World Cup referee Alan Snoddy left ‘humbled’ by MBE recognition

Success as the solo ‘man in the middle’ may have led to MBE recognition for Alan Snoddy but the former football referee counts the collective support of family and friends as central to his prestigious individual accolade.

Former referee Alan Snoddy - now MBE - pictured in 2011. Pic by Paul Murphy.

The 65-year-old Lisburn man admits the ‘Member of the Order of the British Empire’ distinction for services to football on this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list left him both “proud and humbled”.

A devotion to the beautiful game that started in the 1970s and continues to this day has provided Snoddy with countless memories across the matches and miles.

From the early days in local parks to sharing the World Cup finals field with some of the game’s greats, Snoddy remains thankful to those who offered advice and backing along the way.

A desire to give something back to the next generation of referees - in recognition of those figures so key to his personal progress - has helped Snoddy continue to clock up the passport stamps with roles as a technical instructor and global consultant.

“When I think back I consider myself extremely lucky at how something which started out as a wee hobby led to so many wonderful moments and crossing paths with so many wonderful people,” said Snoddy. “After having to keep it quiet for so long, it was special sharing the news with my family.

“I owe so much to my wife Elaine and children Philip, Graham and Victoria for amazing support.

“In my day-to-day job at the Northern Bank there was so much understanding over allowing time for football.

“Then you think back to the long list of special people who helped me so much over the years.

“The World Cups in 1986 and 1990 obviously stand out for people and were amazing of course but often it comes down to the small moments that give me most pleasure.

“That is why I look on this honour very much as something made possible by the support of others in so many different ways.

“I look forward to sharing this experience with friends and family.

“It means a lot that someone took time to put my name forward and attract support for the application.

“As much as this is a wonderful personal honour, it is also nice recognition for the role of the referee and a boost for Northern Ireland sport.

“After hanging up the whistle I’ve been in a position to help others in various coaching, observational and educational roles.

“I’ve worked as a technical consultant with FIFA and UEFA and had positions helping the FAs of Latvia and Cyprus previously and, at present, Greece.

“I’m also in the process of writing a book about my life in football...so this honour will certainly have a special place.”

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