A STONEHOUSE referee who has taken charge of 3,100 football matches has been nominated for a Pride of the Cotswolds Award.

Brian Stevens,79, is up for this year’s Sporting Hero award after refereeing football matches for the last 56 years.

“I could be refereeing Liverpool on a Saturday and then the following day a local youth match,” he said dryly and without ego.

A promising footballer in his youth, Brian was encouraged to stop playing after breaking his cheek bone and fractured an eye socket during a match.

Looking for a way to stay in the game, he completed a refereeing course and worked his way up to the Football League, where he took charge of the likes of Bryan Robson, Paul Gascoigne and rubbed shoulders with managerial legends Sir Alex Ferguson and Brian Clough.

The three games he refereed at Wembley are among Brian’s career highlights, but he continued to take charge of youth games in Gloucestershire alongside professional fixtures.

He also helped train more than 150 referees and is currently President of the Stroud League, something Brain describes as his ‘proudest moment’.

Brian recovered from sepsis to take charge of games last season but is now considering finally hanging up his whistle.

“I just wish I could go on further but injuries have caught up with me,” he said.

The person nominating Brian said: “I believe he deserves an award for consistent commitment and long service to football in Gloucestershire.”

Asked how he would feel about winning Brian said: “I would be really proud and over the moon and my family would be too.

“I have been supported brilliantly.”

To nominate your sporting hero click HERE