| 14.6°C Belfast

Close

Premium

Footballers' Lives with Raymond Crangle: One fan told me he hoped I would die on the pitch but it was abuse of my daughter that almost made me quit

 

Close

Middle man: Experienced Irish League referee Raymond Crangle takes a break from his training in north Belfast. Photo: Kevin Scott

Middle man: Experienced Irish League referee Raymond Crangle takes a break from his training in north Belfast. Photo: Kevin Scott

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Raymond Crangle showing Crusaders winger Paul Heatley a yellow card

Raymond Crangle showing Crusaders winger Paul Heatley a yellow card

PMAKER

Raymond Crangle debating with Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton

Raymond Crangle debating with Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton

PMAKER

Raymond Crangle ordering the Newry City and Larne players to leave the pitch in a 2010 Irish Cup tie which was abandoned

Raymond Crangle ordering the Newry City and Larne players to leave the pitch in a 2010 Irish Cup tie which was abandoned

Middle man: Experienced Irish League referee Raymond Crangle takes a break from his training in north Belfast. Photo: Kevin Scott

In the latest installment of our popular series, Irish League elite referee Raymond Crangle discusses fan abuse, treating players like men, high profile mistakes and why he hasn't quit yet

Q. How you started refereeing is a tragic story. What happened?

A. I wanted players to be protected. There was a scuffle in a Belfast and District League match, a young guy took a blow to the head and unfortunately died on the pitch. My team Glanville were involved in the game and I went to his funeral. The fella had an underlying health condition but no-one expects their family member to come home from football in a box. That was a sobering moment for me. I was coming into my late 20s and was disillusioned with playing. A referee in the league suggested I gave it a go and I took the course. I haven't looked back since.