Referee uses harmonica instead of whistle in friendly at Tiptree Engaine
(Image: Essex & Suffolk Border League)

VIDEO: Referee uses harmonica instead of whistle in friendly at non-league Tiptree Engaine

No one had a spare after official's cancellation.


A stand-in referee was forced to use a harmonica instead of a whistle at a pre-season friendly between Tiptree Engaine and Stanway Rovers Reserves.

Following a late cancellation by the originally named official, Matthew Stacey took over the role upon receipt of the instrument provided by Tiptree chairman David Pomphrett.

The Guinness-branded harmonica was said to have belonged to Pomphrett’s toddler son Alex.

Harmonica-gate! pic.twitter.com/lgWlwn8UL9

— Tiptree Engaine FC (@TiptreeEngaine) August 2, 2019

Spencer Hume, a 16-year-old reporter for the Essex and Suffolk Border League who captured the video, told PA:

With every foul and decision, the referee having to blow into the harmonica, there were a lot of laughs.

Thankfully Harry Runicles was able to stay focused and fire the penalty home, dispatched it with aplomb to a C sharp!

[Pomphrett] literally does anything and everything to make sure his games go ahead come rain, shine or no referee.

As with all grass roots football teams the show must go on.

The spot-kick was apparently awarded while a replacement ref was found, before being sent home to change.

Oh My. pic.twitter.com/TgeKWGzCLX

— Tiptree Engaine FC (@TiptreeEngaine) August 3, 2019