Well known football referee from Ilkeston has died.
Harry Hardy, the oldest football referee in the country, has passed away aged 91.
He joined Erewash Valley Referee Society in 1959 and took charge of more than 3,000 matches.
If you played the game locally, you almost certainly played in a match refereed by him.
A referees spokesperson said: “He was liked and respected by everyone. After receiving long and meritorious service awards from the Football Association and Referee’s Association, Harry was presented with the British Empire Medal by HRH Prince William, and will be sadly missed by all involved in the game, whether players or officials.”
He was regularly refereeing local matches until two years ago when he had a fall affecting his mobility. He recovered but was not able to go back to regular refereeing.
However, he could still be seen around town on his bike or on foot and he always stopped to have a chat with friends.
Harry lived in Ilkeston all his life and supported many charities.
He was married to his late wife Margaret and they had two sons, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.