A TOP cop has won an award for his peace-keeping skills on the pitch.
Paul Beddow has been named as the Hartlepool Sunday Football League Referee of the Year.
He drew parallels between his refereeing role and his day job as a Chief Superintendent with Durham Police, having been promoted from his position as Detective Chief Inspector with Hartlepool Police in 2009.
Paul, 47, who has only been refereeing for two seasons, said: “It was a complete surprise and an honour to receive it, considering the people who mark you are the team managers throughout the season.”
The dad-of-two, who has been a football coach and manager for 12 years for Greatham youth teams, added: “Like all referees I try my best.
“Sometimes it’s a difficult job, particularly when you are in the heat of battle and there are 22 people and all the emotions are raised.
“But on the other hand it’s very enjoyable.”
He added: “In my day job with the police, you learn to deal with conflict.
“You need communication skills and it’s about talking to people and just having a bit of presence on the field.
“I’ve been a cop for 24 years – so that has probably laid the foundations to do well on the pitch.”
In February last year Paul tackled a suspected criminal who disrupted a game between Greatham and Manor Old Boys he was refereeing.
His off-duty heroics also hit the headlines in July when he led 15 holidaymakers through the smoke-filled corridors of a burning Turkish hotel.