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Joe Worrall (referee)

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Joseph Bertram Worrall[1] (born 21 October 1945[2]) is an English former football referee, who operated in the Football League and for FIFA. He comes from Warrington in Cheshire, and has the distinction of having refereed both of the major club competition Finals in England.[3]

Joe Worrall
Full name Joseph Bertram Worrall
Born (1945-10-21) 21 October 1945 (age 73)
Warrington, Lancashire, England
Years League Role
? -1973 Cheshire League Referee
1976-1995 Football League Referee
Years League Role
1981-1991 FIFA listed Referee



Worrall took up refereeing in 1964, at the age of 19, officiating in the Warrington and District Football League. He eventually progressed to the Cheshire Association Football League.[3] He was appointed a Football League linesman in 1973, a supplementary referee two years later and one year later gained promotion to the full Referees List in 1976 at the age of only thirty.

He was appointed as a FIFA referee in 1981, serving the world body for 11 years until 1991,[3] when he had to step down due to age restrictions.

He was given control of the first of his two major domestic competition Finals on 24 April 1988, when Luton Town defeated Arsenal by three goals to two at Wembley in the League Cup Final of that year.[4] Worrall awarded Arsenal a penalty in the last ten minutes, with the score at 2-1 to the 'Gunners', but Nigel Winterburn failed to convert it.[5]

On 20 May 1989, he stepped out again at Wembley to take charge of the FA Cup Final between Liverpool and Everton, which finished 3-2 to Liverpool after extra time, the scores being tied at 1-1 after 90 minutes.[6]

Worrall was the referee for the 1992 European Championships qualifier between Italy and Hungary at the Stadio Arechi, Salerno, on 1 May 1991. Italy were the victors by 3-1.[1]

His last appointment on the FIFA list, and his highest international honour, was to referee the 1992 UEFA Cup Final first leg at the Stadio Delle Alpi on 29 April 1992 between Torino of Italy and Ajax of the Netherlands.[3] The score from that match was 2-2, but after a 0-0 draw in the second leg in Amsterdam, Ajax were declared winners on away goals.


He was appointed as one of the first Premier League referees in 1992. He reached the standard retirement age at the end of the 1993–1994 season but was granted a one-year extension as a result of his strong performances. He retired from refereeing at the end of the 1994–1995 season. However, he continued his involvement in the game by becoming a referees' assessor[3] and match delegate.[7]



  • Football League Handbooks, 1973-1995


  1. ^ a b Euro 92 qualifying match, Italy v. Hungary, 1991 (also confirming Worrall's middle name): match statistics at the Official website.
  2. ^ Birthdate confirmation: website.
  3. ^ a b c d e Biographical detail: from an article at the Warrington Guardian website.
  4. ^ League Cup Final 1988, Arsenal v. Luton match statistics: website.
  5. ^ Missed penalty by Winterburn of Arsenal v. Luton, 1988 League Cup Final: website.
  6. ^ FA Cup Final 1989, Liverpool v. Everton: match report at the website.
  7. ^ Joe Worral, Premiership match delegate, Aston Villa v. Charlton, 2002, as an example: pre-match report at the BBC Sport website.
Preceded by
Brian Hill
FA Cup Final Referee
Succeeded by
Allan Gunn