WHO ARE YA? Keith Hackett, Refereeing legend and Professional Game Match Officials Ltd


1) Who are ya?

Well my name is Keith Hackett. Age 69. Born in Sheffield where the FIRST Football Club was formed and where the Oldest ground in the World at Hallam football Club is in existence.

2) Who do you support?

Born in the North of Sheffield I support Sheffield Wednesday

3) What was your first game?

My first Game took place at Intake School, Cadman Road, Sheffield and featured
Sheffield United Juniors v Hillsborough boys Club

4) What do you do for a job?

I am now retired but my background was Sales and Marketing and I was a Director of several Companies during my career.

I helped to form the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd working initially has Development Manager and then becoming General Manager in 2004.

I introduced innovations such as Sports Science, Prozone Analysis, Sports Psychology, Buzzer Flags, Communication Kits etc to refereeing, and we were the first Group of Sponsored Referees.

I also started the process of getting the Premier League to introduce Goal Line Technology.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

I played for a local Junior Club before taking up the whistle.

6) How did you get into it?

As above, I played for a local Junior Club before deciding that I wanted to take up the whistle. I then dedicated myself to learning the Laws of the Game and becoming a Referee.

7) What do you get out of it?

I get a great deal of enjoyment from having been involved in Refereeing and continuing to do so from the sidelines. I have officiated in over thirty five countries. I have increased this to 100 by travelling the World educating and developing referees. I will shortly be launching my fourth ‘YOU ARE THE REF’ Book with Artist Paul Trevillion.

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

I would advise any young referee that you get out of the game what you put in. Lots of Training, Discipline with regard to Nutrition. The highest level of integrity. Courage, Commonsense, Consistency and a great knowledge of the Laws of the Game and how to apply them.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

 I would love to do it again with the support that modern referees receive from Sports Science and Psychology.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

I refereed at the top level from 1975 – 1995 having had a year before that has a Linesman.
Best, Charlton, Beckenbauer, Carlos Alberto, Platini, Maradonna and many more were players I controlled.
My star player was KENNY DALGLISH….. a 100 percent committed player who had a win mentality.
He was terrific.

Many thanks, Keith.