Staff member appointed as Assistant Referee in televised football game

10 May 2024


Mark Bates, one of our Senior Tutors here at Ashton Sixth Form College, received an appointment to be an Assistant Referee in the National League North Play Off Final on Saturday 4th May 2024.

The Final was between Brackley Town and Boston United, taking place at St James Park Brackley, with an attendance of 3,074 fans. The game was live on TNT Sports with Boston United winning 2-1.


Mark started refereeing at the age of 14 in junior football before progressing to adult football when he turned 16. He quickly developed lots of transferable skills along the way including communication, conflict management, patience and ability to stay calm in stressful situations. Bates also advanced his ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure. 

Mark returned to refereeing in 2018 after a break, progressing to Level 3 in 2022.

He operates as a Referee at Steps 3 and 4 of the non-league pyramid and Assistant Referee at Step 2. 


Mark Bates was appointed to the National League North Play Off Final due to finishing high on the merit list. His aim over the next few seasons is to gain promotion to the Football League as an assistant referee. 



He states, ‘I was thrilled and honoured to be appointed this prestigious game. It was exciting as it was my first televised game. I am pleased and proud to have made the first big decision of the game 8 minutes into the match, which was to correctly disallow a goal.’

‘If any students are interested in becoming a referee, then I would be happy to spend some time with them and giving them advice.’

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