Col Stocks Named Referee of the Year


Refereeing since the age of 14 it is the continued love and passion for the role that has seen Col Stocks named Manly Warringah Football Referees Association, 2022 Referee of the Year.

It was announced last Tuesday that Col Stocks would be the man to take centre stage of the men’s premier league grand final this Saturday, 27th August at 5pm, as he gained the title of referee of the year.

“When I was named it (referee of the year) in the referees meeting the other day I said to the crew that it’s an absolute honour to be chosen to do the premier league grand final and as referee of the year.” Stocks said.

“It is a bit of recognition of the hard work you’ve put in throughout the year”

Picking up the whistle as a junior referee was when ‘Stocksy’, as he is known around Northern Beaches football fields, found his calling. Since then, he has never missed a year of refereeing, even during his playing years.

“I went back to playing but continued to referee as a team ref, only in the last three years have I come back to referee full time,” Stocks said.

“I was getting too old to play and a few injuries, so I thought to myself I have always enjoyed refereeing and I thought it would be a great way to stay involved in the game using my experience in playing and give back a little bit as a referee.”

Give back to the community he has. Upon the announcement of referee of the year there was an overwhelming amount of support and kind messages congratulating Stocks, a true sign of a great and impactful referee.

However, Stocks would not still be refereeing today if it was not for the inspirational senior referees who supported him from the start.

“I always remember the help I got as a 14-year-old starting out. I had a lot of help from the senior referees, and there is a couple that are still involved in refereeing today.

“Peter Robson, who just turned 91 and is still refereeing, was the referee on my very first game when I was 14 and it is really nice to still have him around and those memories.”

Another special memory will be made this Saturday between Stocks and Peter Robson as Peter will once again join Stocks in the refereeing uniform to conduct the coin toss for the men’s premier league grand final.

“Don Gale is another refereeing stalwart, and both of them have been around since I was a junior referee, so I think it’s fantastic to have that longevity.

“I love seeing those blokes still around,” Stocks said.

Now it is Stocksy who is inspiring the up-and-coming referees of the Manly Warringah Football Referees Association.

“The best part about it is turning up each week and seeing a lot of really capable junior referees either on my line or doing reserve grade because that’s the reason you do it.

“You want them to try and go somewhere and excel themselves and this year I have been lucky enough to see a lot of great juniors.”

However, it is not just junior referees who are proving their talent. Just like Stocks many players who have decided their playing career has come to an end are picking up the whistle as a way to stay involved in the game we all love.

“A lot of older guys have decided to become full time refs, and they’re progressing up the ranks which is exactly what we need them to do.

“It is very pleasing to see the juniors each week and ex-players taking up the whistle and progressing up the ranks.”

The referee of the year’s attention now falls to his final, and probably most important, game of the 2022 season. A match not to be missed between Pittwater and Narrabeen’s men’s premier league teams will have the privilege of being refereed by Stocks.

The MWFA would like to congratulate Col Stocks on being awarded the Referee of the Year and are grateful for his ongoing commitment to our game as without referees like him we would be able to play the game we love.


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