Ken Dagnall

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Kenneth Dagnall (30 January 1921[1] – March 1995[2]) was an English former football referee, who officiated in the Football League and for FIFA, especially during the 1966 World Cup held in England. He was born in Blackburn and played as an amateur for Accrington Stanley. However it was as a referee that he was to make his name in football. Outside football he worked as housing officer in Bolton.[3]


As a referee he worked his way through the Lancashire Combination to ultimately reach the Football League,[3] initially as a linesman in 1954 and then promoted to the Referees List only one year later.[4] During his time on the Football League List he was based in Bolton in Lancashire,[5] latterly living in the Great Lever area of the town.[2] He reached the international list by 1962. He took charge of two matches in the 1966 World Cup. The first was the 3–1 win by Hungary over Brazil in Group C at Goodison Park, Liverpool, on 15 July 1966.[6] This was followed by the third/fourth place play-off game (or "Bronze Final") at Wembley on 28 July 1966, played between the losing semi-finalists, Portugal and the Soviet Union, and which the Portuguese won 2–1.[7] It has been suggested that he would have instead refereed the World Cup Final of that year if England had been eliminated from the tournament.[2]

Domestically, he was then selected to handle the 1967 FA Cup Final at Wembley on 20 May 1967, when Tottenham Hotspur beat Chelsea by 2 goals to 1.[8] Shortly after his retirement in 1968 he suggested in the Bolton Evening News that a band of around fifteen referees should take charge of the most important matches, allowing them a greater number of games at the top level.[9] This did not occur at the time but a similar system now operates in English professional football.


  1. ^ Birthdate confirmation: website.
  2. ^ a b c Mention of his death and latter place of residence: article at the website.
  3. ^ a b Burnley vs Everton football programme referee profile p4, 30th December 1967
  4. ^ Football League Handbooks, 1954-1955 and 1955-1956
  5. ^ Confirmation of home town: Bolton Archive Service at the National Archives website.
  6. ^ 1966 World Cup, Hungary v. Brazil: website.
  7. ^ 1966 World Cup, Portugal v. Soviet Union: website.
  8. ^ 1967 FA Cup Final, Spurs v. Chelsea: website.
  9. ^ reported in the Football League Review, volume 3, issue 14, November 1968
Preceded by
Jack Taylor
FA Cup Final Referee
Succeeded by
Leo Callaghan