing the hard work to help me get to Level 4 this season, as well as many other referees in the county. It’s such a shame that he's leaving and will be a big challenge for whoever steps into his place next year!”

Tom Ellsmore, Level 3 Referee:

“I first met Tim as a 14 year-old newly qualified referee, I have since been working with Tim for over 8 years and I have no doubts at all that the progression I have made as a referee and as person comes down to the work me and Tim have put in together, his outgoing and upbeat personality always manages to lift the room and he can put a smile on anyone’s face!”