WINNEBAGO, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Three high school basketball referees who worked the Rockford Lutheran at Winnebago boys game Friday night had quite the experience. They were taken to the game and returned back home from the game riding in a limousine.
The limo is owned by Patrick Burke of Rockford a retired basketball referee who had worked games for 45 years. Burke calls the cadillac limousine the ‘Pat-Illac”. He knows the officials have been working hard doing games practically every night during this compact season, so Burke thought this idea was a good way to show his support.
Burke has owned the car for a year.
“This is my first one (ride) for referees. Usually it’s the grandkids and kids for birthdays and stuff like that (I transport.)
“That was the best part of the whole night was the ride over here,” said official Scott Norris.
“Whenever I need a ride now I’m just going to give Pat a call and see if he’ll come get me,” said another official Jerry Gustman.
The third official in the crew Jim Irvin explained his reaction when Burke contacted him to offer the ride.
“I thought he was crazy just like usual, but that’s Pat so. He used to be my regular partner, so I wouldn’t expect anything less.”
Burke says the limousine has only 36,000 miles on it so it has several more trips in it to provide a lift for more referees in the future.