TOP referee Craig Thomson is quitting after almost two decades in the game.

The FIFA-listed match official’s final game was Celtic’s 2-1 victory over Hearts at Parkhead on Sunday when the champions celebrated their eighth successive title.

Coincidentally, Thomson was also in charge of the Hoops’ explosive Scottish Cup semi-final encounter against Aberdeen at Hampden last month when he red-carded two Dons offenders as the holders won 3-0 to set up the showpiece showdown with Craig Levein’s Tynecastle side on Saturday.

He didn’t hesitate to issue a second yellow card to defender Dom Ball following his aerial assault on Ryan Christie that left the young midfielder with multiple facial injuries that brought his season to a halt.

Lewis Ferguson followed in the second-half after a wayward over-the-top challenge on Tom Rogic that brought a straight red.

RED MIST…Craig Thomson sends off Aberdeen’s Dom Ball for the foul that flattened Ryan Christie.

The 46-year-old whistler, speaking to the BBC, said: “I’ve enjoyed 19 years as a Category One referee.

“It’s time to let younger refs come through and maybe see if I can reduce my golf handicap.”

One of the most amusing anecdotes in his lengthy career came a few years ago when he booked a Hearts player in a game against Rangers.

“Name?” asked the ref.

“Craig Thomson,” replied his namesake.


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

Loading ...