One of Sierra Leone’s outstanding referees, Billy Parkinson, has told Awoko Sports that sports has led him to a parallel career that has taken him all over Africa.
As a FIFA referee, he has been in charge of international matches in Nigeria, Cameroon, Guinea, Togo, The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Ghana and a host of other countries where he excelled.
Billy mentioned that he had officiated at the first ever eight nations West African Under 17 youth tournament in 1997 in Benin and has been a referee or reserve referee in several finals.
Referee Billy Parkinson noted that during officiating international matches, he had come in contact with some leading African players including George Weah one time FIFA world player of the year, Nwanko Kanu of Nigeria, and a host of others.
Billy said one of the best matches he had officiated was the match between Kakua Rangers of Bo, in the south, and Diamond Stars of Kono, in the eastern, in 1994
“It was a closely contested and very competitive match with no injuries. I issued no yellow or red cards during the match,” he reminisced.
He continued that during his school days he was an athlete competing in the 400,800 and 1.500 meter events.
He noted that he loved football but was not good at football so he decided to train as a football referee.