The creator and artist behind YOU ARE THE REF, the cult classic illustrated feature which has been running for 60 years in the national press is Paul Trevillion, a Tottenham boy born in 1934, who could not read or write until he was 13 – he just drew everything instead.
Trevillion’s art first appeared in the national press, in the Sunday People in 1957. The illustrated series devised by Trevillion was called ‘Hey Ref!’ which later Trevillion renamed ‘YOU ARE THE REF’, a feature which still appears today in the Sunday Observer.
During his school days Trevillion, was drawing for comics such as ‘Eagle’ , ‘TV21’ , ‘Tiger’ and ‘Roy of the Rovers’ and in 1952, Trevillion received a letter from HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh praising him for his artwork which appeared in the National Press and launched Trevillion’s sporting career in the ‘Sporting Record’ with the 1953 Coronation Ashes.
1955, and Trevillion is summoned to meet Sir Winston Churchill where Sir Winston personally signs the portrait Trevillion had painted. This painting is the only signed portrait of Sir Winston Churchill in existence.
From the 1960’s onwards, Trevillion’s art featured in almost every national newspaper in the UK. Known as “The Master of Movement, he has devised and illustrated instructional based art for the Daily Mirror, Daily Express, The Sun, Daily Mail, The Telegraph, The Times, Sunday Times, Guardian and Observer.
Trevillion is the author and illustrator of over 20 books that have sold worldwide, including the Peter Alliss instructional book ‘Easier Golf’ which was reprinted 10 times in a 20 year period. He also illustrated the world famous ‘Gary Player Golf Class’ that appeared in over 1,500 newspapers worldwide and became the largest syndicated sports feature in the world.
Trevillion recalls working alongside famous Disney senior animator MILT NEIL (Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi). Milt told Trevillion that it took 20 drawings to produce the movement that Trevillion captures in one.
The World Cup 1994 Trevillion was commissioned by Umbro, Budweiser, Hershey and Fuji to capture in vivid colour art many of the football legends taking part in the World Cup. A special commission was received from Umbro to depict the greatest footballer to ever play the game – PELE.
Trevillion has expertly driven his career through all major sports from Boxing to Football, NFL to Golf. He has worked with sporting stars such as – Gary Player, Peter Alliss, Lee Trevino, Sugar Ray Robinson, Oscar De La Hoya, Paul Gascoigne, Gary Lineker, George Best, Pele and so the list goes on.
In 2012 Trevillion’s cult classic football strip ‘YOU ARE THE REF’ – which since 2006 has appeared weekly in the Observer and Guardian online – became a permanent interactive exhibit at the ‘National Football Museum’ in Manchester.
In 2013 Trevillion received a major commission by the Football Association to turn his moving art into animated films focusing on discrimination in football.
Following the highly successful Master of Movement Exhibition at the Strand Gallery, London in 2014, Paul Trevillion as installed as the ‘Artist in Residence at the National Football Museum’ in 2016, to coincide with a Trevillion Art Exhibition and the launch of the world’s first ‘Football Walk of Fame’.
For more information on the artist described as “The Leonardo of Line Drawing…” (The One Show, 22nd August 2013) – GO TO: www.paultrevillion.com