Former soccer referee Pat Smith dies at 86

Updated: December 9, 2009, 5:34 PM ET
Associated Press

CALLAWAY, Fla. -- Pat Smith, best known for his pioneering work as a soccer referee, has died. He was 86.

Smith, a referee in the North American Soccer League during the 1970s and former director of officials for the American Soccer League, died of cancer on Monday at his Florida home, according to his daughter Jennifer Bell.

Smith, inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1998, immigrated from England in 1953, settling in Dayton, Ohio. There he became active in soccer and helped launch the program at the University of Dayton, coaching the team in its first two years.

It was as a referee that he made his mark. He was a founding member of the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association and helped establish the U.S. Soccer National Referee Program.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index