Respected Wakefield referee wins top league award

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A RESPECTED referee has been rewarded for his performances in the Wakefield Sunday League by being named Referee of the Year.

Mick Leadbeater took control of the league’s final match of the season, the Landlords Trophy, and picked up his award for a season of hard work in the middle.

It’s the second time the 52-year-old has won the award, the first time he won it was in the 2007-08 season.

“Refereeing is usually a thankless task so it’s nice to be rewarded,” he said.

“I’ve been a referee for 15 years, I just wanted to stay in the game when my playing career was coming to an end, it’s something I really enjoy.”

The Crigglestone referee was a goalkeeper for Fieldhead Hospital for 22 years, racking up 580 appearances and also played for Blue Light in the Sunday League and Hall Green.

He also officiates in the West Riding County Amateur League and Northern Alliance U19s League.

Although the football season is now at an end, Leadbeater won’t be getting much rest as he continues to officiate in six-a-side leagues over the summer.

His career highlight as a referee came at Huddersfield Town’s Galpharm Stadium where he officiated the Terriers reserves against their Middlesbrough counterparts alongside Ossett official Andy Ladley.

See this week’s Wakefield Express for all the latest sports news from around the district.