Tributes have poured in after Michael Grant died in hospital when he suffered a serious head injury while refereeing a school match in what has been described as a 'freak accident'.
The well-respected referee had been in charge of a youth match on 19 October at Carre's Grammar School in Sleaford when he was struck in the head by a stray ball. It caused a bleed on the brain that led to the grandfather-of-one tragically losing his life in hospital on Monday.
The Lincolnshire Football Association announced in a post on Facebook: “Our thoughts at this sad time are with the family and friends. A genial man, he regularly officiated two to three games a week, always with a smile on his face."
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"Football in Lincolnshire has lost a much-respected referee in the process of doing what he loved and the whole football family sends our heartfelt condolences to wife, daughter, grandson and his many friends.”
North Riding FA Referees Department responded by replying: "Sending our condolences to Michael’s family, friends and you all at Lincolnshire FA. RIP Michael."
The Boston and District Saturday Football League described Mr Grant as a "long-established and respected referee".
And there were also tributes from a number of local football clubs in the area including Sleaford United Youth FC, Sleaford Town Junior FC, Spalding United and Grimsby Corinthians.
Sleaford United Youth FC commented: “We had Mick as our ref a week last Sunday. Mick was a nice fella to talk to before a game, he had some good advice as well as some interesting stories.
“The man was clearly devoted to football and unfortunately died with a freak accident officiating a sport he clearly loved.”
A minute's silence is set to be held before kick-off in league and cup games this Saturday.
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