|In the loving Memory & Spirit of the Game|
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-= The Tributes of KEN ASTON MBE
Steven Garcia encounter with Ken I had this Summer 2001 when
He signed my Red and Yellow Cards.
From: STEVEN GARCIA [mailto:SRG@kpclegal.com]
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2001 1:04 PM
Subject: Ken Aston Memorial Page
This a story about an encounter I had with Ken this summer when he signed my red and yellow cards.
In Memoriam - Ken Aston
Posted By: Steve Garcia <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 10/24/01 22:23
Soccer aficionados are mourning the passing of Ken Aston, 86, a soccer referee and coaching legend who passed away near his home outside of London, England, on 23 October 2001. According to an e-mail from Brian Davies, AYSO's National Referee Administrator, Ken had undergone a hip replacement operation within the past week, and complications resulted in a pair of heart attacks, the last of which was fatal.
Ken Aston, who was born in 1915, began officiating soccer in 1936, and he rose in the ranks of FIFA to the point where he was one of the world's most highly regarded referees. He was the center referee for the World Cup final in Chile in 1962, and in 1963, he officiated his last (and what he said was his most memorable) game, the English Premiership Final at Wembley Stadium before more than 100,000 fans.
Ken was a schoolteacher and headmaster of a school in England, where he coached the soccer team. His teams were undefeated, and they outscored opponents by a combined total of more than 420-15.
Ken was a true innovator in the game, and many of the things we take for granted as part of the game today were his inventions, including red and yellow cards, the rules for kicks from the penalty mark (which remain largely unchanged since he first wrote them in the 1960s), and other things.
Queen Elizabeth II awarded Ken Aston the designation of Member of the British Empire (MBE) for helping to advance youth soccer in America, mainly due to his work with AYSO. He agreed to attend and speak to a meeting of AYSO referees in the early 1970s when the United States Soccer Federation considered it a rogue organization, even though he was criticized for agreeing to do so, and he was instrumental in AYSO's growth and its ultimate recognition as an affiliate of USSF.
Many referees from Region 214 have been fortunate enough to learn from Ken at AYSO's annual Ken Aston Camp, which Ken has come from England to attend for the past 20 years. This past summer, Jim Stochl and I were able to attend the camp and spend some time with Ken and his wife Hilda, and we are better referees for the experience. While I am sure the camp will continue, we will miss Ken's wit, wisdom, and "tales from the pitch." At the camp, Ken autographed a set of my red and yellow cards, and he was very humble in doing so. As he wrote, he said that another fellow had asked him to autograph a set for a silent auction his region was sponsoring as a fundraiser. "Can you believe the opening bid will be $50 per card just because I signed them?!," Aston asked me, genuinely astonished. Frankly, I view the cards Ken signed for me as priceless.
The world is a little bit poorer today owing to the loss of Ken Aston
AYSO Region 214
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Mr. Ken Aston MBE
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