A teenager has been named ‘Young Referee of the Year’ by the Lancashire FA.
Accrington and Rossendale College student Kavan Hurn, 17, who lives on Askrigg Close in Accrington, was given the Bob Matthewson Award at the Lancashire FA’s Referees Awards night in Preston.
He said: “It’s a bit of a surprise, but it has been a good season. I got two other awards from the two leagues I referee in, which was quite an achievement. But the hard work has paid off.”
Kavan has his eyes set on refereeing in the Premier League, but is also pursuing a career in the police force.
He said: “They both help each other, they’re actually very similar: being in a position of authority, making quick decisions and punishing wrongdoing. I think three of the current Premiership referees work in either the police or prison service.”
Kavan played for Greyhound Ford Juniors, run by his dad, Andrew, but after suffering from a condition in his knee which causes swelling he moved into refereeing.
He said: “I was only 13, the minimum age is 14, but they let me take the course. At the time I was being paid £16 for 80 minutes of work so it started as a good way to get money. After I turned 16 I did under-18 matches and then some time as an assistant in adult games. Now I do the Blackburn Combi and the Sunday league.
“I’m also refereeing in the college league at the moment and I’ve had some great opportunities. I was at Turf Moor the other day, I’ve never been on the pitch before; and next week I’ll be at Ewood Park.”
Kavan has experienced abuse as a referee, but he says this does not put him off despite his tender years. He said: “We do get a lot of abuse, they [the players] think they can take advantage because I’m 17.”
He thinks there is room for technology in the future of refereeing, with video referees becoming more common in the near future, but does want to retain the human aspect of the game.
He added: “Mistakes are what makes football. I mean, who would fans blame if their team loses?!”
Terry Hurn, Kavan’s grandad, said: “It’s fantastic and quite an honour for a lad of that age. Obviously I’m biased, I’m his grandad, but he’s an extremely good referee for his age – he seems to be able to control things well, he’s very level headed.”