Five things to know about first EPL black referee in 15 years

 Five things to know about first EPL black referee in 15 years

The EPL (English Premier league) recently appointed its first black referee since 2008, marking a historic step towards diversity and inclusion that has implications even off the pitch. Here are five important details about the trailblazing man who has broken through a long-standing barrier in the officiating community of football.

1. His name is Sam Allison and he is in line to become only the second black person to referee an English topflight game since Uriah Rennie in 2008 When he takes charge of Sheffield United vs Luton Town match on Boxing Day of 2023.

2. He is a formal footballer who played for Salisbury City and Dorset and later Swindon Town and Bristol City before he hung his boots.

3. He has 12 years of experience in football game officiating and has officiated the EFL Championship, League One, League Two, FA Cup, EFL Cup, National League, Premier League 2, EFL Trophy and FA Youth Cup.

4. Allison is also a trained firefighter and did not initially want to go into refereeing and was only encouraged to take up the career after a conversation he had with a secretary at one of his former clubs. And was juggling between officiating matches and firefighting until 2020 when he was fully integrated into the EFL roster, becoming just the third black to officiate in the second-tier division.

5. Allison was born in England and is 24-year-old.

Appointing Allison as the centre referee for Sheffield United vs Luton Town boxing day fixture in the English Premier League is a monumental step forward for English football and the sport worldwide. It not only reshapes the narrative of football officiating but also contributes to the ongoing dialogue surrounding equality and representation in the beautiful game.

See also: Man City’s first UCL, Messi’s 8th Ballon D’or… Unforgettable football moments of 2023

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