In May 2000, Kevin Lynch retired from refereeing Association Football after a career lasting 33 years. For the final 15 years he officiated at professional level, the last 8 of which was spent as a Football League Referee.
During a somewhat colourful career handling some of the Game’s top players, he was probably the most controversial referee seen in the UK for many years.
Kevin acted as assistant referee at the semi-finals of both the FA and Football League Cups, and amongst many appointments overseas as a FIFA Assistant Referee, the highlight was the 1992 UEFA Cup Final between Torino and Ajax. In 1999, Kevin was the Fourth Official at the Football League Centenary Challenge Match between Sunderland and Liverpool.
He officiated on 3 occasions at Wembley: 4th Official at the 1989 FA Charity Shield -Arsenal versus Liverpool; Assistant Referee at the 1992 4th Division Play-Off Final - Blackpool versus Scunthorpe United; and the highlight of his domestic career was his appointment to referee the 2000 AutoWindscreen's Shield Final between Stoke City and Bristol City.
Over the years, Kevin Lynch was involved in some high profile situations:
• A 21-man brawl in a game between Norwich City and Crystal Palace;
• Sending off 5 players (a Football League record) during a game between Wigan Athletic and Bristol Rovers - 4 of them from the Bristol team!
• Being under threat from the Football League after bowing to the crowd, and the conducting their singing, in a match between Leyton Orient and Brentford.
Kevin is a former President of the Association of Premier League and Football League Match Officials; and the Football Association employed him as a Professional Referee Coach.
After becoming disillusioned with the way topflight referees were being handled, he turned his hand to hosting corporate entertainment lounges, firstly at Wigan Athletic and presently at Blackburn Rovers.
His best-selling autobiography, Lynch The Ref, published in 2002, spills the beans on the side of Football that few people have experienced and contains the many true stories he recounts on the after dinner speaking circuit. It takes the form of a diary from his last season as a Football League Referee and traces his career from when Kevin first started as a 15 year old in North Derbyshire until May 2000 and his retirement.
Kevin Lynch has been on the after dinner speaking circuit for over 20 years. Specialising in golf, cricket and football club dinners, as well as corporate functions, Kevin is equally comfortable with a mixed audience and partners, as he is with a room full of die-hard football fans.
After Dinner Speaking
Kevin Lynch doesn't tell jokes — that he leaves to the professional comedians — his after dinner routine is a series of hilarious anecdotes from his refereeing career, both home and abroad, and all his stories are absolutely true. Not many audiences will have heard a former topflight referee “tell it as it is” about his experiences handling some of the world’s top players.
Kevin has shared the stage with football legends such as Nobby Stiles, Robbie Fowler, Tommy Smith, Duncan McKenzie, Nat Lofthouse, Dave Bassett, Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris, Neil Ruddock and the late Gordon Banks.
Master of Ceremonies If you need an accomplished presenter to lead your corporate event, Kevin Lynch has a wealth of experience gained from the banking and sporting world. He also specialises in corporate golf days - and is the ideal after dinner entertainment, as well as hosting the evening and facilitating the auction or raffle.
He has fronted the Premier and Football League Groundsman’s conference, the Ground Safety Officer’s conference, and the Evostik League Awards Dinner, amongst many others.
As Chairman of the Playing Surfaces Committee in Professional Football, I have used Kevin Lynch on a number of occasions as Master of Ceremonies at our Groundmens’ Conference and Awards. His in-depth knowledge of the game, coupled with his professional approach and quick wit ensure the event always goes to schedule and is a great success. He has a great ability to think on his feet, and the Groundsmen in attendance very much appreciate his expertise, as do the Committee members from the Premier League, Football League and Professional Footballers Association.
I write to offer my thanks for the splendid speech which you gave at the Hull & District Golf Captains' Annual Dinner last Friday. I have received many favourable comments about the event and not surprisingly, your contribution was highlighted. Once again, many thanks and I hope you enjoyed the evening as well.
Kevin Lynch has been at Blackburn Rovers Football Club for the past 4 seasons, as the Corporate Lounge’s Host. With his quick-fire humour and his extreme professionalism, both the staff and customers all love him. Match-days at Blackburn Rovers would not run as smoothly without him.
We have engaged Kevin Lynch at all our evening dinner conferences over the past four years as a compere for the evening event and will continue to do so. He has always been very professional and has helped us secure some very funny and excellent speakers. He himself is a very funny compere and the members of the association love to see him retained at each of our events.
A great evening was helped by a well delivered and well received performance from Kevin, his willingness to help on the night with the auction etc. was also appreciated. We felt you were perfect for what we wanted...thank you for your contribution to a great evening.
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