Iain nets a new role

Umpire Iain Richardson with Wansbeck Netball Club.
Umpire Iain Richardson with Wansbeck Netball Club.

Sisters are no longer doing it for themselves when it comes to netball as the region’s first male umpire takes to the court.

Bedlington dad-of-two Iain Richardson first became interested in the sport when his daughter Emma joined Wansbeck Netball High 5s in 2011.

He learnt the rules to be able to talk to her about training, and later attended a C Award umpiring course, practising at training sessions and junior league matches in Wansbeck, with support from mentor Iris Ritson.

Now he has qualified as Wansbeck’s, Northumberland’s and the North East’s first male umpire.

He said: “With the development and increasing opportunities that Wansbeck have afforded Emma over the last five years, I felt that I could try to give something back.”