ON Thursday I was lucky enough to be invited along by the Blackburn Referees Association for their annual open forum evening.

Premier League ref Mike Dean was guest of honour along with Blackburn Rovers star James Beattie and Accrington Stanley manager James Beattie.

I was the guy on the end making up the numbers - but it was a fascinating couple of hours, getting the chance to hear from one of the game`s top officials what he thinks of modern football.

It was also good to hear from Dunn and Beattie where they think football is going slightly wrong.

They were of the opinion that it is the responsibility of the players and everyone within the game to clean up football.

All three men spoke with a passion and a feeling for the game, they know their subject better than anyone - and I walked out of Blackburn Library wishing the FA would chat to the likes of Dean, Dunn and Beattie next time they want to take the sport forward.

Because they certainly have an opinion worth listening to.