HALL OF FAME 1997

GUNTHER CHARLES

Gunther Charles was born in 1936 in Cologne, Germany. He played soccer beginning in 1940 to 1956 at all levels from youth to professional in his native Germany. He received his BS degree from the University of Cologne and arrived in the United States the same year.

Other historical highlights are as follows:

  • 1972-1976
    Joins Rev. Father High Duffy, a catholic priest and three others to form the first youth soccer league in the Lakeland, Florida area. The five conducted demonstrations for previously unexposed-to-the-game youngsters who became interested. The first original two teams become a league.
  • 1973-1990
    The game needed referees so he became a USSF certified referee. Gunther reach the grade of State Referee Grade 5 and also became a referee assessor. The assignments allowed him to render his services not only to the State of Florida but to all the neighboring state in Region III (now South Region).
  • 1975-1981
    Appointed as District Referee Administrator and later Regional (Area) Referee Administrator.
  • 1977
    Received his first coaching license.
  • 1977-1978
    His group joins the Tampa Bay Area Youth Soccer Association and becomes affiliated to the Florida Youth Soccer Association (FYSA) and US Soccer. All this time he served as a coach, public relations man, league/club administrator and referee.
  • 1988-2007
    Elected to the Florida Youth Soccer Association Board of directors with duties as Referee Liaison. He was also appointed to serve on several committees such as Review and Discipline, Protests and Appeals, and a representative tot he Florida State Referee Committee (FSR).
  • 1996-2003
    Served USYS Region III (South Region) as an administrator and manager of the assessment program for each of the youth south region tournaments. duties included the selection of referees to represent the region at the National Championships. He also served as a mentor to young yp and coming referees from all the Southern States.

Other honors:

  • 1980
    Distinguished Referee Award
  • 1986
    John Seimone Memorial Award
  • 1988
    Obtained Life Membership in the US Soccer National Referee Program
  • 1989
    Honorary Referee Award
  • 1989
    Inducted into the Polk County, Florida Hall of Fame
  • 1989
    FYSA Presidential Meritorious Service Award
  • 1992
    Second award of the Presidential Meritorious Service Award
  • 1996
    Inducted into the Florida Youth Soccer Association Hall of Fame
  • 2007
    Received the Special Recognition Award from Florida Youth Soccer Association
In 2007 Gunter along his wife Dorothy, retired and lived in Orlando
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