During his 30-plus years as a tug of war competitor, Mick Grimston became a World, European and National champion.
But for the past six years, since hanging up the rope, the Bostonian has wanted to give something back to the sport he loves.
And this weekend, after rising through the ranks to become a Grade One judge, Mick will officiate at the British and Irish Championships, held in Llandrindod Wells, Wales.
With national pride at stake in a physical sport which pits teams of eight against one another, Mick, 68, knows he will have his work cut out - but it is a challenge he is looking forward to.
“You have to be confident enough,” he admitted to The Standard.
“Teams won’t always like your decisions and it can get very competitive out there.
“But I always say that if, in your own mind, you believe you have done the right thing, then that’s all you can do really.”
Throughout his pulling career, Mick was once identified as the best number one in the world by the Spanish and used as the example of how their team members should take on that role.
Competing in tug of war events and coaching has seen Mick, a retired builder, travel the world from Africa to the USA.
But he confesses that he sees the sport a little differently now he is the man in the middle.
“I used to get angry with judges and think they didn’t know what they were doing,” he said.
“This gives you a different insight, and you realise they’re trying to do what they think is right.”
England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will all compete.