Bhupinder Singh Gill to make Premier League history as first Sikh-Punjabi assistant referee

From left: Officials Bhupinder Gill, Keith Stroud and Mark Dwyer during the Sky Bet Championship match at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich. Credit: PA

Bhupinder Singh Gill says he hopes to “inspire the next generation” as he prepares to become the first Sikh-Punjabi to act as an assistant referee at a Premier League match.

The 37-year-old father of two, who has been officiating since he was a teenager, will make history when he runs the line at St Mary's during the Southampton clash with Nottingham Forest on Wednesday.

He will follow in the footsteps of his brother Sunny Singh Gill, who earlier this season became the first British South Asian to referee an EFL game since their father Jarnail Singh, the first referee in English league football history to wear a turban.

Singh Gill said: “This has to be the proudest and most exciting moment in my refereeing journey so far, but I’m not getting carried away as it is just another step in the direction to where I want to get to.

“My family are also really proud and excited for me. I wouldn’t be in this situation if it wasn’t for my dad, who has supported me throughout my journey and been a role model for me.

“He’s taken leave from work to make sure he attends the game alongside my wife and son. It’ll be special to have them there.”

A PE teacher by trade, Singh Gill – who qualified as a referee at the age of 14 – is hoping to inspire the next generation of officials, and particularly those from a South Asian background.

He said: “Hopefully this is another moment to help inspire the next generation to sign up to a refereeing course and get into officiating.

“My dream has always been to reach the top of the game, be a role model for future officials and encourage more people from diverse backgrounds into officiating, especially from a South Asian background just like me.”

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