The following article appeared in the Newcastle Journal on 29th September 1958:
‘Mr Reg Leafe, who was to referee the Queen’s Park Rangers – Stockport County match tonight, is to be replaced. The Football League Management Committee decided this last night.
Their decision followed a visit by Mr George Hurley, the Rangers’ secretary, to the London hotel where the committee met yesterday.
Mr Hurley drew attention to an article published under the name of Mr Leafe of Nottingham, in the Manchester City programme on Saturday.
In the article, Mr Leafe – he refereed the 1955 Cup Final and has also been in charge of many internationals – wrote:
“I’ve never met such a one-sided ‘home bunch’ as those who watch Queen’s Park Rangers at Loftus Road. They have a bad reputation among referees – for good reasons.
Several have had to bear the brunt of hostile demonstrations there, and there have been times when some referees have had to be smuggled out through the back door. Which doesn’t prevent me anticipating a near-future visit there!
I intend to make sure then that, whatever the attitude of the crowd, the visiting team get a fair crack of the whip.”
Late last night, Mr Alan Hardaker, the Football League secretary, issued a statement. This said:
“Mr Leafe has been relieved of his appointment at Queen’s Park Rangers tomorrow night pending management committee inquires.”
Mr Jack Taylor, the Rangers manager, said: “Our supporters are no different from any others and certainly no worse.
We felt that it might not be in the interests of football for Mr Leafe to referee our match with Stockport in the circumstances.”
The new referee appointed for the match is Mr E. T. Jennings, of Stourbridge.’
The match finished goalless.
As for Reg Leafe, he was appointed to take charge of a couple of matches in the 1958 World Cup and was known in Spain as the referee who disallowed a number of Real Madrid goals in their 1960 European Cup tie against Barcelona.
He also gets a mention in this article that appeared on the Home Page in 2009:
Reg Leafe passed away in 2001.
(Thanks to Colin Woodley for sending me the newspaper article)