Away from his hectic working life as a detective constable, local policeman Ross Hardie refereed the Scottish Women’s Premier League Cup final at Firhill Stadium on Sunday December 5.
In front of a record 3,645 spectators, the contest between Glasgow City and Celtic was the highest attendance for a domestic women’s cup final in Scotland. Celtic were crowned champions following a 1-0 victory, as Dunoon local Hardie officiated a highly entertaining contest.
The final was also broadcasted live on BBC Alba, which would have added further pressure to Hardie, as eyes across the nation tuned in to watch the game. Despite this, Hardie didn’t make any key talking points in the post-match analysis, which is a massive positive in the eyes of a referee.
Detective Constable Hardie was delighted to referee a major final. He said: “It’s a major honour to referee any national cup final, this one being all the more special as it’s the first time I’ve taken charge of a women’s national cup final.
“It was an amazing atmosphere in front of a record breaking crowd packed into the main stand at Firhill, which in itself is an iconic stadium. The live tv cameras were thankfully forgotten about quickly once the tempo of the game began to rise, as it was a keenly contested match between the two sides so I had to keep my concentration.
“Thankfully no one was discussing the officials at the end and the football on the park took centre stage, as it always should.”
Hardie, who has been based in Dunoon for the last six years, followed his fathers footsteps in becoming a referee. He added: “I started refereeing in 2011 taking after my Dad, Colin, who officiated in senior football as a category one referee for 19 years, nine of those operating at the highest level in the country. “Having just reached Category 1 myself, I’m now starting that journey through the senior leagues, having already taken charge of four SPFL 2 matches this season.
“Refereeing gives me something to focus on outside work which is always a bonus and people generally relate to it, even though they don’t always agree with my interpretation when they ask me about an incident they’ve seen on tv.”