Graham Scott has reaped the reward for years of hard work after being promoted to the Premier League’s select group of referees.

The 46-year-old was informed of his elevation this week, and will effectively replace Chris Foy in the 17-strong band of top-flight officials for 2015-16.

It seals a monumental rise for the Abingdon referee, who took charge of his first match back in 1997 – a North Berks League Division 5 clash between Faringdon A and Coleshill Res.

“I got the phone call on Monday,” Scott said.


“I am one of six referees who have been training with the select group for the past two years, and being prepared for such a promotion.

“When I took the call, I was obviously taken aback at first, but very excited at the same time.”

It has been a long road for Scott, who got his first taste of top-flight refereeing last season when taking charge as Burnley hosted Aston Villa at Turf Moor in November.

He was also in the middle for 45 minutes of the clash between West Bromwich Albion and Southampton at the Hawthorns in February when he replaced the injured Phil Dowd at half-time.

Scott has spent seven years as a Football League official, but says he has always been level-headed when it came to harbouring ambitions to become a top-flight referee.

And he says that first North Berks match some 18 years ago went a long way to helping his development.

“I just expected to referee youth and boys league matches when I started out,” he explained.

“It was suggested to me that I give it a go in men’s football and I did just that.

“After my first game, the Coleshill captain came up to me in the bar and found out it was my first match.

“He was surprised, and said: ‘I would never have known, I gave you ten out of ten’.

“That gave me a real confidence boost straight away.”

He added: “I have only ever looked one step ahead of where I was – I did not let myself think of anything other than the next level.

“When I was a Southern League assistant that was the first time it opened my eyes to a potential career.

“It took me three years to get into the Conference in 2005 and there I joined the Football League as an assistant.

“Even then I never dreamt of the Premier League until I was promoted to the Football League and that was the next step.”

Last season, Scott took charge of 43 games across seven different competitions, awarding 14 penalties, while dishing out 140 yellow cards and sending off four players.

The step up clearly brings with it added pressure, but Scott, who will continue to referee across all four divisions as well as the different cup competitions, says it will not change his attitude to the job.

“I have been promoted several times and each level up is a bit quicker, the players are better and you adjust accordingly,” he said.

“In the Premier League the intensity and speed is quicker and it lasts for longer.

“My approach to every game regardless of the division it is in or the players that are involved will be the same. My mindset and preparation will not alter.”