John Key - a real footballing gentleman

John KeyJohn Key
John Key
NO-nonsense ref John Key could talk the hind legs off a donkey — and he had the respect of everyone in football.

John, who died at his family home in Cyprus at the weekend, served on the Football League list from 1981-1994 when he retired from the game.

Highly rated, he rose to the FIFA list and officiated during the early days of the Premier League.

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John began refereeing in the Rotherham Sunday League and  worked his way through the regional leagues before making it to the League list

“I treat all the players the same," he once said. “Whether they’re at Anfield or Flash Lane at Bramley.”

After retiring, John was still an active member of Rotherham Referees Association and also — despite being an avid Wednesdayite — he served as a meet and greet volunteer at Rotherham United during their Millmoor days.

There’s a full tribute in this Friday’s Advertiser.