British American Football Referees Association

Retired Numbers

Tom Diamond437

Tom was a long standing member of the association, who officiated with great calm and good humour. He was always willing to help new members, and was a valued member of the association. His passing in 2004 was a great loss to officiating.

Bernard Bradley316

Bernard Bradley joined BAFRA in 1986 along with, amongst others, his brother Graham. At that time he was a valuable addition to the Midlands membership because of his willingness to go anywhere at anytime; something that continued throughout his officiating career.

During the 1990s he was selected to work on Brian Yates NDMA fixed crew as head linesman, the position he favoured throughout his officiating career. Apart from officiating at a number of bowl games was also selected to officiate at the Leicester Panthers vs. The Russian National Team in 1991 and the England vs. Scotland International in 1995.

In his last ten years he continued to officiate at the highest level in this country and was head linesman at the 2005 Division 2 Final and the 2007 College Bowl.

Although never the quickest or the fittest official, he was still a valuable member of any crew. His experience with the chains meant that you rarely noticed them, whether the chain crew was competent or otherwise. Rarely flustered, he tended to make the right calls at the right time and always knew how to handle an irate coach.

Off the field he never took it too seriously, but was always happy to pass on advice and encouragement to new officials. Bernard Bradley 1949 - 2010

Phil Cottier141

Phil joined BAFRA, Chiltern Region, towards the end of the 1980s and worked his first game in March 1989. He continued to progress as an official and worked his first Bowl Game as referee in 1993.

He was always willing to get involved in the administration of BAFRA, and to this end he was appointed Director of Training in 1995 and served on both the Examination Committee and the Rules and Mechanics Committee.

Phil had a passion for Flag Football, both officiating and coaching, he drafted and edited the first BAFRA Flag Mechanics Manual in the late 1990’s and became England Junior Coach at one stage. However, the highlight of his Flag career came in 2006 when he was selected to referee the World Schools Flag Final in Cologne.

He retired from the field in 2007 with a serious hip problem. He continued his involvement in football attending regional and national meetings and was a valuable member of the Flag Working Party.

After he retired from officiating Phil moved to The Isle of Man where he became a director of the TT Marshals Association. However, even as a retired official, he still voluntarily sat the exam each year as he wished to keep his rules knowledge up to date.

Phil passed away suddenly in May 2011. He will be greatly missed by his family and his friends both within and outside football.

Pete Johnson166Pete was a member of BAFRA on two occasions spanning the 1990s up to 2015. He was an enthusiastic official, mainly working as an umpire but will be best remembered for his period as Director of Operations when he served with distinction as a Board member and introduced a number of innovations to BAFRA, not least of which was the Arbiter scheduling system. He will also be remembered as a very genuine and open person. He sadly passed away after a short illness in July 2015.
Colin Payne3

Colin was one of the founder members of BAFRA back in autumn 1984 and was immediately appointed as its first Director of Operations, a responsibility he successfully discharged for a number of years. It was a post he returned to for a year in the late 1990s when a vacancy suddenly occurred. He was selected for five bowl games between 1985 and 1991.

Although he stopped being an active official in the mid-1990s, he remained interested in the affairs of BAFRA and was the last editor of Flagdown, a quarterly magazine that was sent out to all members in the days before the internet was so widely available, the last issue coming out in June 2008. He was granted honorary membership of BAFRA in recognition of his great contribution to our organisation. BAFRA lost a good friend and loyal servant with his passing in September 2015.

Norman Cox139

Norman was one of the longest serving of BAFRA members, having joined in BAFRA’s first full year. He was a good official, and a good and popular person; one you would always be pleased to have on your crew. Testament to this is the fact that, during his officiating career, he was selected for eighteen bowl games including the National Championship game on three occasions. He was a regular attender at our Annual Convention where he was always looking to improve his knowledge and skills. Norman passed away in January 2019.

Robert Banks261

Robert joined BAFRA around 1985/86 having been a (Association) Football league referee. He became BAFRA Director of Finance in the late 80s and implemented correct practices and procedures to put BAFRA on a sound financial footing. Robert was concurrently the Finance Officer for BAFRA North West whilst BAFRA was managed on a regional basis.

After stepping down from the finance role a few years later he served as BAFRA President for a short period when the vacancy occurred, and no long-term placement was readily available. Robert retired from active officiating in the mid 1990’s but continued to assess crews for a number of years after that.

Tvzi Lindeman381 Tvzi joined BAFRA in around 1986/87. For the many years Tvzi was a member he was the only BAFRA member to be found in the county of Cumbria. Despite this geographic isolation this did not prevent him from enthusiastically participating in officiating or in the administration of BAFRA.

Tzvi served for a period as BAFRA’s Director of Finance before more recently becoming Director of Training, only relinquishing the position in late 2019 due to a serious deterioration in his health. Tzvi continued to assess crews throughout his time in BAFRA even though his appearances on-field became limited in later years.

Jerry Grunska30

Jerry was a long time honorary member of BAFRA and was one of the American officials who came over to speak at BAFRA Conventions in the 1980s and 90s. He was a lovely man whose perspective on football officiating was focused on the little details that could convert a good official into a great one.

From 1987 to 2006 he wrote for Referee magazine. Usually, his articles would be about a handful of mechanics tips, usually one or two for each position on the field. He wrote in an ultra-readable folksy style that was underpinned by perfect English grammar, honed by many years as an English teacher.

Jerry was never a high-level official, indeed only officiating at small college level. Most of his contribution was to high school officials in the US, where he would be much in demand to travel the country as a clinician. Nevertheless, the number of college and NFL officials who credited Jerry as a mentor on their officiating journey was enormous.

Jerry struck up an instant rapport with BAFRA members and several of us visited him in his Colorado home. BAFRA officials worked some high school games with him in Colorado in the early 1990s, including one memorable one at "Two Mile High Stadium" in Leadville, surrounded by the Rockies on all sides. Jerry will be missed but his influence on BAFRA continues to this day.

Chris Jarvis10

Whilst it is not clear exactly when Chris joined BAFRA, (we don’t have reliable records from back then) it is believed he joined during the summer of 1985 – a bit less than a year after BAFRA was formed. Chris served on the BAFRA Board as Director of Youth for two years at the beginning of the 1990s. He had a particular interest in training and was, for many years, the Pennine Training Officer. Always keen to expand his knowledge, as well as his Pennine Training meetings, he would on occasion drive over to join in the Northwest training meetings as well. He was always happy to take on the training and mentorship of a new Official and there are countless current and former members whom Chris mentored through their introductory training and during their first games on the field.

As an official, he was known for being firm but fair. His on-field performances led to him being selected for six bowl games between his first in 1987 and his last in 2013. Chris did a lot of work behind the scenes for BAFRA, not least being responsible for the production of certificates (for newly qualified Officials, honorary membership, the John Slavin award, and many others) and for designing and sourcing trophies for the winners of Official of the Year and the Alan Wilson award. He also sourced many of the periodic BAFRA anniversary mementos.

Chris was, for many years up to the time of his passing, Chair of the BAFRA Disciplinary Committee and a serving member of the BAFA Disciplinary Committee. Chris will be remembered as a kind and honest man with a good sense of humour, but also someone who did not “suffer fools gladly”. He will be deeply missed by those who knew him.

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LATEST NEWSFLASH #36 15th September 2023
  • Disciplinary Update