White made the Football League referees list at the age of thirty three in 1973, after four years as a linesman. He made rapid progress and reached the FIFA Panel around 1978. He achieved the honour of refereeing the 1982 FA Cup Final, featuring two London clubs, Tottenham and QPR. He also handled the subsequent replay, eventually awarding Tottenham the penalty with which they won the Cup.
He then went on to referee in the 1982 World Cup Finals in Spain. He featured in three matches - refereeing the First Phase Group C match between Belgium and Hungary, which ended 1-1, and as linesman for the First Phase Group F game when the Soviet Union beat New Zealand by 3-0, and also linesman for the goalless match between Poland and the Soviet Union in the Second Phase Group 1.
At this stage White seemed to have marked himself out as the leading English referee with potentially another six years before retirement. However, soon after, he was convicted of deception and resigned from the League list on 30 July 1982.†
By coincidence, another referee from Harrow, David Elleray, was also to handle an FA Cup Final and be a long-serving FIFA referee.
- Football League Handbooks, 1969-1972.
- †Rothmans Football Yearbook 1982-1983, Queen Anne Press, p34
- Birthdate confirmation: (German) Weltfußball.de website.
- 1982 FA Cup Final and Replay match reports: FA-CupFinals.co.uk website.
- Belgium v. Hungary, 1982 World Cup: PlanetWorldCup website.
- Soviet Union v. New Zealand, 1982 World Cup: PlanetWorldCup website.
- Poland v. Soviet Union, 1982 World Cup: PlanetWorldCup website.
- Mention of Clive White leaving the League list: The Independent, through FindArticles.com website.
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