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Alan Green: Refs on charm offensive

Many years ago I did a game at Southampton's old ground - The Dell.

As was my custom, I was there far too early and was alone in the press room except for John Motson who was wholly engrossed in his preparations for the match.

In walked a fresh-faced Graham Poll, newly installed in the top flight of referees.

He walked up to John, introduced himself and asked the television commentator if there was anything he wanted to know about him.

I nearly corpsed at the obvious vanity of the official and at his desire to ingratiate himself with Motson.

The memory came back to me as, in successive games at Anfield recently, Phil Dowd and Mark Halsey walked into the press room, sought out the television commentator and engaged him in light-hearted conversation.

It couldn't have been to encourage a favourable view of themselves, could it?

It's as well they both kept well away from me!

Belfast Telegraph

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