Tragedy as referee dies 'doing what he loved' after being hit by football during match

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Tributes have poured in for a “highly respected” referee who died after being hit by a football while officiating a match. Boston and District Saturday Football League said Michael Grant was taking charge of a youth game at Carre’s Grammar School in Sleaford, Lincolnshire last Wednesday when he was struck by a “stray football”. The married grandfather-of-one from Ruskington suffered a bleed to the brain and tragically died in hospital on Monday.

A minute’s silence will be held in his memory before league and cup games this coming Saturday.

Lincolnshire Football Association said in a statement posted on Twitter that Mr Grant suffered a “serious injury in a freak accident” while refereeing the school game on October 19.

He has been described as a “genial man” who regularly refereed two to three games a week, “always with a smile on his face”.

The association said football in the East Midlands county has “lost a much-respected referee in the process of doing what he loved”.

It said it a statement posted on Twitter: “Our thoughts at this sad time are with the family and friends of Michael (Mick) Grant from Ruskington, who passed peacefully away in hospital yesterday.

“Mick was refereeing a school game last Wednesday when he suffered a serious head injury in a freak accident. A genial man, he regularly officiated two to three games a week, always with a smile on his face.

“Football in Leicestershire has lost a much-respected referee in the process of doing what he loved. “The whole football family sends its heartfelt condolences to his wife, daughter, grandson and his many friends.”

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North Riding FA Referees Department responded to the statement from Lincolnshire Football Association, by tweeting: “Sending our condolences to Michael’s family, friends and you all at Lincolnshire FA. RIP Michael.”

Boston and District Saturday Football League described Mr Grant as a “long-established and respected” referee.

Tributes have flooded in from a number of local football clubs that he has come into contact with over the years, including Sleaford Town Junior FC, Sleaford United Youth FC, Spalding United and Grimsby Corinthians.

Sleaford United Youth FC commented: “We had Mick as our ref a week last Sunday. Mick was a nice fella to talk to before a game, he had some good advice as well as some interesting stories.

“The man was clearly devoted to football and unfortunately died with a freak accident officiating a sport he clearly loved.”



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