Sam Allison has become the first black referee to take charge of a game in the Premier League for 15 years and only the second ever.
The former firefighter had a dramatic debut, as he oversaw Luton Town’s 3-2 away win over fellow strugglers Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
The hosts were leading 2-1 but scored two own goals in the last 13 minutes.
Image: Referee Sam Allison gets his yellow card out Allison, 42, became the first black man to referee a match in England’s top division since Uriah Rennie in 2008.
He mostly stayed away from controversy, apart from a contentious decision to award a corner in the build-up to the first of United’s own goals by Jack Robinson.
Allison booked five players but didn’t send anyone off and was under the microscope for Sheffield United’s second goal which needed a VAR check before his decision was confirmed.
Speaking before the match, BAMRef – which offers guidance, support, mentoring and counselling to black, Asian and mixed heritage referees – said: “We welcome this appointment.
“It is a further step in the right direction towards refereeing reflecting society and the playing contingent within football.
“It is also the culmination of years of hard work by BAMRef members. We hope to work with Howard Webb (Professional Game Match Officials Board chief) to identify and progress more black officials to the top flight.”
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Image: Referee Rebecca Welch in the Premier League match at Craven Cottage It comes after Rebecca Welch made history on 23 December when she became the first woman to referee a Premier League match.
The 40-year-old officiated Fulham’s game against Burnley at Craven Cottage, showing three yellow cards.
Having climbed through the ranks after taking charge of university and Sunday league games, Welch became the first woman to referee an EFL match in April 2021.
Welch also refereed a men’s FA Cup fixture in January 2022 and was the first woman to be appointed as a fourth official during Manchester United’s 1-0 win at Fulham in November.