Premier League Set to Get First Black Referee in 15 Years

Premier League Set to Get First Black Referee in 15 Years

History will be made in the Premier League this Christmas, with Rebecca Welch becoming the competition’s first woman referee and Sam Allison becoming the first black official to take charge of a match for 15 years.

PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited) has announced that both officials will oversee top-flight matches this month.

Saturday, December Welch will be the referee when Fulham takes on Burnley on Saturday, December 23

Alison will be in charge of Sheffield United vs. Luton Town on Boxing Day, becoming the Premier League’s first black referee since Uriah Rennie, who officiated in the competition for 11 years until 2008.

Madley,The pair will be the fourth and fifth referees from PGMOL’s Select Group 2 to take charge of a Premier League fixture this season, following in the footsteps of Sam Barrott, Bobby Madley, and Josh Smith.

Who is Sam Allison?

The 42-year-old enjoyed a successful playing career before turning his attention to refereeing.

Having started his journey with Swindon Town, Allison moved on to Bristol City, AFC Bournemouth, and Exeter City, even making a handful of appearances for England schoolboys and representing Great Britain.

Allison had a dual career as a match official and a firefighter before turning his attention to officiating on a full-time basis after the introduction of the Elite Referee Development Plan.

Following his promotion in 2020, he became the third black referee to officiate in the EFL, following in the footsteps of Rennie and Trevor Parkes. He has taken charge of over 100 matches in the EFL.

Speaking in March, he said, “I love football so much; it’s in my blood and it’s innate. I’d do anything to be involved in the game. Unfortunately, I didn’t reach the pinnacles as a football player, but hopefully one day I can do it as a referee.”

Sam’s first taste of Premier League action came in October 2022, when he was the fourth official in the fixture between Brighton & Hove Albion and Chelsea.

He was promoted to officiate in the championship for the 2023–24 season.

Who is Rebecca Welch?

Welch became a referee in 2010, balancing the role alongside her job in the NHS, before turning her attention to officiating on a full-time basis.

2021,In 2021, she became the first woman to be appointed to referee an EFL match when she took charge of the League Two fixture between Harrogate Town and Port Vale.

andDuring her career, she has also officiated high-profile matches in the Women’s Super League, and she was referee for both the 2017 and 2020 Women’s FA Cup finals at Wembley Stadium.

2020,In December 2020, she was added to FIFA’s Elite List of International Match Officials, going on to take charge of matches at the 2022 UEFA Women’s European Championship and the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

as aWelch, who hails from Washington in Tyne and Wear, was the first woman to referee matches in the Championship and FA Cup third round, and last month she became the first woman to act as a fourth official in a Premier League match when she formed part of the officiating team for the fixture between Fulham and Manchester United.

later,“I played football and didn’t even think about refereeing until one of my really good friends, who is a referee, refereed us,” she said in an interview with the Independent. “I spent the whole game telling her how to do her job! Her response was, ‘If you think it’s that easy, give it a go.’ That’s how it happened, and 10 years later, here I am.”

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