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Referee John Bufton loving life after near-death experience
12:00pm Thursday 21st March 2013 in Sport
REFEREE John Bufton admitted that he has received the utmost respect from everyone in the game, since nearly losing his life in 2011.
Bufton, who was 54 at the time, had a double bout of pneumonia and admitted: “I am very lucky to still be here and I think everyone knows that.
“I’ve had a lot more respect since coming back to refereeing as I think all the players know what I’ve been through and I thank them for all their support.”
In December 2011, doctors gave the ref 12 hours to live, discovering that his kidneys and liver were in trouble, and told wife Yvonne to expect the worst. But the welder and fabricator pulled through and got back to what he loves doing – refereeing.
“I love being out there. My fitness is alright now but it was horrible being out there today!
“Hopefully I can keep going for another two or three years yet,” added Bufton.
“If there is anything my experience has taught me though, it is to live each day as it comes and enjoy it. And that’s what I do with my football.”