It was with great sadness that the Scottish FA learned yesterday of the death of Jim McCluskey, the former referee and member of the Referee Committee.
Whilst Jim had been suffering from illness over the last two years, his death - at only 63 years old - has come as a great shock to all who knew him. Our deepest thoughts are with Jim's wife Anne and their family.
Jim established a great reputation and was much respected within the game; by clubs and players as much as his fellow referees. In refereeing terms, he was the ultimate ‘safe pair of hands’ and able to deal comfortably with the most demanding situations in matches.
Jim’s personality enabled him to control matches with a strong will but with a mutual respect.
After a brief playing career, Jim took up refereeing in 1976 and progressed on the Scottish FA's List of Referees in season 1980-81. He quickly made his mark and his first major appointment came as an assistant referee in the 1983 Scottish Cup Final. He was promoted to Class 1 in 1984-85. He had caught the eye of the then Chairman of the Referee Supervisors' Executive Committee, Jack Mowat, who knew a good referee when he saw one.
Jim was selected as the referee for the first ever Scottish FA Youth Cup Final in 1985 and his progress was then rapid. He became established in the top group of Scottish referees and graduated on to FIFA's List of International Referees in 1987. His qualities were quickly recognised by both UEFA and FIFA as he established himself as one of the top referees in Europe with a string of major appointments coming his way during his international career, allied to those he received in Scotland.
On retiring after refereeing the 2000 Scottish Cup Final, Jim was appointed as the Referee Supervisor for his own Ayrshire Association. He was appointed a member of the Referee Committee in 2003. He acted as a Referee Observer for the Scottish FA and for UEFA.
Major appointments of Jim McCluskey's refereeing career:
3 Scottish Cup Finals
1982-83 Aberdeen v. Rangers (as an assistant referee)
1992-93 Rangers v. Aberdeen
1999-00 Rangers v. Aberdeen
4 League Cup Finals
1990-91 Rangers v. Celtic
1993-94 Rangers v. Hibernian
1994-95 Raith Rovers v. Celtic
1997-98 Celtic v. Dundee United
1 Challenge Cup Final
1999-00 Inverness CT v. Alloa Athletic
2 Youth Cup Finals
1984-85 Aberdeen v. Celtic
1993-94 Airdrieonians v. Rangers
He received over 40 international appointments.
He was appointed to the following tournaments:
1989 UEFA U16 Youth Team Championship Finals
1989 FIFA U16 World Youth Team Championship Finals
1991 UEFA Women’s Championship Finals. He refereed the Final, West Germany v. Sweden
He was appointed to the 1993-94 UEFA Cup Final 2nd Leg: Internazionale FC v. Casino Salzburg.
He refereed 6 European Championship Qualifying matches and the following A International Challenge Matches:
1991-92 England v. Brazil
1993-94 Germany v. Italy