Monday 14 March 2011

The Loneliness of an Additional Assistant Referee.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2-3 Villarreal
Thursday 10th March 2011
Europa League Quarter Final First Leg
Bay Arena, Leverkusen
Attendance: 20,126

The Europa League is seen by many clubs as an opportunity to play squad players and by fans as an opportunity to stay at home. However, the Europa League should be seen as a pioneer competition, as without this competition world football wouldn't have introduced one of it's key changes since a pigs bladder was first hoofed around, the Additional Assistant Referee.

In an AiT exclusive we were granted Minute by Minute coverage of the inner most thoughts of one official as he undertook his critical duties.

3 minutes: Can you still get salt & shake crisps?

8: Realise I look a right dipstick in tights and gloves carrying this stick. Not even sure what it does.

11: Loving this radio mic look though, it's like I'm in 5ive. Although I'm not sure why I'm carrying this pointless stick. Maybe I could pretend to be a magician instead? Piff paff poof. Ah sod it.

12: No play near me at yet. Feel lonely. Decide to name my stick "Rudi" for a bit of company.

"Why am I here, WHY!!"

19: Scratch my leg with Rudi and feel comforted as I'm involved for the first time as there's a corner in front of me. Not required to do anything though.

"How have I got tomato sauce on my boot? Fucks sake"

22: Villarreal keeper says something in Spanish to me while pointing at his eye, dopey git. Don't understand a word. Rudi and me back away from the situation slowly.

24: I've been up and down this line so many times I feel like I'm a player in an elaborate game of Super Cup football. Decide to spin around uncontrollably for a few seconds. Feel nauseous. Accidentally fart.

27: ACTION! There's a goal disallowed at my end. Have a wander towards the goal anyway to see if it crossed the line. It crossed the line.

"Is it over the line...oh, it's over the bar. Nothing to do here then...again"

28: Pretend to be Reg Hollis from The Bill and use the headset to call for urgent back up, "IC1 Male seen running from an RTA heading towards Sun Hill". No response, think my microphone is broken.

29: Bit of play nearby, that bag of dicks linesman ruins it with his fancy arse flag and calls offside. Try and start a conversation with the photographers. They're not arsed, miserable shits.

30: Wonder how many light bulbs there are in here? Rudi tries to engage the stewards in conversation. They're not arsed, miserable shits.

"Do you come here often?? Boring this isn't it.....Nothing. Miserable bastards."

31: Back heel the ball to the corner taker. I've still got it. I can still be a professional player. I can Dad, Dad I can, watch me Dad!! Weep gently. DAD!!

32: GOAL!!! Check its over line. It's in the back of the net and I feel a but stupid. Feel sorry for the keeper at least he spoke to me.

"I told you I'd make it onto the football pitch one day Dad. Who's laughing now!! Good work Rudi"

34: Think about putting Rudi in my right hand, decide against it. Top 5 famous Rudis? Rudi Voeller. Rudi Cant Fail? Eh...Rudi that.

41: Kicks off near the half way line. Decide to look stern, grip Rudi tight and walk one yard onto the pitch. Spongy.

43: Might sneak my discman in me tights for 2nd half, I've got that new 90s compilation to work through. Could use Rudi to pretend to conduct Bob Holness playing the trumpet on Gerry Raffertys Baker Street.

Half time: Lock myself in the toilet pretending to have a mega shit. Have a cry. Think about replacing Rudi with a Super Soaker Thunderstorm for the second half just for shits and giggles. Refuse to come out for the second half until the linesman let's me signal him offside in the changing room.

47: Wonder if Rudi Voeller is here? Wonder if Pat Nevin is here? Hope Colin Murray isn't here.

51: Swap Rudi to left hand.

Rudi and me during our difficult 17 seconds.

51:17 sec: Revert back to holding in my right hand, it wasn't working out for either of us.

52: Think about folding my hands, decide against it as it might project a bad attitude. Feel fidgety.

53: 236 light bulbs

54: Johnny Cash and me are like soul mates, as we've both walked the line. Except he never scuttled along it like a joyless fluorescent crab in tights.

I'm so lonely. So very lonely.

57: Still loving this radio mic. Try and get the other 4 officials to sing 5ive classic 'Everybody Get Up', no ones bothered. I was gonna be Ritchie Neville. Miserable shits.

59: Decide to pretend to be as still as possible to freak the crowd out.

"Yeah, that's right suckers. I'm a statue. Look at them, they don't know what's going on! Losers"

65: First jog of the match. Wish hadn't bothered pants stuck right up me arse now. Knew these tights were an error.

68: Goal disallowed. Try to see if it's over the line, realise I'm a hundred yards away and it doesn't matter what Rudi and me think.

70: Goal!! Probably crossed the line. Go in for a closer look. Can confirm its over the line as its in the back of the net. Ask Leverkusen keeper if he likes 5ive.

71: Craving a crab stick.

74: Farted again. Had to check to see if it was over the line, if you know what I mean.

"Dear Uriah Rennie, God of all Referees, Please let me have something to do at this corner."

80: If your getting down baby, I want it now baby....

86: Hold Rudi in both hands. He purrs gently.

88: Substitution for Leverkusen. On comes Lars Bender. Ha. Bender

89: Tell some daft Spaniard to hurry up while taking a corner. This is our first involvement of the half so Rudi and me to decide to look rugged "Were probably on the tele now" whispers Rudi gently. Look at me now Dad I scream!!!

93: GOAL!!! A goal in front of me. Think about joining in with the celebration but then decide they should get the heck out of my bit of pitch. Piss on their parade and shoo them away.

"Get out of here!!! Leave us alone!!!! JUST GOOOO!!"

Full time: Try and swap shirts with the referee. Seems I've grossly misunderstood the protocol here.

After the match: Realised some berk has parked really close to me. Check to see if their car is over the line. It is, just. I signal but no one is around to see. I drive back through the night to Mothers.

Red line indicates completed runs by Additional Assistant Referee.

With apologies to the actual additional assistant referees Daniele Orsato and Andre De Marco, who I'm sure both did a great job and live happy lives.

For proper match highlights click here.


  1. I just heard Rudi has decided to sue :(

  2. I just heard Rudi has decided to sue

    There was more to it than that judging by this report, definitely some inappropriate touching going on there. I think the CPS are looking at building a case.

  3. I heard that Rudi got married.