Grassroots football lost a true gentleman last week with the passing of Pat Gwynne.
A familiar face at football pitches regionwide for more than 50 years, Gwynne was a well-respected referee who was actively involved in both the junior and adult game until very recently.
He was a life member of both the Birmingham County FA and the National Referees Association in recognition of his life’s work in improving the game for all who played, managed, watched and refereed.
Vice-chairman of the Leamington Referees Association James Barnwell said: “He was a real inspiration and a big supporter of not just my own refereeing career but of many other referees who took up the whistle and was always ready with advice and wisdom whenever it was needed. I will miss him greatly.”
Leamington Referees Association chairman Martin Gittins added: “Pat was a huge figure in local football and I remember him refereeing me when I was growing up and then to be a refereeing colleague of his was a great privilege.
“He would always have time for the younger referees and offered advice and help whenever they needed it.
“He was always very supportive of me and my refereeing career and that of many, many others also. Myself, the refereeing family and footballing community as a whole will miss him greatly.”
A minute’s silence was held as a mark of respect to Gwynne at all last Sunday’s Leamington & District League fixtures.