NFA Purple Shirts


Nottinghamshire FA launches Purple Shirt Campaign to support young referees

Nottinghamshire FA launches Purple Shirt Campaign to support young referees


From June 2019 referees under the age of 18 in Nottinghamshire will be provided with a free* purple shirt from Nottinghamshire FA to wear on match days when officiating throughout the 2019/20 season.


This initiative has been developed to give a visual aid to clubs, managers, players, parents and spectators that the referee is under 18 and as such, still a minor.


Figures from the FA state that four-in-five young referees claim they have faced verbal abuse and nationally 80% of young referees walk away from the game within two years! Our aim is to decrease abuse and increase support for young referees, with the intention of retaining our young referees.


‘We are pleased to roll out the U18’s purple shirt scheme, which we hope will make a positive impact on our grassroots game. We have been reviewing all aspects of referee development over the last season as we looked to make change to our delivery programme, the purple shirt scheme is key to the re-launch. Across the game a referee is recognisable by wearing a black which it is often difficult for parents, coaches and players to make a notable difference between a young referee and an older one. The purple shirts scheme will highlight, in a positive way that these are U18 referees and therefore a fall under the same safeguarding standards as most of the players they are officiating. Our young referees are not Premier League referees just yet as they are learning the game, as with the players so we look forward to working together to support the grassroots game’

Marc Birkett, Nottinghamshire FA Referee Development Officer


We hope this scheme will be a reminder to all that the referee is the same or similar age to those on the pitch, still learning and there for the love of the game.


‘I’m still young. This is not the Premier League. Let Me Learn.’

 NFA Purple Shirts


How Referees get their shirts

All referees *registered between 1st June – 31st July will receive a FREE purple shirt  

These will be available to be collected form the Nottinghamshire FA Office and several shirt drop locations (TBC)


Moving forward all young referees that complete a referees course will receive their purple shirt as a part of their course fee.


Marketing materials, including posters and digital assets are available to clubs FREE of charge to help promote this scheme on match days. To order a FREE marketing pack please contact who will be able to provide the relevant information.