The Royal Navy Chief Petty Officer who refereed the game that Hollywood will never forget

Storyline: Football

Imagine refereeing the football game that Ryan Reynolds and most of Hollywood will never forget… well, the Royal Navy’s CPO Scott Jackson did!

Wrexham made their football comeback come Hollywood film plot on Saturday the 22nd of April when they secured their spot in the English Football League after fifteen years in the fifth tier, with CPO Scott Jackson officiating as referee.
After battling it out with Notts County all season for the one automatic promotion spot available, the two sides went head-to-head on the 10th of April, with Wrexham just taking the win with a 3-2 victory. 
On Saturday the 15th of April, CPO Jackson refereed the Notts County’s game against Woking, live on BT Sports which saw them win 3-0 and keep the pressure on Wrexham at the top of the division. 

Heading into the fixtures on the 22nd of April, Wrexham needed to equal Notts County’s score or better it to win the National League. Notts County played at 3pm that afternoon and beat Maidstone 5-2, to keep the eyes on Wrexham in the 6.30pm kick off the same evening, which they needed to win against Borehamwood to secure the crown. 
CPO Jackson was back on the field to referee the English National League game that had not just Wales but the whole of Hollywood on the edge of their seats after actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney took over the club from a group of fans in 2020. 
CPO Jackson said, “The atmosphere was electric, even driving to the event the streets were like a carnival. It was such a positive atmosphere, you could see how much it means to Wrexham for Ryan and Rob to have invested in them, not just as a football club, but also as a town.” 
The Hollywood interest in Wrexham’s story meant the game would have a lot of attention from both fans and the media, but CPO Jackson kept a clear head for his role as referee.
He said, “I knew I had the game from Monday 17th April so I had time to prepare and I was very calm for it. Alongside the team officials, we had a plan in place to ensure our safety at the end if Wrexham won as we knew what would occur because of the high status of the game.”

Boreham Wood scored in the first minute of the game, meaning tensions were high for everyone and the reaction from fans was huge when Wrexham won the game 3-1.
When fans poured from the stands onto the pitch in celebration, CPO Jackson, as planned, “gave the assistant referee the warning and sprinted off down the tunnel.”
Ryan Reynolds tweeted “Rob and I kind of blacked out during that moment, but somehow we’ll never forget it.”
CPO Jackson said, “It is a moment I will never forget as well. To deliver a game with world-wide attention, safely, and for not one person to have a negative view of the game or any of the officials is amazing and unfortunately can be a rarity for officials.” 
In the lead up to the Wrexham game, CPO Jackson “achieved a lifelong dream” when he refereed his first league two fixture on Good Friday, when he officiated Harrogate Town’s game against AFC Wimbledon which resulted in a 2-2 draw.
He said, “It’s taken years and years of hard work to get to this point, so much training and a lot of sacrifices have gone into it.”
Having started his refereeing career as a Royal Navy Leading Physical Trainer, CPO Jackson had his first taste of refereeing as part of his Physical Training course, admitting, “I was not very good at playing football and we all had to officiate it as part of the course, so I got into refereeing there and never looked back.”
CPO Jackson has progressed in his refereeing career alongside his role in the Royal Navy and said “it does not come easy. You must work hard and really commit to it, use the support of the Navy and the people around you.
It is difficult to manage alongside my Royal Navy career but it is worth it. I have been fortunate that I have not been deployed for a couple of years so I have had the consistency that others in the same position do not always get but it is tough.” 
After a very successful start to the year, CPO Jackson will continue to push himself to progress as much as he can in both his refereeing and Royal Navy career, encouraging others in the Royal Navy on the same path to keep pushing for it.

It is a moment I will never forget as well. To deliver a game with world-wide attention, safely, and for not one person to have a negative view of the game or any of the officials is amazing and unfortunately can be a rarity for officials.

CPO Scott Jackson