Bluff ref keen to blow whistle at XXXX Island soccer match

BY KARA PARADIES (MORNING BULLETIN)

BLUFF referee Ron Richardson has shared the field with some of rugby league's finest.

But tomorrow he'll swap green grass for golden sand and footy for soccer.

Last week Ron found out he had won the chance to ref the celebrity-studded XXXX Island Beach Cup.

The event will see sporting legends Robbie Slater, Tim Horan, Tadgh Kennelly, Gorden Tallis and Damien Fleming compete in what is set to be a ripper match.

Ron said he couldn't believe it when he got the call-up.

"My wife knew before me," he said.

"She told me to ring back this guy and watched for my facial expression when I called."

Ron has been reffing games across the Central Highlands for the last 26 years.

"I've reffed a lot of juniors like Ben Hunt and Dave Taylor," he said.

Ron admitted he still gets nervous, but said once the whistle was blown his head was in the game.

"As long as you're fair and consistent you won't have any troubles," he said.

"It's going to be heaps of fun. It's the chance of a lifetime."

As part of his prize, Ron will also get to spend three days on the island with three of his mates.

He said he had invited his brother and two of his old school friends.

"They're all rapt," he said.

Ron said he was looking forward to getting out in the boat and throwing in a few lines.

Another 10 people have also won the chance to head over to the island and watch the exclusive game.

They will each receive a XXXX GOLD merchandise pack.




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