This month Reading RA is pleased to welcome Jim de Rennes as our guest speaker. An old friend of RRA, Jim has a knack of looking at things in a different light and has provided some enjoyable and thought provoking evenings in the past. “Goalkeepers and Referees” has been well received by other RA Societies so we are promised another evening to not be missed.
Jim was born in Hove within sight of the floodlights of the Goldstone Ground and within the sound of the crowd. Jim’s dear mother always knew from the cheers how many goals the Albion had scored, but she had to wait to see his face before she knew how many had been conceded.
Jim has now followed the Seagulls for upwards of 60 years and is enjoying a third season of excellent Championship football at the splendid new Amex Stadium. Jim played in goal for Sussex Grammar Schools and St Edmund Hall Oxford before giving up the game through injury in his early twenties.
He qualified as a referee in 1988 after enjoying the experience of refereeing his sons in the Tolworth Little League, and has now officiated in over 2,000 matches, including many Cup Finals and matches at both the old and new Wembley Stadium. He has the good fortune to still be active and recently completed five games in four days!
Jim is an FA Licensed Referee Tutor and has held various posts in Kingston Referees’ Society during his 25 years of membership. Jim was honoured for his 25 years as a county referee during a Surrey FA function at Met Police FC’s Imber Court, in front of more than 200 colleagues, and received his award from “probably the greatest ever referee world wide”, Howard Webb.
He is also proud to boast that he had the same job, the same wife and lived in the same house for well over 30 years in all three cases, no mean achievement in the Modern World!
In April 2003, he changed two of the three. He remains very happily married to Jane after 45 years, but escaped from Tiffin School after 36 years as a teacher of English Language and Literature, and moved from Surbiton to Claygate after 32 years of The Good Life.
Jim is forever grateful to his two sons without whose involvement in football he would not have become involved in officiating, which has given him so much pleasure over the years.
Jim is looking forward to being with his friends at Reading RA once more.