In Memoriam: Robert (Bob) Evans, 1939-2016

I learned today of the sad news that American refereeing pioneer Bob Evans died Tuesday, March 30th, 2016, at the age of 76.

Bob was one the true pillars of American soccer refereeing, and had a significant hand in creating the U.S. Soccer Refereeing program.

He was born in England, grew up Wales, and moved to Texas, where he spent much of his life.  He became a naturalized American citizen, and one of the first American FIFA Referee Instructors.  He refereed in the original North American Soccer League and received many, many awards through his distinguished career.

But Bob’s greatest contribution to the game, at least as far as this referee is concerned, is his seminal book on how to referee entitled “For The Good Of The Game”.  Co-authored by longtime colleague Ed Bellion, this book is now out of print, but I encourage you to search for a copy and buy it.  It is truly indispensable.

As a nascent blogger, I mentioned Evans and Bellion in one of my early posts about alternative corner kick positioning.  I never dreamed that Bob Evans himself would actually comment on my post.  But when he did, and was supportive of my position (which was really his position), well, I thought “that’s it then; no need to continue blogging because it will never get better than this!”  It’s a moment I will always remember.  You can read that post here.  Scroll to the bottom to see Bob’s comments.

May you Rest in Peace Mr. Evans.  Thank you for your many wonderful contributions to our game.

You can (and should) read a full biography, written in part by Ed Bellion, here.