Leo Horn

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Leo Horn in 1964

Leopold "Leo" Sylvain Horn (29 August 1916 – 16 September 1995) was an international football (soccer) referee, newspaper columnist and textile manufacturer from the Netherlands.

Horn was born in Sittard, where he was a friend of entertainer Toon Hermans. The family moved to Amsterdam in 1928. Horn became a clerk with the textile firm Lehmann & Co, and became an amateur referee, after his playing career was ended by a knee injury.

Second World War[edit]

Horn came to prominence as a referee after the Second World War. During the War Horn fought with the Dutch Resistance and had been awarded a black belt in judo. Horn was suspended from refereeing by a Royal Dutch Football Association on orders of the annexed Dutch Government on account of being Jewish, in 1941. His brother, Edgar Horn, was murdered in a concentration camp.[1]

International Football[edit]

In the 1950s he was placed in charge of the England v Hungary (1953) international at Wembley Stadium and refereed the second European Champions' Cup final in 1957. Horn is one of only four men to have refereed two European Champions' Cup finals, he refereed the 1962 version between Benfica and Real Madrid. During the game Real Madrid player Ferenc Puskás was seen to throw something into the crowd. Ken Jones, an English journalist, later asked Horn why he had not cautioned Puskás. Horn replied: "What you don't know is that I threw my whistle at Puskás," Horn said. "It hit him in the ear." (It was the whistle that Puskás had thrown into the crowd).[2]

Toward the end of his career Horn was appointed to referee the Leeds United v Valencia match in the Inter Cities Fairs Cup on 2 February 1966. Jack Charlton, after being struck by a Valencian player, struck out and a free-for-all ensued, only to be broken up by the police. Horn lead both sides off the pitch, expelling Charlton and Vidagany in the tunnel. Of this game, Jack Charlton said: "One of the greatest storms in European football burst about the heads of Leeds United when they played Valencia. I was in the centre of the row – three players, including myself, were ordered off; both teams were also summoned from the field for a spell to allow heated tempers to cool" Horn claimed: 'Money was the cause of the trouble. You could almost smell it on the pitch.' Don Revie, said: 'If this is European football I think we are better out of it'."[3]

He refereed his last match Ajax v Bulgaria on 31 August 1966. Horn became a firm friend of Abraham Klein later in life. He died in Amstelveen, the Netherlands, aged 79.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 March 2007. Retrieved 2006-10-30. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 October 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-30. 


Preceded by
European Cup Final 1956
England Arthur Edward Ellis
European Cup Referees
Final 1957
Netherlands Leo Horn
Succeeded by
European Cup Final 1958
Belgium Albert Alsteen
Preceded by
European Cup Final 1961
Switzerland Gottfried Dienst
European Cup Referees
Final 1962
Netherlands Leo Horn
Succeeded by
European Cup Final 1963
England Arthur Holland