A man who began refereeing on football grounds around Lowestoft has reached a "long-held ambition" to officiate at games in the Football League. 

Jon Block first picked up the whistle when he was a teenager during matches at Barnards Meadow and Walmer Road before progressing through the ranks. 

His promotion to the National Group of Assistant Referees means the 33-year-old will now be able to receive appointments for EFL League One and Two fixtures.

He had been officiating on the Vanarama National League and the Premier League 2, which replaced the Under-21 Premier League.

Lowestoft Journal: FLASHBACK: An underage game at Barnards Meadow in Lowestoft in 2010. FLASHBACK: An underage game at Barnards Meadow in Lowestoft in 2010. (Image: James Bass)

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Mr Block, who works as a training provider in Cambridge, had his first experience of officiating at Football League level last month when he was an assistant referee at the Charlton Athletic versus Sutton United EFL Trophy fixture at The Valley.

He said: “It was a fantastic experience to officiate at a ground such as The Valley, and it was a very proud moment for me to walk out on my first EFL appointment that evening.

“After 19 years as an official, from starting at 14 years old, I could say I had finally achieved a long-held ambition of mine to officiate on the EFL.

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“My mum and dad were watching on from the stands and I know this was a very proud moment for them too, having been with me every step of the way, from that first game at Waveney U9s at Barnards Meadow to The Valley, they have been my biggest support.”

Mr Block also thanked Trevor Pollard and his mentor Richard May. 

Mr May said: "I was immensely proud to hear that Jon had been promoted to the Football League as an Assistant Referee.

"All his hard work, commitment and dedication has finally been rewarded and I wish him all the very best in the future."