ONE of the Lothians' most popular football referees has celebrated 50 years of service to the beautiful game.
Bonnyrigg-based Chris Muir was joined by 60 of his friends, family members and colleagues at a celebration at the Civil Service Sports Ground in Edinburgh earlier this month.
Chris, who will shortly turn 65, took the opportunity to tell his wonderful story about how he became involved in refereeing at the tender age of 14, and also mentioned some of the highs and lows of his half-century career.
Chris told a few stories about what has happened to him over the years and these ranged from getting locked in his changing room and having to 'escape' out of a hatch in the roof to the time when he was refereeing a game and realised some children had stolen his bike, so he gave chase leaving the players to carry on.
Chris started his lifelong connections with football as a player, and was once asked to sign for Hibs, but turned to refereeing after breaking his ankle.
The Edinburgh & District Referees Association presented Chris with a memento to mark this milestone.
SPL referee Dougie McDonald, above, was on hand to make this presentation and said: "I have refereed for 26 years now and I have enjoyed my time, but to think that Chris has done another 24 years is a great credit to Chris and to the Referees Association".
Chris said that he will remain refereeing until such time as he feels he is not enjoying it, but he won't be hanging up his whistle just yet!
See this week's Midlothian Advertiser for your sporting round-up