Over 300 Super League games refereed and one of the most respected in his field, Richard Silverwood talks to us about his boyhood club and his hopes for the season.
What were your first games watching Leeds home and away?
First started watching a few games in 1987. Wigan v Leeds in a FA Cup game at Springfield Park i recall one of them. Leeds winning 0-2. John Stiles and Mickey Adams scoring.
My uncle Stuart Silverwood was an apprentice at Leeds in the Bremner era so i grew up with Leeds due to him. He never made first team but he loved the club.
Who have been some of your favourite players to grace the pitch at Elland Road?
What is the era you consider the best in your time as a supporter?
Id say early 2000 when we had a really good side but overspent.
What is the greatest game you've seen at Elland Road?
2000. Leeds winning at home to Tottenham 4-3 or Leeds beating Milan at home 1-0
As you were a Rugby League referee have players ever mentioned your support of Leeds or did they never know?
No not really. It was only when i started on Twitter a few years ago that people knew. I then got always knew you were a leeds fan in reference to the Rhinos.
Funniest thing you've seen whilst in charge of a game?
Probably not the funniest but the strangest was 2010 in New Zealand. I was refereeing New Zealand v Australia at Eden Park when Australia score early on. The stand behind the posts must hold 5 to 7000 people which is all open with no roof. When i gave the try it must have been every supporter in the stand through a plastic beer bottle onto the pitch. Was a crazy scene. A shower of bottles flying over us. Never seen anything like it. It took a while to start the game again.
Your thoughts on the 2016/17 season so far and Garry Monk?
Monk has done a fantastic job. I really like is manner and how grounded he is and how he works his players. He seems to have been left to do the job which has not been the case in the past with Cellino. We have got into a great position. We just need to up it now for the last 9 games as other teams are hot on our tails now and we cant be drawing too many.
Top two and three for the drop in the Championship?
Newcastle and Brighton will go up.
Rotherham, Wigan and Burton go down.
Do you think Leeds will get through the playoffs and go on to win at Wembley?
They have a massive chance. Would love a Leeds v Huddersfield final. I just have a concern with our midfield at the moment. We arent firing like we should be.
We'd like to that Richard for taking the time to do the interview and wish him the best in all his future endeavours.
By Keith Ingham