AUDIO – “Hard work key for young referees”

Les Coffman, QSM, has forgotten more than some people know about match officialdom in a life dedicated to the craft of refereeing.

The 86-year-old was present at the Auckland Football Federation Referee Awards Dinner in Greenlane recently and recalled some of his favourites memories.

Referee Development Officer Paul Smith says Coffman’s experience is valuable.

“Having someone of Les level of experience and knowledge available to a new generation of referees is a priceless resource,” Smith told the North Shore Times four years ago.

“He has helped so many of our members make the most of their potential and served the game selflessly in so many areas.

“We’re tremendously lucky to have him and we are forver indebted to him for his years of service to the game,” he said.

Coffman says one of his best memories was refereeing the Manchester United team led by Sir Matt Busby, a side that would conquer Europe with stars like Denis Law, George Best and Sir Bobby Charlton.

“That is one of my favourite memories. They were all very down to earth people and I was presented with a Manchester United tie and badge,” Coffman said.

Les Coffman

Leslie Coffman, QSM – Referee Career

Active Referee: 1953-1980 England & New Zealand

Referee Status

1957
New Zealand Badge

1966
NZFA Chatham Cup Final – Referee

1969
FIFA Badge awarded

1970-1979
National League Panel referee
International Matches x14 Referee
International Matches x17 Assistant Referee
FIFA World Cup Playoffs Asia – Seoul, Korea Republic
FIFA World Cup Playoffs Asia – Australia, Korea Republic, Iran
Air New Zealand Cup Final – Referee
NZFA Chatham Cup Final

Coaching & Assessing

1972-2000
Auckland Soccer Referee Coaching Committee

2000-2005
Auckland Football Federation Referee Coaching Committee

1969-2011
Auckland Referees Inspector/Assessor

1981-2005
National League Assessor

1991
Referee Commissar FIFA Youth World Cup – Napier

2001-2006
New Zealand Football Appointments Panel

1982-1997
Oceania Football Confederation Referees Committee

1960-1998
Referee Management Committee

1987
Instructor FIFA Youth World Championships

1980
Life Member Auckland Football Association

1991-2004
Chairman Coaching and Examination Board

1994-2004
Chairman Northern Referees Board and Inspectors Committee

Other offices held

1979-1981
President New Zealand Soccer Referees Association

1981
Life Member New Zealand Soccer Referees Association

1981-1989
New Zealand Football Association Referees Committee

1988-1989
Chairman New Zealand Football Referees Committee

Service Awards

1981
Long and Meritorious award New Zealand Referees Association

Life Member New Zealand Soccer Referees Association

1990
Long and Meritorious award English Referees Association

1995
Volunteer Recognition Award for Outstanding Service to Soccer

2003
New Zealand Football Media Trophy – 50 Years Service to Refereeing

2005
Sport Auckland Volunteer Recognition award for outstanding service

2005
Queens Service Medal (Services to Sport)

2006
English Referees Association 50 Years Silver Plate Award

1999
FIFA U-17 World Cup Volunteer Driver

New Zealand Football International Team Liaison Officer