Michael Loftus was just 16-years-old when he began his refereeing career.
That was over 25 years ago when he played football and hurling in his native Dublin and stepped in to referee sometimes underage games but often standing up to men, a lot older than him.
When he married a Bessbrook woman, Michael settled in Mullaghbawn and by then he was an established referee, featuring in games at every level.
He may have shared his name with another famous Mayo man, but it was this Mick Loftus whose name even became known in the US, where, after a chance meeting he ended up as the man with the whistle in the biggest GAA tournament in the States.
Many of you will know his face, either viewed from a stand in some Armagh club, Ulster or Inter-county game in either code, or from the pitch itself as a player or manager.
These days though it’s the referees, not the players who Michael is keeping is eye on.
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