SCOTLAND’S oldest referee has blown the whistle on his own career.
Granddad ref Eddie Norrie, 82, was desperate to carry on but reluctantly had to hang his boots up this week due to arthritis.
His career took him all over the world, and despite having never reached top flight football, Eddie says he has loved his time – despite the inevitable verbal abuse from the sidelines.
The Aberdeen-born ref said: “I would have liked to keep going but I have been bothered quite a bit with gout.
“It’s the only thing that stopped me.”
He started refereeing while working as a teacher at Aberdeen’s Northfield Academy.
But when he retired as a teacher and football coach 17 years ago, he didn’t see any reason to hang up his whistle.
He said: “During my time at Northfield we had several trips to Canada and the United States.
“I was a great experience.
“Latterly I have just been involved in secondary schools’ games. I thoroughly enjoyed all my years as a ref.
“As a referee you could come in for some stick from the sidelines. Parents could get pretty worked up sometimes.
“You had to be thick-skinned but that was all part of the game.”
His son, Colin, 53, has followed in his father’s boot-prints as a juvenile teams referee.
With football now behind him, Eddie has his sights set on taking up golf.
Such was his dedication to adjudicating football matches at weekend that he has only used his gold clubs three times in his life.
He said: “I have been thinking about golf. I would have been keener to take up badminton again but the club I belonged to folded a few years ago.”