1927 – 2005
Tom “Tiny” Wharton was one of the iconic and respected officials of his generation. The ironic nickname was due to his colossal 6 feet 4 inch frame, a real presence around the pitch, not many players spoke back to “Tiny”.
An engineer by trade, Tom took up refereeing at the age of 21 and had reached class 1 status just 3 years later. He refereed a number of important and high profile games throughout his career, including the Scottish Cup Finals of 1962, 1963, 1966 and 1971 and the League Cup Finals of 1961, 1963, 1967 and 1971. Tom’s prowess was recognized outwith Scotland too, and he officiated 16 international matches from Belfast to Brazil. He also oversaw 24 international club fixtures, including the 1962 European Cup Winners Cup final at Hampden between Atletico Madrid and Fiorentina.
In later life, Tom was chairman of the SFA Referee Supervisors Committee and served as part of FIFA’s Referee Committee between 1981 and 2000. Tom was awarded the OBE in 1990 for his services to Scottish Football and FIFA’s Order of Merit in Gold in 1992. Sepp Blatter described him as “one of the world’s most distinguished officials”.