Law firm Sweeney Miller is backing local referees in their bid to keep the peace on the pitch.
Sweeney Miller, one of Sunderland’s biggest law firms, has kicked off the latest sponsorship drive by the Sunderland and District Society of Association Football Referees with a £200 donation.
The cash has been used to purchase essential TV and sound equipment for the association to use during its regular meetings when guest speakers update its members on technical issues, rules changes and best practice.
The association, which is affiliated with the National Referees Association, formed back in 1906 to look after the welfare of referees and to give them help and guidance.
The Sunderland association has 96 members and is the third largest in the England. It represents referees who officiate over children’s football and amateur games right up the Football League, with members working in the Championship, Leagues One and Two, and the Vanarama National League.
The current association chair Geoff Eltringham currently officiates in the Football League and regularly presides over Championship and Football League One and Two fixtures.
Ken Barker, vice-president of the association said: “We meet monthly at the Sir John Short RAOB Club in Millfield, Sunderland where we regularly have guest speakers. The new equipment will really help us deliver sessions more efficiently and we are very grateful to Sweeney Miller for backing us in the way they have.”
Paul Miller, partner at Sweeney Miller Solicitors, said: “The local referee’s association carries out a vital job across the city and beyond supporting grass roots football. It is essential that its members are kept up to date with best practice and we are happy to support them in their great work.”