Refereeing legend Alec ‘Chuffer’ Broad passes away after 50 years in charge

Credit: Twitter.com/doug_sayers

The local footballing fraternity and friends were saddened to learn of the passing of Alec “Chuffer” Broad, who lived in Borough Green, a legendary character across Sevenoaks. Alec served the Sevenoaks and District Football League and assisted Cup Competitions for around 50 years with much enthusiasm and commitment.

He started as a Referee in 1968 although he did not qualify as a Class 111 Official until 1972, eventually being promoted by the KCFA to Class 11. He was a member of the Sevenoaks Branch of the Kent Referees Association.

Alec never learnt to drive a car and depended on local transport buses and trains to get him to match venues. He was not adverse to cadging a lift home after a match. Apart from his on field duties his unmistakable bushy beard was a recognised feature wherever he travelled or officiated.

He would often leave his home in Borough Green on a Saturday morning at around 11.00am to journey to his appointment. For instance a fixture at Ide Hill would mean taking the train to Otford station to connect with the onward journey to Sevenoaks. A bus ride would then take him to his destination.

Alec eventually offered his services to the FCN Kent County League, as it was then known, where travelling to away matches was even more arduous. For example, a trip to Charlton Park involved a train journey from Borough Green to Bromley South, where a switch over to the bus service would mean a couple of changes including one at Sidcup before arriving at the ground. So much for an insight and the vagaries of Alec’s travel exploits to officiate at a match. Honours came his way in one form or the other in the various local Cup Competitions. One of his achievements, which he was always proud of, was to referee a Kent Junior Cup Final between Medway Brewery and Horton Kirby.

Alec refereed regularly on a Sunday in the West Kent Sunday League. The late Ron Hubbard, a former referee, aroused Alec’s interest in cricket umpiring with The Vine Cricket Club 2nd XI matches in the Kent League. After a spell with The Vine side he then went on to umpire in the Mid-Kent League and at Club level with Offham along with Basted. He was meticulous with keeping a record of all of his football appointments and at one stage in April 1994 had clocked up 2,000 appointments.

Alec will be solely missed throughout the Sevenoaks District sporting arena for his untold dedication to the two sports that meant so much to him during his life time.

Written by former Sevenoaks Chronicle Sports Editor, Derek Hodge.