SPORTS AWARDS: Is title on cards for teenage ref?

Owen Easson who has been nominated for a Hartlepool Mail sports award.
Owen Easson who has been nominated for a Hartlepool Mail sports award.
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TEENAGE referee Owen Easson has one big aim.

He’d love to become the man in the middle for top Premiership football matches.

And the 18-year-old from Hartlepool is well on the way. Last season, he became the youngest referee for a Northern League encounter since Michael Oliver who has been a Premier level ref since 2010.

His mother Claire, 41, a staff nurse at the University Hospital of North Tees, said: “I am very proud of him and he wants to go as far as he can with this.”

Owen, of Mowbray Road in Hartlepool, first began refereeing when he was 14. He took charge for seven-a-side games but soon progressed for full matches.

His biggest game so far was a Durham County Cup final where both teams awarded him 100 out of 100 for his handling of the match.

Mum said Owen doesn’t flinch at the thought of getting stick from the players - or the crowd. “He thrives on it,” she added.

His dad Gary is a driver for Hartlepool Borough Council and he has a sister Emily 14, who like Owen attends English Martyrs.

Now Owen has become the latest entrant in the Hartlepool Mail Sports Awards.

We want to hear from even more people willing to put forward nominations for an award.

More than a dozen entries were received within the first few days of the launch of our inaugural awards which will culminate with a glittering finale in early October.

Before then, there is plenty of time for people to put forward their favourites in the sectors listed below.

There are 13 categories.

Team of the Year;

Sportsperson Special Achievement Award

Disabled Sports Person Award

Disabled Team of the Year

Contribution to Disability Sports Award

Sports Official/Referee Award

Coach of the Year Award

Unsung Hero Award or Volunteer/Young Leader Award

Club of the Year Award

Lifetime Achievement Award

Sports Personality of the Year Award

Young Sports Personality of the Year Award

Inspire Award.

To nominate, fill in the form here.