Refereeing Anecdotes – Louis Thow – 25 July ‘23

Louis Thow is a name well-known to football fans generally and to Ayrshire fans especially. An established name on the speakers circuit, Louis entertained the members with a host of tales from the days when, as an SFA category 1 referee, he officiated in some 1400 games between the years of 1979 and 1996.

Louis’ amusing stories covered situations ranging from him being pursued by angry fans after a local derby between Drongan and Dalmellington to a player being shot in the backside during a reserve match between Celtic and Rangers.

He remembered, too, occasional dialect difficulties between players and referees from different parts of the country, which were somewhat ironic given that the rules of football are written in four different languages.

In his closing remarks, Louis paid tribute to another local footballing stalwart, Craig Brown, whose funeral he had attended that very day. He commented on Craig’s oft-used line (paraphrased from American sports writer, Grantland Rice) that:

“For when the One Great Scorer

comes to mark against your name,

He writes not that you won or lost,

but how you played the game!”


In his vote of thanks, Loudon McAndrew, teasingly reminded Louis of one or two of his most controversial on-field decisions.