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3.6 out of 5 stars
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3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 3 May 2015
Sensational
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They say that you can tell when a football referee has had a good match when you forgot he was there. Jeff Winter didn't seem to believe this adage. To me he seemed to enjoy getting himself noticed, as if the crowd had paid to see him, as well as a game of football.
This may be unfair, but this book does little to dispel these feelings. Instead, Jeff Winters overwhelming feelings of self importance radiate from almost every page and 'Who's the b******' turns into a bit of a tedious read.
It is largely a recounting of matches that he has officiated in - Jeff Winter's greatest hits? - but there is the occasional gem thrown in. The one that stands out in my mind is the anecdote about his last game at Anfield. He recalls that after the final whistle had been blown the crowd burst into a particularly rousing burst of applause. He speculates that this was directed at him, as an appreciation of the career as a referee. This may be so, but I think that it is most likely done because the home team had played excellently, winning 4-0!
One day someone will write the definative book about being a referee. It hasn't been written yet and and this certainly isn't it.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 October 2011
I quite like Jeff Winter - usually has something interesting to say about the world of refereeing, and I didn't really think he wanted to be the star of the show when refereeing, as many people suggest.

So was looking forward to reading his memoirs. Unfortunately, it's not anywhere near as interesting as his career probably was.

The book suffers from "this one time, at band camp" syndrome, where Jeff recites a small anecdote about a game where something happened, and somebody got sent off. Completely uninteresting.

There are parts that are very interesting. Hearing about the change to professional referees, how this felt for Jeff, how it was handled for other people, was very good indeed. Learning the pressure that the big clubs are bringing to bear behind the scenes as well was another good point.
However, the interesting parts often miss their mark as Jeff shies away from naming people, or going into a lot of detail. There is continual references throughout the book about how he doesn't get on with Graham Poll. There is never an example of how or why this happened.

Another disappointing part was that only at the end of the book does he mention about not getting to do UEFA/FIFA games. This was surely a consideration throughout his career, but it's completely glossed over because he never made it (which he suggests is due to age, but it seems strange not to mention it until the second last chapter).

All in all, I enjoyed it - but it could've been so much more.
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on 7 March 2007
As an avid fan of all sport biographies, you sometimes have to take the rough with the smooth. I had really enjoyed David Elleray's autobiography on life as a ref so was keen to read Jeff Winter's account.

Ultimately, this was a disappointing read. Winter clearly rates himself both as a top referee and as a comedian. The book is littered with "end of the pier" quips that just aren't funny. Moreover, his account of life as a top referee suggest an arrogance that may have made him so unpopular with players and managers.

Interestingly, Winter writes of his admiration for my beloved Liverpool and his good relationship with Steven Gerrard. A very different account of that relationship is given in Gerrard's own book where he questions Winter's attitude and ability as a ref.

It gets two stars for offering some insight but, if you want a decent book on top level refereeing, then opt for David Elleray's more insightful, better written and self-effacing "Man in the Middle".
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on 14 October 2009
An excellant read from one of Englands top referees. Probably one of the hardest jobs in the world to do and one that is made to look easy by some and not by others and thats the problem, consistancy. Could you do it? Well read all about it its all here in this revealing book.
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on 26 July 2015
Good read worth purchasing listening to the referees challenges in football
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on 17 February 2006
AS FOOTIE fans we've all done it... hurled unrestrained abuse at the man in the middle.
So it was fascinating to get inside a ref's mind in Who's The B###### In The Black - and discover that people like Jeff Winter really are human after all.
What gives this book added spice is the story of how a one-time terrace "boot boy" could end up as one of the game's authority figures.
He also spills the beans on some of the high-profile bust-ups he found himself at the centre of as a top Premiership ref.
This book offers a great insight into the game from a perspective the fans don't often consider.
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on 28 October 2009
I read this book, and really enjoyed it. It lifts the lid on some really horrible people connected with the game, such as Premiership Referee's and Premiership Managers. Did you ever think that the FA were unbias ?
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on 10 November 2016
Don't like the title but good read.
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on 21 September 2016
Very entertaining book to read.
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