Graham Poll


Noted as one of the best English referees in modern football, Graham Poll is a legend within the sport. Boasting over 25 years experience, his ability to stay calm and focused during high profile games firmly positioned Graham in the hearts of fans internationally. As an after-dinner speaker, he employs the same calm, confident nature, effortlessly conversing with his audience as if they were age-old friends.

In 1980, Graham picked up the whistle for the first time. Within six years, he progressed to a Football League assistant referee from his position in the Isthmian League, quickly establishing himself as a formidable force of authority on the pitch. It was in 1993, just over a decade after he started refereeing, that Graham was selected for the Premier League, in the role of full Football League referee. Graham was thrown in at the deep end, and was immediately leading countless European games.

At the peak of his career, Graham refereed the 2005 UEFA Cup Final, and was even the English representative at the UEFA Euro 2000 and two World Cups. Graham successfully refereed two matches at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, hosted in Germany, proving not just his commitment to the sport, but his undeniable skill. To be successful, Graham had to make rational, fast-paced decisions that would alter the outcome of the game, due to such expectations he developed strategies to cope with pressure. These methods are available for him to discuss in his public speeches.

In 2007, Graham announced that he would be retiring, after refereeing over 1,544 matches. His final match was a Championship play-off between Derby County and West Bromwich Albion. After handing in his whistle, Graham then turned his hand to media appearances, especially commentating on high profile games. As a knowledgeable figure on controversial decisions, he is regularly asked to pass judgement on tackles and penalties during the game, on shows like World Soccer Daily.

This charismatic and calculated after-dinner speaker is a surefire hit amongst the audience. Graham is not just a recognisable face and well-loved referee, but an expert on footballing techniques and the ever-developing rules of the game.

To book Graham Poll as the football speaker for your corporate event, conference or function simply contact the Champions Speakers agency using the contact details below.


When at corporate events, Graham is known to cover the following topics:

  • International Football
  • Role of a Referee
  • The Premier League
  • EFL Championship
  • Dealing With Pressure