Scottish Umpire makes the record books

Martin Madden Umpire

Scottish Hockey umpire Martin Madden has become the 39th man to receive a FIH Golden Whistle for umpiring 100 senior international matches. Currently umpiring at the Rio Olympic Games, Netherlands v India was his 100th match umpiring senior internationals.

Martin’s father Craig was the first Scot to receive the FIH Golden Whistle, back in 1996. Madden himself is just the third Scot to achieve the milestone: fellow umpire Ged Curran joins the two Maddens on the roll call of honour. Martin Madden is rated as one of the top umpires in the world and he, along with fellow Scottish umpire Sarah Wilson, have been very successful over in Rio at the Olympic games.

Martin became an international umpire in 2000, and reached grade 1 two years later, but he didn’t really hit the big time until he umpired the Hockey Champions Trophy in 2012. He became a World Panel umpire in 2014, umpiring at the 2014 World Cup in the Hague. Now he is one of the 17 men in the umpiring team for the men’s Olympic event. 

Martin said that receiving the award was something he had dreamed about from his first international and added it’s great to achieve the same milestone his dad did.

His appointment to the Rio Olympics is the highlight of Martin’s career so far but he says he is always eager for the next challenge. As soon as this Games is over, the Scotsman will be looking to the next major event to set his sights on. 

Martin Madden said: “Things have been non-stop since arriving. The day after we arrived we had briefings most of the day and tried to spend some time getting to know our way around, including transport. The next day was more briefings and a seven hour stint picking up our uniforms.

“On the sixth was first day of games and I was privileged to be given the opening game, which sets the standards for the whole tournament. It was Netherlands v Argentina a re-run of the World Cup semi-final. I've now done 4 games including one where I was reserve but had to step in due to an injury.

“The games so far have been great, all of mine have been close with only a maximum of one goal between the teams. I've only really had one day off but I managed to go and see some touristy stuff and some other sports in my spare time. I went to see Handball, basketball, swimming, rugby 7's and was fortunate enough to see the GB pair win gold in the 3m springboard diving.

“We’re heading out tonight for a celebratory meal to Copacabana beach but will be back early because of games tomorrow. The men's panel have been great so far and everyone is umpiring well.”

The plaudits for Martin have come from far and wide with many praising his dedication and personal sacrifices taken in order to be the success that he is.

John Heron, Chair IAP & WDUA, said: “Martin has been umpiring at the top level of Scottish hockey since the mid-nineties. His potential then was obvious for all to see even at this early stage. Martin’s work ethic in terms of mental and physical preparation for every match, regardless of the level, is testament to the dedication needed in modern hockey to stay at the pinnacle of our sport. 

“Martin regularly supports grassroots development of umpiring through the West District Umpire Association (WDUA) and his home club Clydesdale, he is regarded as a role model for our current, and hopefully future, group of Scottish performance and development umpires. The award of his Golden Whistle is testament to all the hard work he puts in 'under the radar',  as well as the personal sacrifices he makes to maintain his position at one of the top international umpires. On behalf of the international Appointments Panel (IAP) and WDUA I'd like to congratulate him on his award and look forward to the next 100 internationals.”

Well done Martin on your achievement and best of luck for the rest of the games!