Who is Premier League's first British South Asian referee Sunny Singh Gill?

9 Mar 2024
Sunny Singh Gill

We take a look at the 39-year-old as he made history after taking charge of Crystal Palace v Luton

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Referee Sunny Singh Gill is set to make Premier League history this weekend when he takes charge of Crystal Palace v Luton.

He will become the first British South Asian to referee a match in the competition.

Sunny will be the seventh referee outside of PGMOL's (Professional Game Match Officials Limited) Select Group to take charge of a Premier League match this season, following Sam Allison, Sam Barrott, Bobby Madley, Josh Smith, Rebecca Welch and Lewis Smith.

It is another landmark moment for the Singh Gill family.

His father Jarnail remains the first and only English league football referee to wear a turban, officiating 150 matches between 2004 and 2010.

Meanwhile, his brother Bhupinder became the first Sikh-Punjabi to serve as a Premier League assistant referee when he ran the line in the match between Southampton and Nottingham Forest in January 2023.

Sunny told the EFL: “Football has always run in the family. Me and my brother grew up loving the game and like most young kids, we just wanted to play.

"But in our household it was a bit different because when we were going to primary school, we knew our dad was going out to referee on a weekend.

"There were times he was a fourth official in the Premier League and our friends would say they saw him on Match of the Day!”

Sunny took charge of his first Sunday League match aged only 17, and in April 2021 both he and Bhupinder became the first pair of British South Asians to officiate in the same Championship match.

"It's been a lot of hard work training away from the pitch, improving in every department with the help of the PGMOL and my coaches,” said Sunny, who had been working as a prison officer while officiating in the EFL, in an interview with Sky Sports last October.

"I now want to set more goals and fulfil my dream of becoming the first South Asian to referee in the Premier League." 

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