About me

“In a league of his own”

Love him or hate him he was the best Rugby League Referee in the World and if you don’t believe that just ask him, he’ll tell you.

Hailing from the Western Suburbs Bill’s positive attitude and motivation qualities have steered him to the top. As a young kid, Bill’s ambition was to pursue a career as a professional, important, respected man with letters after his name so Bill became a member of the Police Special Weapons and Operations Unit (SWOS) then a top International referee, thus realising his ambitions as a professional, important, respected man and according to some fans “letters after his name”.

But love him or hate him he has refereed 393 games and 17 years as a first grade referee, even the most hardened rugby league fanatic would have to give whistle blower Bill Harrigan his due recognition.

Being in the Police Force Harrigan was offered the more challenging role with the Tactical Response Group. He then worked for the Special Weapons and Operations Section and finally as a police negotiator. It was here he learned important lessons in arbitration and conflict resolution, attributes that have proved to be vital skills in life and on the rugby league field.

With the background and training with the TRG, Bill is still dedicated to a very strict training routine. Regular runs through the National Park at Sutherland and grueling beach side and gym workouts still has Bill just as fit as he was when refereeing. Who could forget watching Harrigan arrive at the in-goal area with run away try scorers, whistle in mouth waiting for the ball to be put down.

Becoming a referee all came by default when his Fairvale High School football coach volunteered him for the N.S.W. Rugby League Referees course, as no one from the school wanted to volunteer. After gaining his official referees ticket he got his chance to mediate in a local pub competition. He earned attention of refereeing officials and was asked to join the Parramatta District Referees Association and his career blossomed from here. He was officially graded in 1983 and on the 19th May 1986 he made his first grade debut. Bill retired after the 2003 Grand Final completing a legendary record breaking career. 393 first grade games, 10 grand finals in 1989, 90, 91, 97, 98, 99, 2000, 01, 02, 03. 21 State of Origins, 2 Super League Tri Series NSW v QLD. He refereed 22 Test matches including the blockbuster deciding test in 1994 between Great Britian and Australia. His international credits include going to England and refereeing the English Super League in 1996 finishing with the European Cup Final and the 2005, 06, 07, 08 & 09 Papua New Guinea NRL grand finals.

Today Bill is one of the most prominent and successful speakers on the speaking circuit. Bill Harrigan will keep you totally entertained with his amazing and spellbinding police and refereeing stories from all over the world, or use him for his highly motivational and leadership qualities. But one thing for sure he will guarantee you a damn good laugh with his larrikan wit.

So Love Him or Hate Him
BILL HARRIGAN will entertain you
Ask him, he’ll tell you.

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