Michael Hester

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Mike Hester
Full name Michael Hester
Born (1972-05-02) 2 May 1972 (age 47)
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Other occupation Naval officer
Years League Role
2004–2011 NZFC Referee
2004–2005 NSW Premier League Referee
2008–2011 A-League Referee
Years League Role
2007–2011 FIFA listed Referee

Michael Hester (born 2 May 1972 in Sydney, NSW, Australia), is a former New Zealand association football referee in the A-League.[1] Holder of a FIFA international licence, he has participated at the highest level, officiating at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.


Hester has been a NZFC certified referee since 2004 and gained his FIFA international qualification in January 2007.[2] He refereed some games in the 2008 Olympics,[3][4] and has also refereed matches in the Oceania qualification group for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[5]

He was also appointed as a referee for the 2009 FIFA Under 17 World Cup in Nigeria.[6]

Hester was included on the short list to officiate at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa along with fellow New Zealand referee Peter O'Leary,[7] both of whom were confirmed in the final 30 officials to take charge at the finals.[8] On 12 June 2010 he refereed the FIFA World Cup game between Greece and the Korean Republic.[9] Hester blew the final whistle on his refereeing career at the end of the 2011 New Zealand winter season to focus on his career in the New Zealand Royal Navy.

Personal life[edit]

He has worked, besides his football career, as a naval officer in Auckland, and played both Rugby union[10] and football before turning to officiating.[11]


  • 2009: NZDF Sports Award: Outstanding Sports Person of the Year[12]
  • 2017: Official referee of The Football Ramble


  1. ^ CUP 2010: Graham Poll Index – Sportsmail's referee expert assesses the officials at the tournament
  2. ^ Michael Hester
  3. ^ "Match report – USA vs Netherlands". FIFA. 10 August 2008.
  4. ^ "Biography – Michal Hester". World Referee. 25 October 2008.
  5. ^ WorldReferee.com – referee – Michael Hester – bio
  6. ^ Match report, Mexico Switzerland
  7. ^ "Refs O'Leary and Hester on FIFA World Cup short list". Oceania Football Confederation. 25 October 2008. Archived from the original on 25 October 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ "NZ referees selected for football World Cup". NZPA. 6 February 2010.
  9. ^ "NZ ref makes history". Sportal NZ. 12 June 2010.
  10. ^ "Michael Hester: Referee". FIFA. 12 June 2010.
  11. ^ 2010 FIFA World Cup, South Africa, Referees Statistical Kit 3
  12. ^ RNZN – NZDF Sports Awards