A tribute from East Riding FA CEO Adam Lowthorpe
It is a pleasure and a privilege to be able to pay tribute to Frank Broughton and thank him for all of his endeavors within East Riding Football as shortly, along with his wife Hilary, they will move away from the area to be closer to their family.
After suffering a knee injury whilst playing football for Ideal Standard during the 1958 – 1959 season Frank decided to have a go at being a referee, who could envisage that after passing his exam in the summer of 1959 that Frank would 60 years later still be supporting the refereeing community in our county.
Frank quickly joined the East Riding Referee Association (RA) to support his development and after playing an active role in the grassroots game decided that he wanted to join the management committee in 1967, a position he still holds. Throughout this period he was awarded the RA Meritorious Award and Vice Presidency & Life Membership of The East Riding RA.
A man who cares passionately about developing referees he became a qualified FA Licensed Referee Instructor in 1977 and maintained this position as it evolved to become FA Referees Tutor. Over the years every aspiring referee has been influenced by his passion for the game, his knowledge and his unique sense of humor. It is impossible to be involved in local refereeing circles and not be grateful for Frank’s effort and energy in aiding your development.
If there were any discussions about additional ways to support referees Frank would always be at the forefront, he initiated and set up The County Referee Mentoring Scheme and has spent many years as an observer / assessor helping referees as they aim for promotion to higher levels of the game.
As Futsal began to take off Frank recognized that the game would need to build an infrastructure of Match Officials which led to him becoming FA Futsal Referee Appointment Secretary to all levels including Internationals in 2006. Unsurprisingly Frank has picked up many awards throughout his journey including FA Long Service to Football, FA Long Service to Refereeing, Referee Instructor Long Service Award & FA Lifetime Achievement Award, all richly deserved. In more recent times he was the appointment secretary for Hull & District Youth League and has appointed referees for East Riding County Youth Cups since 2004
Spending time in his company you can’t help but be captivated by the pride he takes in supporting the grassroots game and many of us are blessed to be able to call him a friend. When asked about how he manages to put so much into the game his response typifies the man “You can never put more into the game than it gives you in return.” You could tell this was heartfelt, a man genuinely grateful for the friendships and memories the game has given him.
I was able to ask Frank about his motivation in operating in such a diverse range of activities and he responded that in his eyes Football is about a multitude of levels, he has no one level of the game he wants to operate at, he just wants to be part of the game. Such humility is rare but Frank’s approach means he has made many notable friends, he was able to discuss the referring in the World Cup Final with Howard Webb just weeks after Howard took charge and who else would be able to get a personalized greeting from Pierluigi Collina in his book as a present for his wife Hilary!
From such esteemed match officials to young referees making their way in the game Frank can relate to them all, he loves helping people and it has helped him to be able to relate to young people especially in his advancing years. His sole purpose when assessing is to help the referee develop and refine the skills they already when it comes to managing the situation.
As much as you want to talk about Frank’s achievements he wants to thank other people for the support they have given him throughout his journey especially his wife Hilary who has supported everything he has done in the game. He describes how she has a strong love for the game and knows it inside out which has meant they could share so much together.
Lots of people and organisations will be paying their own tributes to Frank but at East Riding FA we will be renaming the Referee Changing Rooms at Roy West Centre in his honor, they will become The Frank Broughton Referee Changing Rooms. This way when match officials take charge of finals, a highlight in their refereeing journey, there will be a permanent reminder of a man who has done so much to develop referees in the county. Frank’s response to this was overwhelming, he didn’t expect it but it is so richly deserved and it was a privilege to break the news to him.
Frank, thank you for everything you have done for local football and thank you for your friendship which we hold dear. I’m sure you and Hilary will enjoy being on the touchline supporting your grandchildren. You will always be welcome back with open arms
All Your Friends at East Riding FA