Until his retirement at the end of the 2002-3 season, David Elleray was for many years Britain’s best known and highest profile referee. An admired and widaly respected figure throughout the game, his candid and revealing autobiography looks back on his many seasons as the ‘man in the middle’.
Inspired by the 1966 World Cup, but hindered by his own footballing skills, David quickly decided that his place in the game was the man in black. Starting off as a thirteen-year-old referee, David rose through the ranks to spend twenty years at the top level where he balanced refereeing with his ‘day job’ at Harrow School, an incredible double act of lessons on Saturday mornings and officiating in the afternoon.
David describes the highs and lows of his career: the thrill of refereeing the FA Cup Final at Wembley, and the drama of awarding a controversial penalty; Ryan Giggs’ wonder goal in the 1999 FA Cup semi-final and Roy Kean’s infamous tackle on Alf-Inge Haaland; the opulent hospitality, and the high esteem that English referees are held in abroad, and the abuse and threats they are subject to at home.