Jim Finney looks on as Jimmy Adamson
of Burnley (right) tosses the coin at
the start of the 1962 final watched
by Tottenham's Danny Blanchflower
Jeff Winter has a few choice words for
Millwall's Dennis Wise in last year's
final against Manchester United
© Above: Central Press / Getty Images, Below: Simon Bellis / Reuters / Corbis
Man in the Middle
Football referees are very much the `man-in-the-middle'
in more ways than one, coming in for widespread abuse,
not just from spectators but even players and managers.
In the modern game, referees have the added problems
of having to deal with the so-called `professional foul'
and attempts to deceive them by diving and trying to
claim a penalty.
And the increasing intrusion of television in to sport has
left referees with the difficulty of having to take split-second
decisions that can decide the outcome of matches, with millions of viewers having that decision right or wrong
played back interminably.
So, who would want to be a referee? Well, in the case
of five Freemasons who were referees at the highest level,
the pinnacle of each of their careers is that they have achieved
the crowning ambition they took charge at an FA Cup
Final. There are five known living FA Cup Final referees
who are Masons:
2004: Manchester United 3, Millwall 0.
1985: Manchester United 1, Everton 0.
1980: Arsenal 0, West Ham United 1.
1975: Fulham 0, West Ham United 2.
1962: Tottenham 3, Burnley 1.
Remarkably, when Pat Partridge moved to Durham,
this meant that four of them are in that Province and
two of them (Pat Partridge and Peter Willis) are both
in Sportsman's Lodge No. 9440.
The 1975 final, in which Pat Partridge took charge for
the all-London final between West Ham and Fulham, also
had an oddity because of a dispute with sponsors, Fulham's
eleven took the field with blackened boots to hide a logo.
Indeed, Pat is unlikely to forget the year he came into the
Craft: "I well remember being initiated into Freemasonry
it was 1966, the year England won the World Cup."
Jeff Winter, whose Lodge meets at Stockton-on-Tees,
had a memorable season in 2004 for more than just refereeing
the F A Cup Final at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
he famously `sent off' Manchester United manager Sir
Alec Ferguson in United's 2-1 Premier League victory
over Newcastle United.
Ferguson was angered when Winter did not show the red
card to Newcastle player Andy O'Brien for bringing down
Ryan Giggs. As a result, Ferguson kicked the ball away in
anger, and remonstrated with the referee before being sent
to the stands. As a result, Ferguson was given a two-match
touchline ban by the Football Association after he was found
guilty of misconduct.
Ferguson was again upset when Jeff Winter sent off Gary
Neville for butting Manchester City's Steve McManaman
after the United defender fell theatrically inside the penalty
area. But such incidents are all part of a referee's lot in life.
Jim Finney has clear memories of his big day at Wembley
almost 43 years ago. He says the 1962 Final was a classic
match. At the end of a Final the tradition is that the winning
captain is given the match ball, and Spurs captain Danny
Blanchflower gave it to Jim as a souvenir.