Jimmy Walder

The dean of American soccer referees from the 1930s to the 1950s, and probably the most honored American referee of all time.

Walder, who was born in England and came to American in 1905 at the age of 19, lived in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, which also produced many great players. He refereed his first game in 1909, the first of more than 4,000. He eventually became the man most often called on to handle the major events in the sport in the United States. The original American Soccer League, the second ASL and tournaments like the U.S. Open Cup made heavy use of his services. Walder also regularly officiated at college games, including many that settled championships, primarily during college soccer’s pre-NCAA era. He developed the two-referee system that was in use in college soccer for a number of years.

Inducted in 1971.