Referee’s joy at rise to Football League list

Leigh Doughty, new Football League referee
Leigh Doughty, new Football League referee
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The Fylde Coast has a new Football League referee.

Leigh Doughty, 29, from Freckleton, will officiate in League One and League Two next season after excelling in the National League Premier in 2018/19.

Leigh Doughty in action in the National League last season

Leigh Doughty in action in the National League last season

Leigh, a PE teacher at Carr Hill High in Kirkham, refereed Salford City’s play-off semi-final victory against Eastleigh.

Oli Langford and Scott Oldham are the Fylde Coast’s other Level 1 referees.

Leigh said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be promoted to the National Group of Referees for next season. This has been a dream since I started refereeing in 2007.

“There have been some challenging games which has helped me grow and develop as a match official, and person, in addition to building my mental resilience which will certainly be tested in the professional game.

“My refereeing dream simply would not be possible without the support of my wife Lucie and daughter Martha.

“Pre-season training is already well underway and I’m looking forward to walking across the white line in August on my debut EFL game.”

Elliott Swallow, from Marton, will officiate as a 2a referee next season after being promoted to the National League Premier from the National League North.

Alex Beckett, from Blackpool, has been promoted to Level 3 and will referee on the Evostik League.