Former student Matt makes a name for himself in the world of refereeing

When Matt Charnock enrolled at Warrington & Vale Royal College, he had no idea that in less than three years he would be a qualified match official putting his referee skills to the test at Wembley Stadium.

The 18 year old has received a raft of awards since leaving the college, where he completed the level 3 diploma in rugby league, run in partnership with Warrington Wolves.

Matt, from Orford, praised the college for helping him to improve his knowledge of rugby league and for giving him the opportunities he needed to follow his dream.

Since leaving the college, Matt has gone on to achieve great success, having been named Referee of the Year in November’s Warrington Man of Steel Awards, as well as being named Young Referee of the Year by Warrington Rugby League Referees’ Society (WRLR).

Former Beamont Collegiate Academy pupil Matt also received the prestigious Joe Manley Cup last year, awarded in recognition of outstanding services to the WRLR society.

Matt’s greatest success though was being named as one of eight match officials selected to officiate the Champion Schools Finals last August at the awe-inspiring Wembley Stadium.

He said: “Refereeing is going really well. Being given these awards and recognition is really nice because refereeing can be a thankless job most of the time, so when you do receive that recognition, it makes the job worthwhile.”

As part of the rugby league course, students are Warrington & Vale Royal College are given the opportunity to earn their refereeing qualification during sessions led by Warrington Wolves.

Matt added: “The course at Warrington & Vale Royal College definitely improved my knowledge of the game and the players’ understanding of the game too. It also gave me excellent opportunities to go to different countries and experience how rugby differs in other cultures.”

Matt is one of a number of students who have gone on to succeed in the world of sport since completing their qualifications at Warrington & Vale Royal College. Former student Pat Moran is playing as part of Warrington Wolves’ first team, while Charlotte Hill is playing for Saints Women.

Ryan McNeely, lecturer in sport, said: “Matt is a fantastic example of what can be achieved after completing the level 3 course at Warrington & Vale Royal College. Matt has taken the skills and knowledge he gained on the course and applied them to achieve his dream job. We wish him all the luck as he progresses through the refereeing ranks. Who knows, we may see him officiating a Super League fixture in the near future.”

To find out more about the opportunities available at Warrington & Vale Royal College, visit or come to our open evening on Wednesday 27th June, 5.30 PM – 8 PM, at our Winsford campus.