Graham Poll is an internationally renowned former football referee, hailed as the best English referee of the past twenty five years. Known for his attention to detail, and no nonsense approach, Poll ensured the rules of the game were enforced for over nearly thirty years, and now offers an entertaining alternative perspective on football to audiences as an after dinner speaker.
An undeniably talented referee, Poll regularly represented England for international tournaments throughout his career, and gained notoriety on a global platform. After achieving his FIFA official badge in 1996, Poll was equipped to take on matches including World Cups, the Euros and UEFA Cups. In his career, Poll had the distinguished role of refereeing two World Cup tournaments, in 2002 and 2006, totalling four qualifying matches, and four tournament matches. In addition, Poll was also the authority in charge of the high profile UEFA Cup final between CSKA Moscow and Sporting Lisbon in 2005, a historic game.
Starting his career in the Isthmian League, Poll quickly gained a reputation as an reliable official and worked his way up the levels, spending six years in the Football League before making his Premier League debut in 1993. Trusted with the most prestigious and highly anticipated games, Poll was responsible for matches like the 2000 FA Cup Final, 2002 Football League Cup final and, one of the last of his career, the Football League Championship play-off between Derby County and West Bromwich Albion in 2007.
Since hanging up his whistle in 2007, Poll has remained a leading authority on football and continues to contribute to the industry through his media activities. From his column in The Daily Mail, ‘The Official Line’, to his autobiography, Seeing Red, as pundit for Sky Sports and BBC Sports, to appearing on World Soccer Daily radio, Poll’s expertise can be heard across platforms. A popular figure in the football community, Poll remains one of the greatest referees England has seen. With a career spanning nearly three decades, Poll has had a pitch side perspective of some of football’s most iconic and historic moments, which he shares as an entertaining after dinner speaker.