You-Are-The-Ref could hardly be said to be an organisation which actively promotes the virtues of self-aggrandisement and in-house back-slapping but, hey, it is our official birthday so, for once, we do feel free to indulge ourselves a little.

It was three years ago today – June 10, 2014 – that this website launched to provide the multi-faceted world of football with a different, indeed unique, overview of the world’s most popular sport.

Since that day, selected to coincide with the World Cup Finals in Brazil, we have sometimes been controversial, we have often been critical but, most saliently, we have always been authoritative and constructive.

Underpinned by the knowledge and experience of some of the finest referees ever produced by the British game, YATR has grown steadily since launch and is now regarded as THE go-to site for football officials, football’s big-name players and, of course, football lovers who wish to join what we have always labelled “ The Big Debate. “

Those who have chosen to join that debate are in good company as we have the likes of Keith Hackett, Mark Halsey, Roger Dilkes, Mark Lawrenson and Danny Murphy amongst our ranks.

“ We really have come a long way in what is a relatively short period of time, “ said YATR’s Managing Director and former Football League referee, Jock Waugh. “ We are grateful to those who have supported us along the way – but the key message is that there’s much more to come in the months and years ahead.”

Indeed, only last month YATR went global with the launch of our much-acclaimed online Academy, an ambitious project which has been designed to encourage the beginner, to educate the experienced and to challenge the professional.

The Academy is the long-term project of some of world football’s most respected match officials and will provide expert analysis and advice on every aspect of refereeing.

The launch coincided with one of our major coups – the signing of the world’s best-known and most respected referee, Mark Clattenburg, who joined as the Academy’s International Director.

“ The Academy is a unique learning platform which is designed to move refereeing forwards into a new era of absolute professionalism and excellence, “ said Clattenburg.

So, it is very much a case of “ Happy Birthday, You-Are-The-Ref “…and here’s to future successes and growth.