What makes PrecisionRef stand out as a great supplier of referee kit and equipment? All the products are handpicked by experienced referee, Steve Chittenden.
Every individual has a different route to refereeing, so we found out about Steve’s experience and why he is so passionate about sourcing and supplying high-quality kit to the refereeing community.
Steve’s earliest football-related experience was watching Chelsea win the 1970 FA Cup Final with his dad. This ignited his lifelong interest in the sport.
He recalls: “At the age of 20, I coached my nephew’s team from Under-9 to Under-14. In 1988, I completed the FA Prelim Coaching qualification. I started refereeing in 1989, but continued coaching and completed another 12 years coaching my son’s team Under-8 to Under-18 team and then moved on to the senior squad.”
Steve’s transition to refereeing was triggered by his coaching qualification in 1988 that included a referee course. Steve said: “I was asked to referee some games for Watford FC. I enjoyed refereeing so joined the local Saturday and Sunday league. I worked from the start at getting respect from players and managers by not being over fussy whilst controlling the game.”
In May 1997, Steve reached a milestone in his refereeing career, when he was invited to join the Professional Game Match Officials (PGMO) list.
This year Steve enters his thirty-first refereeing season – something he had not initially planned to do: “When I retired from the PGMO in 2008, I had no plans to continue active refereeing. However I was asked to go back to local level mentoring young referees who were progressing up the ladder. Eleven years on I am still active and enjoying the game.”
What inspired Steve to start PrecisionRef?
Steve explained: “In 2004, I was co-founder of Grass Roots Football Live – an exhibition dedicated to players, coaches, referees and general participants. The event ran for seven years peaking with 30,000 visitors at the NEC. Precision became a main sponsor of the event and I was very impressed with its ethos and product lines.
"Precision is part of Reydon Sports, the UK’s largest sports product wholesaler. When we sold the event, I continued working with Precision, in the main, exporting their product range to the US soccer market.
“In 2016 I had identified through my relationships with County FA Referee Development Officers (RDOs), the need to provide a wider choice for kit and equipment for new referee course candidates. I discussed this with Precision and I took over the PrecisionRef brand in 2017.”
Steve’s extensive refereeing experience and passion for football is what ensures the merchandise he selects for the PrecisionRef shop is fit for purpose, competitively priced and suitable for any level of referee.
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