Sunny Singh Gill will follow in the footsteps of his father Jarnail Singh after being promoted to the EFL National Match Referee Group.
Jarnail Singh is the first turbaned referee in English league football history and took charge of over 150 games across all divisions between 2004 and 2010. Jarnail retired from league refereeing in 2011 and now advises the Football Association but still occasionally advises referees in the combined Counties League.
Sunny is the longest-serving referee of British South Asian heritage in the country and joined top-ranked black referee Sam Alisson to officiate the League Two game between Swindon Town and Leyton Orient in April in a historic moment to officiate in English football.
Singh Gill: dreams of following in dad’s footsteps
Sunny, who is a prison officer at HMP Feltham and started officiating at 15, said Sky Sports News: “It’s a proud moment for me to be promoted to the EFL.
“Following in my father’s footsteps and becoming the next South Asian, and Sikh-Punjabi, to be promoted as an EFL referee is a proud moment. A decade after my father refereed in the EFL, I realized my dream and followed in his footsteps.
“It’s been a lot of work this year to train away from the field, to improve in all departments with the help of PGMOL and my coaches.
“I now want to set myself more goals and achieve my dream of becoming the first South Asian Premier League referee.”
Last season, Sky Sports News revealed that Jarnail’s sons Bhups and Sunny Singh Gill made history as the first pair of British South Asians to officiate at a Sky Bet Championship match.
Jarnail said Sky Sports News in February that his boys were giving themselves “110%” to reach the top of the game, and Sunny has now been rewarded with promotion from the National League.
Webb: Bhups and Sunny excelled
Former Premier League match official Howard Webb, who refereed the 2010 World Cup final, says Sky Sports News last year that Sunny and Bhups have everything they need to reach the top of their game.
“I’m absolutely delighted to see the progress Sunny and Bhups are making in the game. I’ve been watching them for some time,” said Webb, who has managed VAR in Major League Soccer for four years. years.
“I’ve been going back to their dad for a while, we worked together in the Football League. And Jarnail Singh, apart from being a very, very good referee, is just a great guy. It was always a pleasure to work with him.
“They [Bhups and Sunny] are athletic, they know how to manage people, all those skills you need to be successful. If you don’t have them, you don’t survive in the professional game. These guys did more than just survive, they excelled and I think they will continue to do so.
“Both went through those tough local football yards and then progressed through the different levels and probably feel like at some point they want to pack their bags because the day at the office hasn’t been easy. , but they persevered through these tough times.
“I know their dad will be so proud to see them on the same game. They’ve made good progress and they’re still on the upward trajectory. There’s still more for them to do. I’m sure they will. ‘enjoy every step of the way.’
British South Asians in football
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