22nd January 2015

The funeral of popular and much-respected Somerset FA referees development officer Keith Buller has been arranged for Friday, January 30.

The service will take place at St Mary’s Church in his home village of Nether Stowey at 11.30am. This will be followed by a short service at Taunton Deane Crematorium for family and close friends, after which everyone is invited to the Ancient Mariner at Nether Stowey for refreshments.

Donations in lieu of flowers are to be made to Cancer Research.

Mr Buller, 49, unexpectedly collapsed and died at home of heart failure last Thursday evening after routinely walking his dog. Despite the best efforts of his wife Megan and paramedics, they were unable to resuscitate him.

Football clubs across the county held emotional minute silences last weekend in honour of Mr Buller, a former Level 2 referee and assistant referee who served on the Football League between 1994 and 2005 before a knee injury forced his early retirement.

He became Somerset FA referees development officer (RDO) in January 2008.

There have been dozens of tributes paid to Mr Buller by friends and associates within the county and outside it.

Weston-super-Mare official Kevin Johnson, who has been enjoying a first foray into the Football League limelight this season, admitted he’d felt “devastated” when informed of the news.

“I worked alongside Keith and travelled frequently with him over many years when he was a Conference referee and I was his assistant running the line,” he explained. “We enjoyed a really good relationship and he was such an honest character, and a funny man too.

“He was a real supporter of referees and it was typical of him that, as I progressed up the ladder, he seemed happier for me than I was for myself.”