Starting his hockey career as a player for Formby, Tim moved to Loughborough Students for 7 seasons (winning 4 National indoor titles and competing in 4 European Indoor Club tournaments) before retiring in 2007 to focus on his umpiring – as well as running both the London and New York marathons that year.
After gaining his Level 3 umpiring badge that year, Tim began umpiring in the National League before his first senior international tournament in 2009 when England played Australia at Beeston. From there his first EHF tournament came in 2012 in Bratislava, umpiring the Euro Clubs Challenge III.
Speaking about this new role from the FIH, Tim said “I’m really pleased with this promotion, it’s been hard work to get here but I’ve very much enjoyed the transition from player to umpire. This role will mean more opportunities to progress at the international level. There’s healthy competition within the English umpires pushing each other to do well, and the advice and support has been invaluable. I’ve also been appointed to Euro Indoor Nations II in January 2014, so there’s even more chances to develop as an umpire”
To anyone who is thinking of becoming an umpire or looking to take that next step, Tim's advice is to "Take the chance to watch higher level matches, to understand the game and how it's umpired. Take opportunities to speak to umpires when you can, but most of all enjoy it!"
Tim Benford is currently umpiring in Malaysia for the Sultan of Johor Cup, where England’s U21 Men are currently playing, with their next match coming up this Sunday.