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Former Prem star who roomed with Beckham now ‘giving back’ in different role

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FORMER FOOTBALLER Vance Warner is now “giving something back” in a very different role.

The retired defender played in the Premier League for Nottingham Forest and even roomed with David Beckham on international duty.

However, he has spent the last 13 years as a grassroots referee in South Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.

As a player, Warner represented England at under-18 level as part of a team which included Sol Campbell, Robbie Fowler and room-mate Beckham.

Since hanging up his boots, though, the 49-year-old has found himself holding the whistle in the centre of the pitch.

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“I was asked if I wanted to become a referee to help with my son’s team when he was about eight years old,” he told the BBC.

“Of course I said ‘no’ because who wants to be a referee? No-one grows up wanting to be a referee as far as I’m aware.

“Then I thought, you know what? This is a perfect opportunity to give back to my son’s club, and because I have played football, maybe I’ve got a little more credibility when they ask me ‘well, what do you know about football, ref?’ I can go, ‘I can tell you a few stories’.”

He has remained as a Level Seven accredited official, dubbed “basically entry level” by Warner, during his time as a referee.

Explaining why he has chosen to continue to oversee junior games, he added that it is where he feels he can “contribute the most”.

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Warner played in the Premier League and was an England youth international before retiring through injury

Warner came through the academy at Forest before making four Premier League appearances for his boyhood club.

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He also had loan spells with Grimsby and Rotherham, who he would later join permanently.

However, Warner retired aged just 25 in 2000 after a series of serious knee injuries.

Source: The Sun

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