Monday, May 27, 2024
Monday May 27, 2024
Monday May 27, 2024

Sam Allison makes history as premier league’s second black referee in 15 years



15 years after Uriah Rennie, Allison officiates Sheffield united vs Luton, marking a milestone in English top-flight refereeing

In a groundbreaking moment, Sam Allison has etched his name in Premier League history, becoming the first black referee in the division in 15 years. His landmark match took place at Bramall Lane, where he officiated Sheffield United’s game against Luton, following the path of Uriah Rennie, the only black official in Premier League history until now.

Long-Awaited Diversity Milestone

The English top-flight had not witnessed a black referee since Uriah Rennie’s retirement in 2008, making Allison’s appointment a significant and long-awaited moment for diversity in football officiating. Allison, who joined the Football League in 2020, earned his place in the Premier League for the Sheffield United vs Luton fixture after demonstrating his capabilities in the Championship earlier in the current season.

Journey to the Top Flight

Sam Allison’s rise in the refereeing ranks saw him promoted to the Football League in 2020, with subsequent recognition leading to Championship officiating at the start of the current season. His Premier League debut, however, was as a fourth official during Brighton’s 4-1 victory over Chelsea in October 2022, paving the way for his recent historic appointment at Bramall Lane.

Support from Referee Organizations

Allison acknowledges the support he has received from major organizations in English football, including the Football Association (FA) and the Professional Game Match Officials Board (PGMOL). While recognizing the challenges faced by others in the refereeing world, he emphasizes that he has personally experienced success and a positive environment.

Impact on Diversity in Refereeing

The BAMRef (Black, Asian, and Mixed Heritage Referees) organization, which provides guidance and support to referees from diverse backgrounds, welcomes Allison’s appointment as a significant step toward reflecting the diversity present in both society and football. They express their hope to collaborate with Howard Webb, Chief of the PGMOL, to further identify and advance more black officials to the top flight.

Rebecca Welch and the Push for Inclusivity

Sam Allison’s historic moment closely follows Rebecca Welch’s groundbreaking achievement as the first woman to referee a Premier League match just three days earlier. The football community has been actively advocating for increased diversity among officials, breaking down barriers for both women and individuals from black, Asian, and mixed heritage backgrounds.

Positive Reflections and a Bright Future

Reflecting on his journey, Sam Allison expresses happiness and satisfaction, emphasizing that the hard work is paying off. His success not only marks a personal achievement but also contributes to the ongoing efforts to promote inclusivity and diversity within the world of football officiating.


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