Former County referee Murvee Gray has termed the death of fallen Liberian FIFA badge referee Spencer Harris as a big loss to the refereeing fraternity.
The retired international referee who last served as Stadium Supervision of the Liberia Football Association (LFA) passed on after a long illness fortnight ago.
Mr. Gray, who is currently the Assistant Sports Minister, said Mr. Harris contributions to the Liberia Football Referee Association (LIFRA) would be remembered, particularly for his willingness to always give technical advice to upcoming referees.
The Assistant Sports Minister said during his personal encounter with the fallen referee, the late Harris was influential and strong and did a lot to give him confidence.
“My condolences to the family and friends of Harris and the entire refereeing association and he will always be remembered for his commitment to the profession,” Assistant Minister Gray said.
He said Harris would also be fondly remembered for his insistence on all match officials being well groomed in the laws of the game before going into a match.
According to Mr. Gray, the late Harris was his major motivator in going through three stages before becoming a County Referee.
“Through the guidance of the late Harris and others I was able to qualify from being an applicant to student, and then to junior and lastly county, before my appointment as Assistant Sports Minister in 2006,” Mr. Gray said.
“Personally, I remember him during one of the Sunday morning trainings in 2005 when he told me he was impressed by my level of officiating and advised me on what to do to improve. His death is really a big loss,” Mr. Gray said.
He added: “Harris sometimes used to say that in a game, officials should avoid making mistakes, because it is a passion of life that cause anyone to do anything.”
Howbeit, Minister urged upcoming referees not take gifts from clubs or county leaderships because it would affect their decision on the pitch.
Mr. Gray has also been a referee for kickball, volleyball, basketball and athletics as well as a coach for the various disciplines.
Meanwhile, the Liberia Football Association (LFA) has hailed the late Harris for his dedication to the refereeing fraternity.
“I wish to send my heartfelt condolences to his family and friends all over the world. We will all miss him,” Secretary General Alphonso Armah said.