Bhupinder Singh Gill Becomes the First Sikh-Punjabi Assistant in Premier League History

History in the making.

January 4th 2023

Trailblazer Bhupinder Singh Gill has become the first Sikh-Punjabi assistant referee in Premier League history after officiating during Southampton vs Nottingham Forest.

Singh Gill, who’s been officiating since the age of 14, is a PE teacher and the youngest son of the EFL’s first turbaned referee, Jarnail Singh, who officiated more than 150 matches across the divisions between 2004 and 2010.

Bhupinder’s brother, Sunny, is also the highest-ranked referee of South Asian heritage in England and joined the EFL referees’ list last summer. The two brothers made history in 2021 when the pair worked on the same Championship fixture – Bhupinder as an assistant referee and Sunny the fourth official, when Bristol City hosted Nottingham Forest.

Last month, fellow Sikh-Punjabi trailblazer Ashvir Singh Johal made his home debut as Wigan’s first-team coach in the side’s match against Sheffield United.

It’s about time football sees more individuals of Asian heritage take up positions of responsibility both on and off the pitch, and because of the likes of Singh Gill, there will be a generation ready and raring to follow in his footsteps.