Graham Poll is said to be the most well known and most experienced English football referee of all time. With an enviable track record in international refereeing, including the last FA Cup Final at Wembley stadium in 2000 and the first referee to reach the milestone of refereeing 300 Premier League matches, Graham will also be remembered for issuing one player with 3 yellow cards at a World Cup match during the 2006 final competition in Germany 2006.
Graham’s early career saw him follow a successful path in sales for the FMCG marketplace, having learnt the principles of selling in the business to business world with Canon UK Ltd.
An excellent communicator and presenter, he quickly progressed to first and then second line management and for 7 years oversaw a rapidly expanding direct sales force at Coty UK alongside his refereeing career. His dedication to achieving world recognition in football, Poll left full time employment and started his own business with another former sales director from Hays and fellow International referee, Graham Barber. Together they developed an internet site which they negotiated the sale of for £1.5m in 2001, after which Graham became a full time professional referee.
Now a regular pundit and commentator in the sports media, Graham is also an excellent and popular after dinner speaker. Graham also an accomplished business speaker, where he combines his sporting experiences to those of his sales world producing a humorous and insightful view of the importance of motivation, teamwork and leadership.
Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
Some reviews of Graham Poll
Richard Collett, PR Manager, Morrison Utility Services.
I think everyone enjoyed the evening and I have heard people say that your after dinner speech was the best we have had for a number of years. Many thanks!
Faversham House Group
Graham is a very nice man and has many great stories … We could have listened to him talk about his life and career all night!
Npower Cogen Ltd
Graham had mixed reviews when we announced he was our guest speaker. I am sure this is expected of a referee!! As I had assumed, Graham surprised them all. He is a very charming man, and was very well mannered at the beginning! You could tell he was speaking from the heart and that he is a real family man. It just goes to show you should never believe what the papers say about someone and that there are always two sides to each story! Graham interested us all with his amusing stories and tales from the ‘football world’. There really isn’t anything negative we could say about him, he comes highly recommended. We certainly would re-book him again to hear more of his interesting life. Thanks again Graham.