Jamie is a massive football fan. He’s a keen Manchester United supported and loves watching the games. But Jamie didn’t want his love of the beautiful game to stop there so he decided to try and become a qualified football referee.

Along with support and using his previous experience of volunteering with the Braintree Nacro Community Sports Programme, he began the course and has now become the only person in the country with a learning disability to qualify as an FA referee!

The course was a challenge but with the right support from his tutors he has realised his dream and now referees every Wednesday evening at a local game for adults with learning disabilities.

Jamie has been living in Allen House, a supported living scheme for people with learning difficulties in Essex, for three months. Mandy Kemp, the team leader at Allen House, is really supportive of Jamie’s qualification:

“The staff here at Allan House understand the important role that football plays in Jamie’s life and we want to do all we can to support him. It’s a great achievement and any teams would be lucky to have such a conscientious ref for their games!”

This just goes to show that if you put your mind to something, anything is achievable no matter what disability you may have.

So, if there is anyone out there looking for a referee in the Braintree area, Jamie is your man. But he does take the game seriously so don’t expect to get away with anything!