Retro Football: Tony Adams Caught Calling Referee David Elleray ‘Cheat’ On His Hidden Microphone, 1989 (Video)

Chris Wright

16th, April 2014


By Chris Wright

Soccer - Barclay's League Division One - Millwall v Arsenal

Having heard that referees over in Australia’s A-League are to be miked up to allow their decisions to be included as part of the television coverage à la rugby, Pies were instantly reminded of the ill-fated experiment conducted in English football when Harrovian schoolmaster/referee David Elleray wore a microphone around his waist while overseeing Arsenal’s suitably tempestuous game against Millwall at The Den in Division One back in 1989.

Elleray was wired up as part of a segment for ITV’s World In Action documentary programme. Both teams were informed that Elleray was to wear a mic for the game, but Arsenal forgot to pass the information on to their players – which came starkly apparent when the humourless, jobsworth official disallowed a scrappy goal scored by Tony Adams.

Adams, probably a few gin-and-tonics in at the time, subsequently went apoplectic – ranting and raving at the injustice of it all before finally peaking by calling Elleray the dreaded ‘C’ word…