New annual recognition scheme will reward deserving match officials.
Howard Webb and Danny Mills were at Wembley Stadium to launch the FA Carlsberg Referee Awards as part of their commitment to grassroots football.
The awards will reward referees, highlighting the good work they do, ensuring referees stay in the game and new talent is attracted to the game. The categories will include:
1. Outstanding contribution to refereeing
2. The 18-25 Referee Award for outstanding performance and contribution
3. Women Referee Award for outstanding performance and contribution in refereeing
4. Outstanding contribution to refereeing from a local partner league involved within the National Referee Development Programme
5. Outstanding contribution to refereeing within a development setting (over 18s)
6. Outstanding contribution to refereeing from volunteers (mentors, tutors, coaches & assessors).
Webb, a Premier League and FIFA listed referee since 2005, said: “It is great for Carlsberg and the FA to be launching the annual awards, recognising the good work referees do up and down the country.
"Refereeing was in my family with my father who was a referee for 35 years and over my career I’ve progressed from the local Rotherham leagues to refereeing the biggest matches and top players in world football.
"I hope by highlighting the good work referees do at all levels encourages more people to be involved."
In addition to the six national categories, local awards will also be created for each of the 50 County Football Associations.
Mills said: "I’ve got a huge amount of respect for referees, they are the unsung heroes of football and having these national awards will help tell the positive stories.
"It will also reward them for their work up and down the country on a weekly basis and attract more men and women to become referees”.
To make a nomination please contact your local County FA. Nominations are open from 5 November until February 2013.