Hamilton striker Andrew Winter grew up watching his referee father taking abuse around stadiums in Scotland but it failed to put him off football.
The 17-year-old is the son of former Category One official Brian Winter and would often accompany him to matches.
Winter Jnr shrugged off the criticism he heard on his travels and fell in love with the game, and after six appearances on the bench for Brian Rice’s side, is hoping to make his debut at home to Edinburgh City in their William Hill Scottish Cup fourth-round tie on Saturday.
“He has always wanted me to be a player,” he said, when asked about his early football experiences.
“I have been travelling to the grounds with him ever since I was young, watching him referee.
“I would see professional players before the games and I really enjoyed it.
“My dad wasn’t really liked by the fans but it was alright, it is part of the game and he knew that.
“I think the worst ever was when I went to go and watch him at Rangers and he gave a penalty to Motherwell in the last minute and Motherwell scored it to make it 3-3 (May, 2010).
“I walked out with him at the end of the game and it was, ‘wow,’ it was something else.
“I wouldn’t really like to be a referee but if my career didn’t go that far I would maybe try it but I am just focused on football.”
Accies are renowned for giving youth a chance and Winter is set to become the latest off the academy conveyor belt.
He said: “Even from younger ages, Hamilton put faith in you.
“I have been with George Cairns (academy director) here since I was 10 years old and they have always shown faith in me and I’m lucky to be at a club where they do give chances to young players.
“I would like to think I will be ready and give it my all when I get my chance.
“I have always felt confident in my own ability.
“I have been doing well this season and I just have to keep it going and maybe that chance might come.”
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