Falling just shy of 300 matches with the whistle, Hampstead has been a leading referee for many years. We’ll never forget his ‘movement now’ after every tackle, he rarely missed anything and his loss will really drain the ref ranks this season.
Hampstead, who has had the whistle for several State of Origin games and two International fixtures, will now focus on video referee duties and will kick things off this weekend, monitoring the Sydney Roosters-South Sydney game at the SFS.
“I was going to go one more year but we had some discussions over the summer,” Hampstead the waiting media yesterday
“I’m going to be a video referee, I’ve retired completely from refereeing.
“I told them I didn’t want a press release. I just wanted to go quietly.”
Sources have suggested some NRL referees have been keen to explore options in the English Super League – as the RFL advertised for whistlers – such a move being closely tied to Shayne Hayne.
But Hampstead wasn’t interested in a such a move, as he remains in a top-line job with the NSW Police Force.