Tales from 55 years a Liverpool Sunday League ref

No blog for a couple of weeks as I have actually been researching a proper blog !! Back in the day I used to play a bit of Sunday league footy myself before hanging my boots up due a combination of grabbing overtime and also not being arsed with the occasional bit of aggro on a Sunday morning. Back then in my 20’s you don’t realise that with no referees there will be no game. Earlier on towards the very end of last season I went down to watch a local team called Fullwood managed by a mate and I ended up running the line for the referee. This was no normal referee but one that had been doing the rounds in Liverpool for many years. This got me thinking how it would be interesting to do a blog about this referee and write a little bit of local history. So this week I got Mr William Collinson’s number and arranged to meet him for a chat about his time as a referee. He soon put me straight on the phone “call me Billy, Mr Collinson makes me sound like an old man” So here is a bit of the story of 78 year old Billy Collinson from Aigburth.

Billy refereed his first match in 1959 in The Bridgnorth League after playing a bit for A.T & E. Bridgnorth FC who were division 3 challenge cup runners up in the Wellington & District Amateur League in 1961-62 and winners in 1962-63 you can see the club badges and shields won below along with an article about his team. Billy then returned from Shropshire to Liverpool to referee in The Shipping League, The Liverpool Sunday League, The Business Houses league and a couple of years doing junior football as well just to name a few of the leagues Billy has refereed in. So as I made Billy a cup of tea I settled down and asked him a few questions. I did try and record the interview on my iPhone but me clearly not being a reporter it didn’t work !

Club badges

Billy trophies


Billy article




Q: What was the best match or matches you have refereed in ?

A: I have refereed so many matches and go back so far that none stand out. Most matches I referee are good ones and ones I enjoy.

Q: Who have been the best teams you have seen over the years ?

A: The Railway, The Pineapple and teams that played out of the old Peel Hall off Park Road.

Q: Can you name any players who went on to pro footy over the years you have been a ref ?

A: I can’t recall any. I don’t really do individuals but prefer to referee the teams playing the match.

Q: What things have changed over the 55 years being a ref ?

A: The whole concept of being a referee has changed. Now there are academies teaching refs and they are more machine like with not as much personality and flexibility.

Q: How do you see the future of local football ?

A : It’s struggling due to crippling costs. The Sunday league had 12 leagues on the go at it’s peak. It is now down to a few.

Q: Who do you support ?

A: Liverpool though I stopped going the match regularly in the 70’s.

Q: What do you make of modern football ?

A: The money men have taken over what was the working mans game. The latest saga RE Raheem Sterling sums up the madness of the money involved and he isn’t even that good !

Q: What are you looking forward to in the new season

A: Just to referee more games and see some of the friendly faces new and old again and the most important thing will be to just enjoy it.

So  Billy enters his 55th year as referee (Below are awards for long service, 24 years and 50 Years )

Billy Apreciation


Billy 24 years


Billy 50 years

Me and Billy then got into a discussion over how to referee a match and what he finds has served him well over the years. First up is the toss. He said to the captains you are not just here for the toss you will be part of my team helping the match go along as easy as it can. He talks about handling a game properly and having a laugh and if necessary giving some which is all part and parcel of the whole package. He says he doesn’t like to be card happy but when needed he will have no hesitation giving a red card and if needs be just calling a game off. Most of all I got the impression that his experience gains him respect on the field and there will be not much he hasn’t seen that has taken place on the pitch and knows how to deal with situations wether it be with kid gloves or a simple “fucking behave yourself” that will do the trick. The going rate for games this season will be £30 for a Sunday match and £25 for a Saturday.

Away from football Billy is a keen chess player and he was telling me he was involved with womens fashion for a few years and was also part of a choir. Not sure if he was pulling my leg or not on the last two ! Billy was also a keen runner. I remember my late dad telling me about him and how he only ever managed to beat him in one race over the years of the mid 1980’s Billy was president of The Penny Lane Striders and wrote many interesting articles in their newsletter “Stride Out” On his last count he had done 51 marathons including ones in L.A, Amsterdam, Las Vegas and Benidorm not to mention Snowdonia 13 times !!! With a best time of 3 hours 34 and here was me all made up with my one Liverpool marathon in 2014 in a time of 5 hours 10 !!! Below is some memorabilia from penny Lane.

Billy Penny Lane

So as you can see both in the football and athletics local scene Billy has given a lot over the years. I thought his tale was an interesting one and I have only just scratched the surface and I reckon with a few pints and a recording device that I could manage to press the on button his tales could last for hours. As you can see below Billy has won the meritorious service to league award for a record three times in 1984/85 2001/2002 and 2011/2012. I wish Billy the best of luck in his 55th season and can’t even imagine me doing anything like it when I am an 78 years young.

Billy Merit

So many thanks from me to Billy for letting me have some of his time and I think Liverpool should give him thanks for what he has done for the local sporting scene. Click on any of the images for a larger version. Below is picture from about 10 years ago of Liverpool referees. I recognise a few from playing myself.

Liverpool referees


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Is maths or english more important ? and the I M Marsh

So Friday evening and the 2nd week on the run I am out in town at the weekend and even stranger that the second week on the run I end up in concert square. Straight away the philosopher in me asks why Neil just why ? The answer is I don’t know. If a tree falls in Concert Square and nobody is there does it make a noise ? There certainly is one noise there at weekends mostly from the gangs of stag an hen parties there. A sea of women dressed up as fairies and men with shite t-shits with even worse names on the back like “Derek The Dildo” In my defence we did only have one bevy there but the evening started in The Railway on Tithebarn street which much to my astonishment had a free BBQ. No tea from Pizza Park in Garston next week kids it’s Daddy having a pint outside The Railway as he sneaks you all some scran. As I weaved up through town to end up on Slater Street the night was getting old and the drunken debate of the evening was which is more important maths or English. Me well I am a maths fan as you might tell by some of the spelling on this here blog. My main argument being that if I want a 10 meter squared bit of Karpet I will get what I want. 8 meter squared of carpet spelt right is no good to me. This opened up a bit of a debate on Facebook with the majority going for English. I have yet to see or hear an argument that puts English ahead of maths. Feel free to post one in the comments section if you have one and can sway me away from being a Rachel Riley and turn me into a Susie Dent. Moving on from this conundrum the next of the worlds biggest question was one of life’s biggest questions “Tits” or “Arse” I have yet to post this mind boggling question on Facebook yet. For the record it is “Tits” for me. So that makes my dream woman a large breasted mathematician. So Mrs Fay what is the square root of 153 ?

Sticking on the theme of education my eldest gets her SATS results next week. Now they mean nothing for me and not much for her future. I will ask what they mean to her. The strange person that lurks within me want to just get the sealed envelope that they come in and rip them up and bang them in the bin then turn to my daughter and say well done what would you like of Amazon as a reward for your hard work. Have I turned into some loony hippy ? Would that send out the wrong message to her ? She is 10. She has many years coming up when exam results will possibly define the rest of her life (And leave her in great debt) she needs to be like me and be hanging around up the IM Marsh and in a few years be getting onto The Thunderbirds and discovering the opposite sex. Errrrrrr hang on a minute she spent some of Friday night and Saturday afternoon keeping up the Fay tradition of hanging around on the IM Marsh. Does that mean she’s gonna be on the ale in a few years ? Oh god what is happening to my baby ? One thing she won’t have is the joy of bunking on the shale tennis courts below when Wimbledon is on and attacking the students living in the old high rise flats. I am assuming as well that she won’t make it onto every roof of the campus either like I did and when I were a lad there was even a small false ski slope on site that we used to ride road signs down now long gone. I am hoping that the kids of today just go up the IM Marsh and sit off and just play on their iPhones and behave. Somehow I don’t think that happens so it could be a best case scenario of “What goes on in the IM Marsh stays in the IM Marsh” it worked for me !


IM Marsh old flats


So England are one nil up in the Ashes. I love beating the Aussies at cricket. It is up there with Liverpool beating Everton at Footy, England beating Germany at footy and me beating my long time friend John Wignell at anything ! In other sports news Raheem Sterling has gone for £49,000,000 which must make my worth about £1.36 despite being nearly 42 I can count on my experience and also being quite fit despite carrying a beer belly. Well we have booked a family holiday so yet another fitness and weight regime starts today. It is the law that all diets start on a Monday so I spent Sunday consuming as many calories as I could !! Just ran once around Sefton Park in a time of 19:55 which is the fastest I have done it since I was in my teens. Just over 4 weeks until I go away to Cyprus and I will get into those Speedo’s


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What would my 3 year old make of Iain Duncan Smith ?

So how can I blog without no mention of the first Conservative budget for years ! It really is a close call between who is the biggest cunt, Gideon or Duncan Smith. The cynic in me says what a coincidence that the cameras were on Duncan Smith just as he acted like a prized prick ! All the talk before the budget was that Gideon was gonna be so kind and not attack welfare benefits as quickly as he was. That’s alright Gideon you have gone from being a massive cunt to just a cunt. Apologies for the c-bombs but sometimes it is needed. Anyway to has been confirmed that 13 million families will be £260 worse off and up to 3 million families £1000 worse off. Were all in this together eh. Better stop now before I go off on one and print that picture of IDS off and do some practice on my dart board. 5 more years of this. Imagine the joy on IDS’s face once Universal Credit comes in. He already looks as if it is his orgasm face whilst being spanked by some high class hookers, clenching his fists (and most probably arse) as he says hit me harder, hit me harder just like me and Gideon hit the poor as Gideon sits off on the sideline racking another line up the staring into space like it’s Prime Ministers Question time and he is on another planet !

Iain Duncan Smith punches the air like a cunt


So the youngest Holly (age 3) was keeping me amused the other day. I was enjoying a laze on the couch flicking between sport when I put the womens tennis on and she asked “Can we go and play tennis on the field” It brought back fond memories of being young and playing whatever sport was on the TV in the summer in the days when football wasn’t the beast it now is and actually had a rest over the summer from the news etc. Next up I banged the end of the stage of the tour de France on. Straight away she asked “Was Gan Gan in the lead ? ” That being her 62 year old grandad who has recently got into bike riding. He isn’t quite up to that standard yet and finally we booked a family holiday for August and were off to Benidorm as we have won the postcode lottery ! Sadly we haven’t and luckily enough we have decided on Cyprus rather than Benidorm funded by the great other funder of events Barclaycard ! I told Holly as she was lying in bed that we had booked somewhere (She new we were looking) and she said “Are we going tomorrow” awwwwwww I will have to show her the clip of Iain Duncan Smith and get her three year old views on that, hope she doesn’t use the C-Bomb !

Major alert in the Fay household the other day as at 5:45am the house alarm went off. I jumped straight up and grabbed my handily placed baseball bat and legged it downstairs and switched the alarm off. Zone 4 was showing on the alarm box. I manoeuvred through the house like Bodie from The Professionals checking the front room pushing the door open, pausing then jumping into the room. A repeat of this in the kitchen followed by a quick surveillance of the back yard through a minimal twitch of the blinds to avoid detection. All clear, by this time I had back up from Doyle (Mrs Fay) It was time to go into zone 4 AKA my office. Baseball bat at the ready I kicked the door open and like ninja manoeuvred into the room. There was nothing there apart from a large bluebottle buzzing around and I can only assume it had landed on my Tyskie Glastonbury flag which is now back on the wall but located near the sensor and caused it to move and set the alarm off ! Phewwwww I imagined the theme tune from The Professionals and jumped in my imaginary Capri and drove up the stairs and then jumped back into my bed like James Bond. One quick glance at Miss Moneypenny AKA Mrs Fay and getting ready for some hero action but she was already half asleep and my CI5 fantasy was over. For the record any prospective “tea leafs” I would have no hesitation in knocking you down and then breaking both your legs to pieces as I then made some breakfast caught up with the news and then phoned the bizzies in my own time.

The Professionals title card


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Glastonbury 2015 Review and pics.

So that’s it another one bites the dust. Back home after a coach trip home and in camp Fay for 5:30pm on the Monday. That lovely first shower and as if by magic as soon as I got back in the house I got to have a poo on my own throne. Then later on the orgasmic feeling of lying on your own bed and going to sleep in pure comfort after 5 nights trying to stay on a paper thin camping matt that clearly wasn’t thick enough or indeed wide enough. Tuesday was started with a lovely outdoor breakfast down Otterspool as the post Glastonbury blues had kept away, but how this was about to change. Come Tuesday evening my guts decided to pack in and let’s just leave it at it was like having a wee out of my batty. Such disruption caused me to have to take an extra day off work as my love affair with the toilet went a bit too far. I had set my Glastonbury 2015 playlist up to re-live the memories of everything I had watched and such was my mood my dulcet tones were echoing around the back enogs (Alleyways) of Aigburth as I was proudly singing along to “Three Times A Lady” and “Hello” but without the sneaky tear in my eye of the actual event. I haven’t watched much of it back on TV yet though a lot of the bands I watched would not feature in the coverage. For the record this is what I got to see.

Wilko Johnson

Hobo Jones & The Junkyard Dogs

Alabama Shakes

Stealing Sheep

Django Django (Williams Green)


The Waterboys (From a far)

Todd Terje

Dr John Cooper Clarke

The Mothership Returns

Public Service Broadcasting


Lionel Richie

The Bootleg Beatles

Eric Bibb

The Chemical Brothers

So many memories, some recalled, some hazy and some lost forever in the boundaries of Glastonbury. We finally found out the location of the secret underground piano bar but swerved it as it was now more of a tourist attraction rather than a hidden gem. We had to stomach consuming Thatcher’s cider. Not a bad bevy but just the name is enough to put you off. Again I did not do an after hours Glastonbury either being sidetracked elsewhere or just being too done in post midnight to muster up any energy though we did have a good go at after hours dancing at Arcadia one night and I remember a remix of a classic from Liverpool’s Quadrant Park being dropped. How can I forget the dysfunctional family from Ryhl we met who’s father figure in his 50’s was that off his face he made himself a roll up cigarette and then the tobacco fell out but oblivious to his poorly made fag the proceeded just to light a Rizla nearly setting himself alight ha ha. Back at campsite somebody had decided to bring tins of sardines to consume. What is that about ? Sadly one of our fave bands The Destroyers did not play this year but we did meet a fellow fan and who can forget meeting the Scott of the Antarctic boys (Pictured below)


As mentioned in a previous blog I did have the cunning plan of wiring notes to recall memories. Sadly at times I was in such a state that this didn’t happen. As you can see by Wednesday’s list you can tell that night defended into drunkenness. There is a prize if anybody can actually decipher the last note (below) and jog my memory.

Glastonbury notes

So thanks to all those that came and all those we met. I hope my 16 year old niece and nephew will remember their first Glastonbury with uncle knobhead. All eyes to October now for the great ticket hunt. Depending on when the fallow year is we could well be taking my then nearly 12 year old daughter to experience Glastonbury (Whilst she is free) so that will be a different Glastonbury for me and I might actually be able to write eligibly at the end of the night. I have already plans for next years hat that will involve it being some kind of glitter ball. My personal hat designer my father in law will be soon on the case.

So below are a few of my pictures from 2015 click on em for a larger version.

















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Happy 6th birthday blog and RIP beard.

So Friday the 3rd of July was a busy day in the Fay household. First up the 6th birthday of this blog. Who would have thought I could spout such shite and still be going. As is now tradition the blog gets a new look and an extra kiss is added to my sign off to indicate me going into the 7th year. I hope I still raise as many laughs as in previous years and don’t go off on one too much, though with a Tory emergency budget next week that might be too much to ask. Amazing how much has changed in the 6 years I have been blogging. Births, deaths, marriages, divorces, two general elections and a house move. iPad’s, Apple watches but still the same old iMac which will be 8 this year and time for a new one if I can sell one of my kids to Madonna. So here is to 6 more years of bollocks.

Friday the 3rd of July was also our dog Benny The Morkie’s birthday. Or to give him his full title Benny Madeena Fay. Or no doubt as he often thinks his name is “little shit” He’s been a handful but is finally calming down a bit. Growing up you don’t know how hard it is raising a dog as your mum and dad do all the bad bits and you get all the good bits. Benny is still as mad and we have a few things to iron out of him but he is now part of the family and I have become one of those dickheads who posts pictures of animals on Facebook and Instagram the very thing when starting this blog I despised. That is a Russell Brand sized turnaround of don’t vote to vote proportions. Anyway the dog got a card of us !! and some presents. I was feeling in a good mood and signed it to Benny not to little shit.

More 3rd of July fun and it was my eldest’s Elizabeth’s class leaving party at Mossley Hill Athletic club. Now when I left Sudley Juniors back in the 1980’s we just walked out of the door and said see you later mate and if we were lucky anybody who went to a different senior school we might meet again playing sports for our respective schools. Full on party for the brats of 2015 and so much easier to keep in contact with modern technology. Anyway well done to all the parents who sorted the party out the kids (and me) had a great time (Picture below) All these memories captured and there forever unlike my appearance in the Sudley Juniors school play of around 1984 when I crossed dressed and played The Duchess in Alice in Wonderland and even sang a solo ! I know there will be some grainy footage of that show out there somewhere that will be finally discovered in somebody loft one day and I will be publicly outed on Facebook. On the plus side when I go down to Bargain Booze in Aigburth Vale I can bang a dress on and walk tall.

Class 6G leavers Sudley Juniors 2015

Saturday involved going out for a few drinks with the lads which ended up as falling in about 2am after landing in the Cavern. Town was full of wanna be beard bastards but sadly  my beard bit the dust on Monday as (A) it was just wild and (B) I just didn’t know what was living in there after 5 days at Glastonbury. But all these wanna be hipsters trying to do some growth and the right twats with a bunch on their heads ! I feel old out in town now on a Saturday night but can still show the kids how it’s done as we ended up in The Cavern playing see how many tourists you can get in a selfie. My mate Ian was the winner with 5 Japanese tourists in his selfie ! See take that kids, us 40 year olds know how to party. I am currently stuck between da yoof and the pensioners. Da yoof have all these trendy bars to go to and the pensions have their mad Sunday and also old mans pubs to go to. Ahh well by the blogs 25th birthday I will be sat in The Midland with my flat cap on.

And finally a fuzzy Sunday morning was spent on Sefton Park clocking loads of sweaty women in pink lycra I mean supporting Mrs Fay running the Race For Life. A great cause but always a bittersweet day as my eldest daughter started with for Nana and Gaga on her back reminding me that my mum only got to hold my eldest in her arms and again having a tear in my eye, the first time since Lionel Richie sang “Hello” last Sunday. Though once again in my defence that was a man eating a sausage with a lot of onions on near me !

Race For Life Sefton Park 2015


So thats yer lot. I will hopefully get around to a final Glastonbury blog. Thanks to all those who have read this over the last 6 years and thanks for all the positive comments regarding the blog even if my spelling is worse then my 10 year old daughter !


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