The referee who knew the score

Related Topics
Today we are bringing you a football yarn for boys! So here we go, here we go, here we go then with a story entitled:


There were 10 minutes left in the vital match between Mudcastle City and Sanderhoe United. These two mighty Premier League teams had both been tipped for the Championship this season, but had not met in the league until this crunching, pulsating, bone-tingling encounter.

The stadium rang with the massed cheering of both sides. The Mudcastle fans were unable to believe that their heroes would not go marching on undefeated till the end of the season. The Sanderhoe supporters waved flags and banners, like members of an all-conquering army who know that no foe on earth can prevail against them.

Yet on the pitch it was nil-nil with 10 minutes to go. There had been several narrow escapes at both ends. Joe Adagio, Mudcastle's brilliant Italian-born goalkeeper, had had to dive right at the feet of Sanderhoe's young international, Billy Kyle, in order to stop him scoring and had received a blow on the head which had knocked him out for a minute, but much to the relief of the fans he had elected to play on. At the other end, a header from Jim MacMuckle, City's £10bn bargain buy from Scotland, had crashed against the woodwork, frightening many of the woodworm sleeping the winter away in the crossbar, but had bounced straight off again.

Now, with only 10, no, make that nine, minutes left, the scoresheet was still clean. The referee was already preparing for a first look at his watch when a roar broke from the crowd as Billy Kyle cleverly evaded a tackle from Mudcastle's veteran captain John Scholar OBE (he had received the OBE not for his football exploits but for jumping in the crowd at an away game and rescuing a small child from a mad, runaway, drug-crazed foreign footballer - see issue No 48) and broke free of the offside trap, finding only one defender and the goalie between him and the open goal.

The defender in question was the redoubtable Charlie Grayson, who had a fierce tackle in either foot. However, he also had a couple of recent sendings-off to worry about, so it was a comparatively restrained Grayson who scythed tentatively at Billy Kyle's kneecaps - and missed!

Now he had only the goalie to beat. He saw Joe Adagio coming towards him. He saw that he only had to go round him to score. He also saw, to his amazement, Joe's arms go round his knees in a rugby tackle and felt himself fall headlong.


The referee, bespectacled customs official Herbert Trapp, pointed to the spot and turned away in the traditional manner to avoid the furious protests of the other Mudcastle players.

Billy Kyle was chosen to take the penalty kick.

Joe Adagio faced him tensely, standing on his muddy goal-line.

Joe had a problem.

It wasn't the problem of facing the penalty kick. It was the fact that he was due to receive £20,000 from a gambling syndicate if Mudcastle lost this game, and this might be his last chance to give a goal away. He just had to let the ball in.

Billy Kyle placed the ball carefully and looked up at the goal. He also had a problem. He was due to receive £25,000 if he arranged it for Sanderhoe to lose. He just had to miss this penalty. It would be fatal if they went ahead now.

The whistle blew. Kyle ran up and blasted the ball wide. Unfortunately he had instinctively put a bit of curl on it, and it drifted back in and caught the post on the inside, bouncing thence into the goal.

Kyle, horror-struck, was surrounded by delirious team-mates. Adagio, ecstatic, was comforted by his fellow defenders.

Kyle stood to lose £25,000, which he badly needed to pay off gambling debts. Adagio stood to gain £20,000, which he needed for an expensive weekend in London.

Then they both stood thunderstruck as the referee blew the whistle and pointed back to the spot. He wanted the penalty taken again!

"Why?" demanded Scholar OBE, the Mudcastle captain. "Goalkeeper moved before the ball was kicked," said the ref.

In vain did the Sanderhoe side plead. The referee insisted that the kick be taken again. But it took so long for the teams to line up again that before the penalty could be retaken it was full-time and the ref blew for the end of the game, and a nil-nil result.

The referee came in for much criticism later, but he knew exactly what he was doing. After all, he had this game down on his pools coupon for a no-score draw.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Read Next

Daily catch-up: union bosses mobilise to try to prevent a Labour government

John Rentoul
Yvette Cooper campaigning in London at the launch of Labour’s women’s manifesto  

I want the Labour Party to lead a revolution in family support

Yvette Cooper
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine