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The Man in the Middle [Hardcover]

David Elleray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

12 Aug 2004
As a schoolboy in Dover, David Elleray's ambition was to referee at the football World Cup finals: at the age of 13 he started on that road by becoming the youngest person ever to referee in an official capacity. Now one of the most recognisable figures in football, he retires from full-time refereeing at the end of the present season. The last of the amateur refs in the top-flight and no stranger to controversy, he is a household name to readers of both tabloids and broadsheets and without a doubt the highest profile British referee in the world game. This highly entertaining and revealing memoir tells of his involvement at the highest level of the national and international game over four decades. Intelligent and insightful, it is a story of ambition, achievement and incident covering a career that has taken him all over the world from Yeltsin's Kremlin to the biggest match in Brazilian domestic football, to Wembley Cup Finals, to on and off-field confrontations with some of the game's biggest names (Roy Keane, Vinnie Jones), to death threats and police protection.

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The Man in the Middle + Who's the B*****d in the Black?: Confessions of a Premiership Referee
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Time Warner; 1st edition (12 Aug 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316727148
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316727143
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 2.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 604,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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His autobiography is an outstanding insight into the mind of a referee. It is a must-read for all those who have ever found themselves questioning the parentage of the man in black. (SUNDAY BUSINESS POST)

England's answer to Collina ... THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE documents Elleray's run-ins with Roy Keane, Vinnie Jones and David Beckham among others...a friendly note Elleray received from Keane on his retirement is a testament to him. Could there be a harsher judg (FOUR FOUR TWO) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The frank and entertaining memoirs of David Elleray - top-flight football referee and Harrow school housemaster. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
I had always liked football but became hooked as an eleven-year-old in 1966 when the World Cup captured my attention. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
David Elleray is a particularly interesting character, combining the world of top class refereeing with that of a house master at the English public school Harrow.
The book begins with David's childhood, describing how he turned to refereeing after finding that he was not as good at playing football as he wanted to be. This early part of the book shows David to be like any football obsessed youngster, and there is an amusing anicdote of how the Football Association refused to send David any more data requests, because he had already made so many.
The book then proceeds through Davids career describing his rise through the rank of referee's with numerous interesting anicdotes along the way. What is particularly revealing is both Davids love for football, and his devotion to his refereeing. A highlight of the book is David's description of the day he refereed the FA cup final in 1994. It is striking that ten years later David is still haunted by what he considers to be a poor decision he made on that day.
The book concludes with some interesting insights on some of the players and managers that David encountered during his time as a referee. David points out which players he found particularly easy or difficult to referee and some of encounteres he had with various managers.
In the modern game it seems to be the new vogue to criticise the performance of a referee, and as David says: Bad refereeing performances are remembered, while good performances are forgotten. It is hoped that those people that are quick to criticise referees read this book, as it provides a phenominal insight into what it takes to be a top class referee.
Highly recommended
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book is a must for anyone who wants a unique perspective into top flight football for the last 20 years. The world of refereeing is a mystery to most fans and this book opened my eyes into the behind the scenes life of Britain's top referee,particularly his interaction with the best players in the world - Henry, Beckham, Keane,Ronaldo etc... He is honest about his errors and I have gained a great understanding of what goes on in the mind of a referee and how he copes with the pressures on and off the field. It is a fascinating book - very highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Man in the Middle 23 Aug 2004
By A Customer
Having eagerly awaited the release of this book, I was delighted to receive it and start reading.
Its witty, enlightning and allows the reader a great insight into not only the world of football and a top referee but also of a Harrow School master.
A great read, it gets a top rating from me!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good 18 Nov 2006
By kevarms
Fairly candid insight into life as a top football referee. Although Elleray's smugness can be grating I finished the book with a much more positive attitude towards him. As a youngster he set out to be one of the world's top ref, and he achieved his goal. Hard not to respect that. Best part for me were the insights into his relationships with players, managers and fellow referees. Refs are human after all.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not an Autobiography ! 6 Jan 2008
By T.Price
This was not my idea of an autobiography and, in my opinion, should not be sold as such.
The first 11 chapters were largely a catalogue of games refereed, yellow cards and red cards (including times). The final 3 chapters were much more interesting when there was more discussion on the problems of refereeing and some insight into the character of well known, world class players.
I would prefer to have been given more information about David Elleray and his life outside football.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Refereeing at the top 25 Mar 2006
By A Customer
As an ex minor league referee I found this a thoroughly absorbing insight into refereeing at the top level,an area which only a very few officials aspire to, and which Ellary describes in some detail.The only slightly disappointing aspect is the lack of even small details of his life outwith refereeing and his school-masters duties,but given the current state of society these days,this is perhaps not altogether surprising.
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