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“Referees are human” – Super League official Liam Moore opens up on abuse

Super League Salford Red Devils

Super League referee Liam Moore has spoken honestly in a brilliant interview with State of Mind Sport where he’s explained the trials and tribulations of being a Super League referee, including the negative aspects.

Moore first officiated in Super League in 2017 and since that debut season, he’s been one of the very best in the competition, taking charge of games week in and week out and also being selected to take charge of prestigious playoff games.

From 2018 onwards, Moore has officiated in 27 or more games a season (barring the void null Covid season) and he’s currently officiated five already this season as well as two Challenge Cup games and of course the World Club Challenge.

His career to date has seen him take charge of two Challenge Cup Finals and two Grand Finals highlighting he is among the very best in the business but as is sadly the case with match officials, he’s been subject to abuse.

He’s since spoken about that on the State of Mind Podcast, available here on their YouTube channel, about dealing with the abuse and what works for him to ensure he remains unaffected.

Moore explained: “When I first was in the Super League and made my debut, I struggled more with that in terms of being able to just distance yourself. Now I have a very small circle of people around me that I go and speak to, whether that be my wife, friends, mentors I’ve always spoken to, coming through the journey. ”

The official also revealed that he previously used to actively check social media for abuse, something he’s since stopped after realising it was of no benefit. He revealed: “When my career was flying and I was doing live TV and that kind of stuff, I’d go in the pub after I’d come off air and I’d go through my Twitter and read every single comment that was sent to me. I look back and I don’t know why I did it because no one goes online to say well done, they just go on online to have a pop.”

What is it like being a Super League referee?

Referee Liam Moore during St Helens v Leigh Leopards in Super League disciplinary action.

Credit: Imago Images

Moore has been the target of abuse, like many officials, with fans far too often thinking that it’s acceptable to do so but forgetting that the game wouldn’t exist without the man or women in the middle with the whistle.

It’s also forgotten that it’s somebody’s partner, relative and friend, something that Moore noted: “Referees are human as well. They’re not emotionless creatures who go out on a field. Everyone has their feelings and has their doubts sometimes. So over my career, there’s been moments where I’ve spoken to people and experience plays a big part in it, as I’ve said, but the talking for me is absolutely critical.”

Thankfully, it seems that Moore does have a strong group around him and he can also lean on his brother Aaron who is also a Super League referee.

Moore also spoke on the worst period of his career, explaining that officials go through good and bad form just like players, something that is rarely considered by the fans.

Asked when his worst moment came, he responded: “I think it was possibly the year after I’d just joined the full-time group. I had a good year in 2017 and 2018, and there was a point in 2019 where I just couldn’t seem to get momentum in terms of my referee, and I wasn’t performing particularly well.

“It was at that point where I was put on big games and I got decisions wrong, and that knocks your confidence at that point. I think in the early years, that was something I always remember thinking, that it was difficult, every game just felt difficult.

“Whereas now, experience has touched on a lot, it’s brilliant, but certainly in the early 2019, I would say that it just wasn’t necessarily one particular game or moment, it was more a run of the same players and teams with form and momentum, it’s the same with referees. If you’re refereeing with confidence and refereeing great then there’s nothing better in the world. But equally sometimes if you’re not particularly refereeing well it can be really difficult to go out performing week on week.”

This round of Super League sees Moore officiate Warrington Wolves vs Leigh Leopards tomorrow whilst he’s on video referee duties in the St Helens and Hull FC game tonight, with details of all Super League match officials available here.



  1. Anonymous

    April 20, 2024 at 12:10 pm

    He’s STILL NOT a fair ref

  2. Anonymous

    April 20, 2024 at 4:22 pm

    Moore is not human he is a cockroach

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