Howard King (referee)
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|Full name||Howard King|
1 September 1946 |
Merthyr Tydfil, Wales
|1976-1979||Football League||Assistant referee|
Howard King (born 1 September 1946) is a former football referee in the English Football League and Premier League. He also served on the Welsh FIFA List. He was based in Merthyr Tydfil which was also home to Leo Callaghan, one of only three Welsh referees to control the English FA Cup Final.
King became a Football League linesman in 1976 and three years later was promoted to the referees List, aged thirty three. He featured quite frequently in the top division over the next few years and was selected as one of the first Premier League referees for 1992-93. His first ever match in this competition was the 2-1 home win by Coventry City over Middlesbrough at Highfield Road on 15 August 1992.
King served two years on the Premier List. In December 1993 he handled a fourth round replay in the English League Cup which saw Wimbledon (now MK Dons) beat Liverpool 4-3 on penalties after a 2-2 draw following extra time. This proved to be his final game. He was having injury problems, as he had at various points in his career, and as a result left the List at the end of season 1993-94, a year before he was due to reach retirement age.
International & Europe
He also regularly refereed in Europe. In February 1981 he officiated at the Netherlands versus Cyprus World Cup qualifying match for the 1982 tournament. His most senior club competition tie came in the 1983-84 season with a UEFA Cup quarter-final first leg between Sparta Prague and Hajduk Split. He controlled two European Championships qualifiers - USSR versus Norway in 1986 and, coincidentally, in 1991 the same teams again, this time in Oslo. Shortly afterwards, he retired compulsorily from the FIFA list due to age restrictions.
In the 1980s and 90s, King was in charge of well over 500 football games in England but it was while refereeing European games that King gained his reputation for being crazy. According to a paid interview Howard King gave to the tabloid News of the World, he alleged he was offered bribes by the directors of football clubs so that their team would win. King declared he always accepted the bribes, his gift of choice being prostitutes.
Despite accusations, UEFA and FIFA never recognized any truth to the stories of Howard King.
In 2005 King was reported to police after being spotted in a taxi cab parked at Garwnant Woodlands Park, an area notorious for people meeting up to take part in or watch sex. Wife Sian, 43, was horrified by the incident.
- Football League Handbooks, 1977–1979
- Rothmans Football Yearbooks, 1980–1994
- Ionescu, Romeo (2003) The Complete Results & Line-Ups of the European Football Championships 1958-2003, Soccer Books Limited.
- Ionescu, Romeo (2004) The Complete Results & Line-Ups of the European Champions Clubs’ Cup 1955-1991, Soccer Books Limited.
- Ionescu, Romeo (2004) The Complete Results & Line-Ups of the European Cup Winners Cup 1960-1999, Soccer Books Limited.
- Ionescu, Romeo (2004) The Complete Results & Line-Ups of the UEFA Cup 1971-1991, Soccer Books Limited.
- First ever Premiership match, Coventry v. Middlesbrough, 1992: soccerbase.com website.
- League Cup fourth round replay, Wimbledon v. Liverpool, 1993: soccerbase.com website.
- Home Internationals, England v. Northern Ireland, 1983: TheFA.com website.
- World Cup qualifying match, Netherlands v. Cyprus, 1981: srcf.ucam.org statistical website.
- European Championships qualifying match, Norway v. USSR, 1991: srcf.ucam.org statistical website.
- Ref King's sex shame.