Select Group assistant referee Sian Massey-Ellis has been awarded an MBE for services to football in the New Year’s Honours list.Massey-Ellis, a referee in the women’s game who officiated the 2010 Women’s Premier League Final, became a professional match official when appointed to the PGMOL Select Group assistant referee’s list in 2010.
The PGMOL is responsible for training, selecting and managing match officials for Premier League, EFL and FA Cup matches. Its Select Group, of which Massey-Ellis is a member, includes the highest level of elite referees and assistant referees in this country.
Massey-Elllis first officiated in a Premier League match in 2010 when appointed an assistant referee for Blackpool’s 2-0 win at Sunderland, and has officiated in several Premier League and EFL matches. She was assistant referee in the draw between Aston Villa and Leeds United this week.
In response to learning that she is to receive the award, Massey-Ellis said: “I am thrilled to have been awarded an MBE – it was a complete shock when I found out and I want to thank everyone who has helped and guided me in my refereeing career to date.
“I love football and it is a privilege to officiate in Premier League and EFL matches, and to have refereed at all levels of the women’s game. I hope to continue refereeing for many years to come.
“On a personal level I am particularly pleased to see women’s football continuing to grow and develop and hope that my role in the game can inspire girls to play football, or get involved in the sport in other ways.
“I want to give a final thanks to my husband and my wider family. Without their support, particularly since the birth of my wonderful daughter Harriet, I could not have achieved any of this.”
PGMOL Managing Director, Mike Riley, said: “Sian is one of the most talented assistant referees in English football and thoroughly deserves this award. I speak on behalf of everyone at PGMOL in congratulating her.
“Sian loves football and is widely respected across the sport. Her dedication to refereeing, and commitment to high standards, make her a great role model for any up and coming match official.
“I hope this recognition of Sian’s success will encourage more women and girls to get involved in refereeing and other areas of English football.”