James Child opens up on suffering death threats and abuse

James Child announced that he was stepping away from officiating going into the 2023 Super League season but he should be remembered as one of the best in recent times.

A Grand Final official in the 2017 decider between Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers in a game with only three penalties showing that he knew how to let a big game flow.

However, no how good you are as an official, you always end up upsetting some people and unfortunately James Child has had to deal with death threats throughout his career.

“I’ve had death threats as well and some of those have been investigated by the police. It usually affects your family far more than it does yourself,” Child said on BBC Five Live.

“At games I’ve managed to avoid pints being thrown at me but it’s sad really, I think as a referee you just learn to accept it.

“I didn’t have a good record at Salford, I had a pint thrown at me and then a Castleford lady ran on during a scrum and sort of tried to get to me.

“It’s sad really because you grow to expect it and when it does happen it doesn’t necessarily phase you.

“I remember one incident where there was a touch judge at a conversion and some spectator wasn’t particularly happy with the official so he lent over and pulled his shorts down.”

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments