PREMIER League football referee Peter Walton will carry on refereeing at the top flight next season.
Walton revealed his plans exclusively to the Daventry Express this week.
He said: “I can confirm that I have agreed to continue refereeing on the Select List of Referees for a further season.
“I was offered the opportunity about a month ago and have given my positive response back to the PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited). Obviously I will have to pass the fitness test in the summer.
“Next season will see me operate for the ninth season on the Premier league and 13th as a National List Referee, not bad for someone who took up refereeing for something to do on a Sunday morning!”
Walton – who writes an exclusive column in the Gusher – will referee his penultimate game of the season on Sunday when Birmingham take on Fulham.
He had previously hinted that he may not carry on refereeing next season but his announcement should end any further speculation about his future plans.
e added: “This game is like a drug and once I was offered a new contract my mind was made up in a second, although I was given a month to give my answer!”
He joked: “Mind you my wife, Jo, had the final word, when she told me to carry on as I would ‘get under her feet’ if I was around at the weekends!”
Walton refereed his first match in the Northampton Town Sunday League in 1986.
He took charge of his first Premiership game between Wolves versus Leicester in 2003. (Wolves won the game 4-3).
In a frank interview with myself in the Daventry Express in 2004, Walton spoke about life as a top-flight referee in the Premier League and revealed how he was living the dream.
He said: “It is an honour, a privilege and it is the accumulation of many years of dedication and commitment but at the end of the day I have still got to remember it is a job.”
He added: “I am not just a referee. I am part of a multi-milllion pound entertainment package. It is global.”