William Pickford was 17 years old when he watched an Association game between Blackburn District and Bolton. Formerly a Rugby enthusiast he was captivated by the Asociation game. having relocated from lancashire to Hampshire he was active in local football administration and also wrote on the game for the local press.
Mr Pickford took to refereeing when his playing days with Bournemouth Rovers came to an end.
He was one of the 79 attendees of the March 1893 meeting at which The FA formed the first referees’ society. C.W. Alcock was President and F.J Wall Chairman.
In 1895 the society produced the first edition of The Referees’ Chart, a set of guidelines that elabourated on The Laws of the Game.
Mr Pickford played a leading role in the production of this document.
He held several prominent positions in football;
He was member of the council of the Football Association, a Vice-President of FIFA and a member of the International Football Association Board. In 1937 he became president of the Football Association.
How to Referee appeared in 1906. It comnbines an analydis of the Laws of the Game with an outline of the psychological challenges of match control.
Free Britons have queer ways of enjoying themselves is taken from Mr Pickford's comment advising referees not to be perturbed by the passionate noise of the crowd.