Without doubt, David Elleray was the highest profile British football referee in the world game until his recent retirement.
A highly entertaining speaker, David has many stories to tell about his career, the controversial games, the world-class players and the managers he has met during his years at the top in football. David was there when Ryan Giggs scored his ‘wonder goal’ and just yards from David Beckham the day he scored from his own half.
One of the most recognisable figures in football, David’s appeal to an audience goes way beyond that of the sports fan as he gives a fascinating and unique insight into the heart of the game. David’s life featured in an award-winning documentary The Man in Black.
David has a wealth of anecdotes to draw upon from a career that took him all over the world from Yeltsin’s Kremlin to the biggest match in Brazilian domestic football, to Wembley Cup Finals, to on and off-field confrontations with some of the game’s biggest names, to death threats and police protection.
A Premier League and FIFA referee, David officiated at Wembley fourteen times and in over seventy international matches. David was the last of the amateur refs in top-flight football and he balanced his sporting career with another as a teacher and House Master at Harrow School. Only once did his parallel careers clash. David was unable to officiate at the World Cup Finals in France (1998) as he has been short-listed for the Harrow Headmastership. Although the World Cup Final had been a life-long ambition, he has never regretted placing his teaching career first.
David is an excellent After-dinner speaker with some very funny anecdotes and a new speaking talent for corporate audiences.
David’s autobiography ‘The Man in the Middle’ came out in paperback in August 2005.