East Lancashire football Alliance: From the Etihad to East Lancs Alliance

Premier League referee Neil Swarbrick with two East Lancs Football Alliance officials Pictures: KIPAX

leading out Darwen Rangers and Blackburn Eagles White in the U15s final at AFC Darwen Pictures: KIPAX

East Lancashire football Alliance: From the Etihad to East Lancs Alliance

East Lancashire football Alliance: From the Etihad to East Lancs Alliance

First published in Sport by , Features Writer

TOP Premier League referee Neil Swarbrick took charge of the East Lancashire Junior Football Alliance final as the goals flowed at Darwen's WEC Anchor Ground on Sunday.

Swarbrick is more used to officiating at Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and Anfield, but instead he saw rampant Darwen Rangers crush Blackburn Eagles White 7-2 to carry off the Under-15 Trophy.

The League’s secretary Craig Wilkinson said: “We got the idea from a junior league in Sheffield after Howard Webb had refereed their final.

“We got in contact with the Lancashire Football Association and they said that Neil, who lives in Chorley, would kindly do it.

“The boys were thrilled having a Premier League ref run their game and so were the two linesman who are both referees in the East Lancashire Alliance.

“It was a tremendous honour for the league and Neil said he really enjoyed it too.”

Tom Yates led the goal charge for Darwen, scoring twice, while Dylan Hart, Toby Meadowcroft, Luke Brooks, Tyler Wilkinson and Guy Meesa all netted.

Coby Hargreaves scored both Eagles’ goals.

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