Author Topic: Arthur Edward Ellis  (Read 221 times)

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Timbo

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Arthur Edward Ellis
« on: Sun 28 Jun 2020 17:01 »

Given that Arthur Ellis has been mentioned in the last 24 hours on the Russia v Hungary thread, I thought that folks might be interested to know that Ellis is one of the three referees to feature in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

His entry is below. Any guesses as to who the other two referees are ? i will post the others over the course of the coming week.

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Arthur Edward Ellis

(1914–1999)

by Jeffrey Hill

https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/72380

Published in print: 23 September 2004
Published online: 23 September 2004

Ellis, Arthur Edward (1914–1999), football referee, was born on 8 July 1914 at 6 New Street, Pellon, Halifax, the elder of two sons of William Ellis (1888–1965), picture frame maker, and his wife, Zylpha Binns (1888–1976). He received his only formal education at Christ Church School, Pellon, from the age of six until he left in 1928 to work in a local textile mill. His passion was football and this led, with his father's encouragement, to refereeing. At the age of sixteen he officiated at his first match. He made a rapid rise in junior and amateur football and was placed on the Football League list of referees and linesmen at the age of twenty-two. He remained on it until, as league rules required, he retired at the age of forty-seven in 1961.

On 7 August 1937 Ellis married Kathleen Robertshaw (1914–1986) of Newstead, Halifax, and they continued to live in the area throughout their married life. They had two sons. During the war Ellis joined the RAF as a physical training instructor, spending most of his time in Yorkshire and continuing to referee in regional football. On returning to civilian life he resumed work as a warehouseman in the textile industry until, in 1952, he was appointed a representative of a local brewery company, Thomas Ramsden, subsequently part of Allied Breweries.

From 1946, when he was chosen as linesman for an international fixture, Ellis rose within a few years to the highest level of refereeing. His first major domestic match was the Football Association (FA) cup semi-final of 1948, and in 1950 he was appointed by the Fédération Internationale de Football Associations (FIFA) as a referee for the world cup finals in Brazil, the first of three such competitions in which he officiated. He was awarded the FA cup final in 1952, but the match for which Ellis was most remembered was that between Hungary and Brazil played at Bern, Switzerland, in the world cup finals of 1954. What should have been an outstanding match between two excellent teams quickly degenerated into an ill-tempered contest described by the British press as 'the battle of Berne'. 'Never in my life', observed the Times correspondent, 'have I seen such cruel tackling' (The Times, 28 June 1954). In attempting to control players determined to do violence to each other Ellis was forced to dismiss three from the field, a decision that drew criticism from some sections of the foreign press. The fact that the match was completed and that Ellis continued to be offered FIFA matches for the remainder of the decade nevertheless testifies to the confidence that the football authorities had in him, reflected later in FIFA's awarding him its gold badge and certificate in 1967. Indeed, together with a group of his contemporaries which included George Reader, Ken Aston, and Mervyn Griffiths, he brought to refereeing a skill which has rarely been surpassed and made an important contribution to the development of the modern game. The respect in which Ellis was held by both players and spectators resulted from his combining good humour and unequivocal authority. Players knew that it was pointless to argue with Ellis, yet his relations with them were jovial. He knew how to defuse confrontations, and to the delight of spectators he took every opportunity within reason to keep the game flowing.

Ellis's renown, enhanced by two books of reminiscences (Refereeing Round the World, 1954, and The Final Whistle, 1962) ensured that he remained in the public eye after his refereeing days. He joined the pools panel, a body formed by the football pools promoters in 1963 to predict the results of matches postponed through bad weather, and remained a member until 1995. An invitation from the BBC in 1966 to join its commentary team in the world cup finals led to Ellis taking the role of referee in the BBC's innovative and popular competition It's a Knockout, launched in that year. He remained with the programme until it was wound up in 1982, when he also retired from brewery work.

In retirement Arthur Ellis lived in Brighouse, playing golf and bowls and maintaining a close interest in football. His wife, Kathleen, died in 1986, and in his last years he enjoyed the companionship of Vera Culpan. Having enjoyed excellent health throughout his life, he died of prostate cancer at Halifax General Hospital on 23 May 1999, aged eighty-four.

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John Treleven

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Re: Arthur Edward Ellis
« Reply #1 on: Mon 29 Jun 2020 08:14 »
I will go for the World Cup Final referees - George Reader, Jack Taylor, Howard Webb (or do you have to have died to be included?) or possibly Stanley Rous although he had many other strings to his bow

Acme Thunderer

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Re: Arthur Edward Ellis
« Reply #2 on: Mon 29 Jun 2020 08:35 »
I will go for the World Cup Final referees - George Reader, Jack Taylor, Howard Webb (or do you have to have died to be included?) or possibly Stanley Rous although he had many other strings to his bow

Yes, although William Ling was also a World Cup Final referee (1954). I would agree with George Reader and Jack Taylor, although I would not be surprised if it was Stanley Rouse and Jack Taylor. As you say, Stanley had many strings to his bow, including FIFA President, and was instrumental in the introduction of the diagonal system of refereeing and lining following great controversy in the 1932 FA Cup Final. 

JCFC

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Re: Arthur Edward Ellis
« Reply #3 on: Mon 29 Jun 2020 10:02 »
Denis Howell and Denis Thatcher? (Timbo did not specify the code.) But S F Rous seems more likely.
« Last Edit: Mon 29 Jun 2020 10:07 by JCFC »

ajb95

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Re: Arthur Edward Ellis
« Reply #4 on: Mon 29 Jun 2020 15:38 »
Denis Howell and Denis Thatcher? (Timbo did not specify the code.) But S F Rous seems more likely.

I wish it was Dennis Thatcher. Imagine the abuse he would get in the old mining towns!

Bakis

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Re: Arthur Edward Ellis
« Reply #5 on: Mon 29 Jun 2020 17:17 »
I believe that only those who have died can be included.

Timbo

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Re: Arthur Edward Ellis
« Reply #6 on: Mon 29 Jun 2020 18:16 »
I will go for the World Cup Final referees - George Reader, Jack Taylor, Howard Webb (or do you have to have died to be included?) or possibly Stanley Rous although he had many other strings to his bow



"...now including biographies of more than 60,000 men and women who died in or before the year 2016..."

Jack Taylor and Sir Stanley Rous !

Acme Thunderer

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Re: Arthur Edward Ellis
« Reply #7 on: Mon 29 Jun 2020 19:23 »
I will go for the World Cup Final referees - George Reader, Jack Taylor, Howard Webb (or do you have to have died to be included?) or possibly Stanley Rous although he had many other strings to his bow



"...now including biographies of more than 60,000 men and women who died in or before the year 2016..."

Jack Taylor and Sir Stanley Rous !

Collect your virtual winnings from bmb, AT and JT  ;D
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JCFC

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Re: Arthur Edward Ellis
« Reply #8 on: Mon 29 Jun 2020 19:59 »
Both Denis Howell and Denis Thatcher would appear to be listed in the work, albeit not primarily for their refereeing. As a Rugby Union official, (he once was a Touch Judge in an international, I believe) Thatcher would have been unlikely to appear in Northern mining towns too often, if at all. Howell remained on the list when he was a Government minister, but did not take any matches from that point.

John Treleven

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Re: Arthur Edward Ellis
« Reply #9 on: Tue 30 Jun 2020 07:35 »
24th March 1956

France 14, England 9

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVTE1s3LzXk

JohnCoyle

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Re: Arthur Edward Ellis
« Reply #10 on: Tue 30 Jun 2020 16:38 »
I'm guessing Dennis Thatcher is the slightly taller chap who isn't balding on top. They seem well dressed for the occasion!

The father of someone I knew at University was a Welsh Rugby Union referee. Touch judge appointments for internationals were very much done on buggins turn. He was due to get an appointment the very year that they started appointing neutral TJs. Very bad luck!

Timbo

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Re: Arthur Edward Ellis
« Reply #11 on: Tue 30 Jun 2020 21:49 »
Denis Howell and Denis Thatcher? (Timbo did not specify the code.) But S F Rous seems more likely.


I am not sure what went amiss with my search, but Denis Howell is in the ODNB. And he is mentioned as a referee. I'll play with the search engine at the weekend to see who else might be lurking.

Apologies for my error !   

JCFC

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Re: Arthur Edward Ellis
« Reply #12 on: Wed 01 Jul 2020 09:22 »
Good heavens, Timbo - no apology is required! Your material is very interesting.
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