It all began for Gordon Arrowsmith in 1965 when he passed his referee's exam in Paisley, Scotland, giving him the right to referee youth, school, and amateur games. Five years later he immigrated to Canada and in 1972 passed his Grade Three officials exam allowing him to be a referee and linesman in Ontario's Provincial Leagues.
In 1979 he was promoted to being a National Referee, and in 1980 started calling games in the North American Soccer League, the top professional league in North America. Two years later, in 1982, Gordon was promoted yet again to the prestigious FIFA list. This promotion allowed him to referee games anywhere in the world, including games between national teams and club teams. He continued to referee in the NASL and in numerous National, Provincial and Professional Leagues within Canada.
When the FIFA U16 World Championship was held in Canada in 1987, Gordon was selected as a linesman and ran the line in games between Australia and France, and Brazil and Nigeria, the latter being one of the quarter finals. Later that year he refereed the Olympic qualifying game between Guyana and Guatemala in Georgetown, Guyana. Then in 1989 he called the FIFA World Cup qualifying game between the United States and Guatemala in New Britain, Connecticut.
On the national scene, Gordon refereed in the Canadian Soccer League beginning in 1987. He handled the final between Vancouver 86ers and Hamilton Steelers in 1988, and Vancouver 86ers and Toronto Blizzard in 1991.
By 1994, Gordon had reached the mandatory retirement age for referees on both the FIFA list and the Canadian national list, but he continued refereeing locally and also serving as a National Assessor, a Provincial Assessor and a Provincial Instructor. In addition, he became the District Referee Coordinator for the Durham Region Soccer Association of Ontario.
A Police Officer by profession, Gordon Arrowsmith gave a lifetime to the game he loves in the often difficult and controversial, but very essential role as a referee.