Referee takes over pub

FORMER Football League referee Bill Burns has taken over the Duchess pub in Hovingham Drive.

Mr Burns and his wife Jenny have been appointed as the new tenants at the Duchess by owners Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries.

Although they have already moved in the couple will be holding an official opening night on July 13 and the guests will include Premiership referee Uriah Rennie.

Mr Burns used to have a milk round in Scarborough and is now looking forward to supplying his customers with pints again of a different kind.

He is planning to strengthen the links between sport and the Duchess, which used to be run by former Boro player Dick Hewitt.

On July 21 Mr Burns has agreed to referee a charity match between consultants at the hospital and local GPs.

Mr Burns is to continue working at GCHQ Scarborough at Irton Moor, but his wife has retired after working for the health authority for 21 years, most of the time as a nurse.

The couple, who met 25 years ago at the former Wallis' Holiday Camp in Cayton Bay, had talked for a long time about starting in the pub trade.

They took their National Licensee Certificate last year.

Mrs Burns said: "The welcome that we had from locals was overwhelming, also the help we've had from friends to get the pub ready, we can't thank them enough. It's hard work and quite frightening because we want things to be right, but I'm sure people will be tolerant.

We hope to make this a success."

Mr Burns, 49, was Scarborough's only Football League referee and retired last year after a 16-year career three on the line and 13 in the middle.

Although he has refereed some big first division clashes, one of his most memorable was the 1995 FA Cup clash at White Hart Lane between Spurs and potential giantkillers Altrincham.

He has also refereed several important games including the LDV Cup Final between Port Vale and Brentford at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium last year.

He is to continue as a football referee assessor.

by Chris Nixon