• Wednesday, March 29, 2023


Bhupinder Singh Gill set to become first-ever Sikh assistant referee in Premier League history

Gill, 37, a PE teacher, is “excited” about his new role but he said it would be “just another step” in his refereeing journey.

Assistant referee Bhupinder Gill (L) makes his way out for the start as fourth official Sukhvir Gill looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Nottingham Forest at Ashton Gate on April 10, 2021 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

A match official will make history when Southampton take on Nottingham Forest in a relegation match on Wednesday evening.

Bhupinder Singh Gill will become the first ever Sikh-Punjabi assistant referee in the English Premier League. He, along with Marc Perry, will assist Thomas Bramall, who will be the referee in the match, according to the Premier League website.

Gill, 37, a PE teacher, is “excited” about his new role but he said it would be “just another step” in his refereeing journey.

He comes from a family of match officials. His father Jarnail Singh became the first Sikh referee in the English Football League [EFL] in 2004 when took charge of a game wearing the traditional turban. Jarnail Singh, a Metropolitan Police community support officer, officiated about 150 EFL games till 2010.

Gill’s brother Sunny Singh made his EFL debut as a referee earlier this season, the first British South Asian to officiate the league’s game since his father did so more than a decade ago.

Gill is part of the new Elite Referee Development Plan (ERDP) which currently has 28 officials, a Telegraph report said.

Chief refereeing officer Howard Webb promoted Gill who has been a regular as an assistant in the Championship.

Gill said: “This has to be the proudest and most exciting moment in my refereeing journey so far, but I’m not getting carried away as it is just another step in the direction to where I want to get to.”

“My family is also really proud and excited for me. I wouldn’t be in this situation if it wasn’t for my dad, who has supported me throughout my journey and been a role model for me. He’s taken leave from work to make sure he attends the game alongside my wife and son. It’ll be special to have them there,” The Telegraph quoted him as saying.

Eastern Eye

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