Football

Darren Drysdale: Referee Says He Hasn't Considered Quitting After Incident With Ipswich Player

Sergeant Darren Drysdale said he is "not ready to give up the game" following a controversial incident with Ipswich Town's Alan Judge.

Football League referee Sergeant Darren Drysdale has revealed he has not considered quitting since an incident involving an Ipswich Town player last month.

The official, who also serves in the RAF, was given a backdated suspension by the Football Association for improper conduct earlier this month after appearing to square up to Alan Judge in Ipswich's match with Northampton Town on 16 February.

Sgt Drysdale apologised for the incident and admitted that "he did not keep his composure".

The 50-year-old spoke to Forces News about the incident and was asked if he had thought about leaving refereeing.

He said: "I've got too much refereeing left in me and there's no way that I was going to allow myself to be finished in refereeing within a situation like that.

"I want to finish on a season where I know mentally and physically that that's enough for me. I'm nowhere ready for that.

"Yes, I went through the mill. I think I'm a stronger and better person for that.

"I'm not ready to give up the game yet and I wouldn't do it because of a situation as per the Ipswich Town scenario."

Watch: Sgt Drysdale speaks to Forces News.

The experienced official also discussed the current situation in professional football with fans yet to return to stadiums.

He said: "It's like pre-season. We've been in this situation for a long time now and it doesn't get any easier.

"Because there are no fans in, there have been more away wins for the teams.

"When there's a home crowd in or a bit of atmosphere, for us as match officials, whether you've got a flag in your hand or a whistle, it actually lifts you and you get the excitement of the fans. I think we are all missing that.

"As a match official you are there to be shot at from the fans and take the wrath of those but we're all missing it and can't wait for the fans to return."

Sgt Drysdale also explained why he enjoys refereeing saying: "One of the things that I love is the dressing room environment.

"Once you are in a dressing room environment, you could have a chief executive officer sat to your left, a senior police officer to your right and you're in the military.

"It doesn't matter what your background is. We are all the same.

"We are all in it because of our joint passion and love for refereeing."

Cover image: Sergeant Darren Drysdale was given a backdated suspension by the FA for improper conduct after appearing to square up to Ipswich Town's Alan Judge in February (Picture: Matchday Images Ltd).