Referees honoured for hard work, dedicated service
Top local football referees who serve within the Kingston and St Andrew Football Referee's Group (KSAFRG) were on Friday night recognised for their hard work and dedicated service.
The event was the second such staging and cocktail ceremony, hosted by the Kingston and St Andrew-based organisation at the Pollyanna Restaurant, at Stanton Terrace in Kingston.
The function observed the theme, Laws of the Game vs Spirit of the Game.
Veteran referee and KSAFRG chairman, Omar Mills, introduced guest speaker, attorney-at-law Chukwuemeka Cameron, who spoke on the important functions of referees.
"Despite the issues FIFA is faced with, the game of football is still alive and well. What facilitates that for the gatekeepers for the game of football are the persons who are seated here today," Cameron said, adding that everyone present at the function was an important gatekeeper of the game of football.
Meanwhile, referee Wilverglen Lamey was on the receiving end of a long-service award for 10 years of service.
The Young Referee of the Year Award went to Khnordo Johnson, who has officiated at all levels locally, except the Red Stripe Premier League.
There was a double take of outstanding awards of National Referee and International Referee of the Year by Karl Tyrell.
The International Assistant Referee Award was presented to Garnett Page, who also copped the National Assistant of the Year award.
Popular referee Keble Williams took home the coveted Referee of the Year accolade.
Williams joined the game in 2004 and was subsequently promoted to FIFA referee from 2010. He has been a member of the elite panel since 2007.
"To be doing something that you actually love, and to be rewarded or awarded for it is just icing on the cake, so it's a great feeling," Williams told The Sunday Gleaner.
The event's Master of Ceremonies was Neville 'Bertis' Bell, while Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) president, Stewart Stephenson, gave a toast to the referees.
"For me it's always a pleasure to thank our referees, and particularly the KSAFA referees, who we regard as a child of KSAFA, because we have a responsibility to oversee their welfare and for providing whatever support is necessary for them to carry out their functions," said Stephenson.