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Saturday, June 27, 2020

Poll Caused A Stir At Hitchin

Back in 1994 Simon Hill was a commentator on BBC Hereford and Worcester. 

Recently he recalled the day Hereford United went out of the FA Cup at Hitchin when a young referee called Graham Poll was in charge.

'We crossed paths when I had commentated an English FA Cup 1st Round replay between Hitchin Town and Hereford United.  Poll - then a young, up and comer - was in charge, and Hitchin created a big upset by knocking out Hereford, who were then a league outfit.

Poll however, had caused a stir when he blew his whistle prematurely for full time - on the back of a pitch invasion after Hitchin had scored to make it 4-2.  Hereford, understandably, weren't happy, especially as Poll had been born in Hitchin.  They complained so loudly that their CEO, Robin Fry, got hit with a misconduct charge.

Fry had to appear before an FA Enquiry at Lancaster Gate the following week - and he asked me to travel to London give evidence on his behalf, as we had made mention of the early finish during our commentary on BBC Hereford & Worcester.

My words didn't do Fry much good, as he got hit with a fine.  Poll meantime, escaped without sanction, and made a light-hearted comment to me on the way out about "remembering my name" in future.'