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Kenneth George "Ken" Aston
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Birth: Sep. 1, 1915
Essex, England
Death: Oct. 23, 2001

Sporting personality.Kenneth was an English teacher, soldier,and football referee,who was responsible for many important developments in football refereeing - the yellow and red cards;the expression "to be shown a red card" has found its way into modern English dictionaries. He was born in Colchester, but from an early age, and throughout his life, lived in Barkingside, Ilford. A graduate of St Luke's College, Exeter, he was injured while playing as an amateur and decided decided to take up refereeing for which he qualified in 1936. He worked his way through the leagues to become a Football League linesman in the 1949-50 season, and then a League referee. In the Second World War he had been rejected by the Royal Air Force because of his injured ankle, so joined the Royal Artillery before transferring to the British Indian Army where he finished the war having attained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel with service on the Changi War Crimes Tribunal. On his return from military service in 1946, he became the first League referee to wear the black uniform with white trim which became the standard for referees. The following year he introduced bright yellow and red linesman's [now called Assistant Referees] flags in place of the pennants in the colours of the home team which had been used before; these had been difficult-to-see, especially in bad light. In 1953 he became Head Teacher at Newbury Park School, Ilford, Essex, having been a teacher at the nearby William Torbitt Junior Mixed school. He progressed to refereeing senior League matches and then he refereed the first World Cup Final at the Real Madrid stadium [Spain] in 1960 where there was a total of 140,000 spectators. In 1963 he refereed the F.A. Cup Final at Wembley between Manchester United and Leicester City. He is best known for refereeing the notorious "Battle of Santiago", the match between Chile and Italy in the 1962 World Cup. The atmosphere of this match had been inflamed by Italian journalists' derogatory comments on the charms and morals of Chilean women and the condition of the Chilean capital, as well as by the Chileans' disapproval of the Italian practice of using South American players with Italian passports. During the match in 1966 between England and Argentina the German referee, Rudolf Kreitlein, wanted to send off the Argentine captain, Antonio Rattin, for continuous dissent, though this may have had a lot to do with language barriers. Aston, driving home from Wembley Stadium to Lancaster Gate, stopped at a traffic light controlled junction at Kensington High Street, and realized that a color-coding scheme based on the same Amber (Steady) - Red (Stop) principle as used on traffic lights would traverse language barriers and clarify to players and spectators that they had been cautioned or sent off.Thus was devised the system whereby referees show a yellow card for a caution and a red card for an expulsion, which was first used in the 1970 World Cup. In 1966 he introduced the practice of naming a substitute referee who could take over in the case of the referee being unable to continue for any reason (this eventually evolved into the practice of having a designated fourth official). He also successfully proposed that the pressure of the ball should be specified in the Laws of the Game. In 1974 he introduced the number board for substitutes, so that players could easily understand who was being substituted. He was appointed to the FIFA Referees' Committee for 8 years, chairing it for 4. He was in charge of all referees for the 1966, 1970, and 1974 World Cups. He became senior lecturer of the Football Association Referees' Panel and Chief Instructor for the American Youth Soccer Organization. In 1997 he was awarded the MBE[Member of the British Empire].Cremation took place on 6th November 2001 and the ashes were removed by a family member.
City of London Cemetery and Crematorium
London Borough of Newham
Greater London, England
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: geoffrey gillon
Record added: Oct 07, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 118330256
Kenneth George Ken Aston
Added by: geoffrey gillon
Kenneth George Ken Aston
Cemetery Photo
Added by: julia&keld
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- Sarah Quinn
 Added: Jul. 27, 2016

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