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Kevin Kilbane Tells Great Story About A Slagging From Former Ref Graham Poll

Kevin Kilbane Tells Great Story About A Slagging From Former Ref Graham Poll
By Mikey Traynor

If Premier League referee Mike Dean does indeed thrive on being the centre of attention, then he's got to be absolutely loving the fact that he is at the heart of the discussion on every football show or discussion that has happened after the West Ham vs Man United match on Monday.

Even on The Balls.ie Football Show, as we had Stephen Hunt on to elaborate on what makes him so difficult to work with:

On Monday night's episode of Off The Ball, Mike Dean was again discussed as Kevin Kilbane recalled his interactions with the least popular referee in England right now.

Kilbane echoed the sentiments of Stephen Hunt, Niall Quinn, and Keith Andrews as he expressed his belief that his dismissal of players was maddening, as players appreciate a referee that will talk to them like a normal person.

One example of this type of ref according to the former Everton and Sunderland player was Graham Poll, who Kilbane described as someone who got a raw deal. His ability to talk with players even resulted in him taking a pop at Kilbane during a game, something that went down well with the Ireland international.

A few of the refs get a raw deal, Poll was another one.

The one thing that he said to me one, he came up to me at the Stadium Of Light when I was playing for Sunderland, and he always would get a bit of stick at every ground he went to, the game was going on and Poll turns to me during the game and he said..

'I always love coming to the Stadium Of Light, because I'm the second most hated man in this stadium, whereas everywhere else I'm the most hated man. Do you know why I'm the second most hated man?'

And I'm looking at him, and he went;

'Because of you. You're the most hated man in this stadium!'

And I just thought, yeah, fair play to you.

While we're not exactly looking for Michael Oliver to slag Paul Pogba's haircut and tell him that speedlines are back, it would make the players far more happy to have a bit of fun rather than deal with a power-hungry headmaster who tells players they are not allowed to look at him.


Kilbane spoke in his book at how the Sunderland fans got on his back after his performances dipped following his move from Preson North End, so that would have cut quite close to home at the time. Still, Killer appreciated it.

On the subject of Michael Oliver's speedlines, and Mark Clattenburg's tattoos, Kilbane had a tale to top all of them in terms of cringiness...

Chris Foy used to come in and train with us at Wigan, not necessarily the football side but he'd do a bit of fitness, a bit of running, sometimes maybe he'd ref an 11 v 11 game, things like that.

So one day he comes in, and Mike Pollitt our reserve goalkeeper, I was in the gym and all I heard was big Mike screaming at me, he's going "KEV! KEV GET OUT HERE!"

So anyway, I go out and see what up, and he shows me Chris Foy's boots.

Chris Foy had a brand new pair of boots that he was going to wear at the weekend and was wearing them in at training, and on his boots he had 'Foy Boy' written on the boots.

Now, that's what you're dealing with here. Chris Foy was actually a really good lad, but he did have 'Foy Boy' on his boots.


That really does take the cake.


Kilbane was highly entertaining on Off The Ball talking about his time working with referees and you can listen to the episode in full over on Newstalk.com

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