Tim White: who was the WWE referee, when did he die, which wrestlers have paid tribute to him?

Professional wrestlers like Shawn Michaels and Mike Foley have paid their respects to Tim White, who was a referee with WWE for over two decades

Former WWE referee Tim White has passed away at the age of 68, shortly after his fellow longtime WWE referee Dave Hebner also died, aged 73.

The news of the death of White so soon after Hebner has shaken the world of professional wrestling, with many taking to social media to post tributes to the beloved referee.

Who was Tim White?

Tim White was an American professional wrestling referee who worked with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

Born on 25 March 1954 in Rhode Island, White began his refereeing career as a part time ref in 1985 whilst working as André the Giant’s agent, a French professional wrestler and actor known for his huge size caused by gigantism.

Tim White was a WWE referee and official for more than two decades (Photo: WWE)

Following André’s death in 1993, White became a full time referee, and began to appear more and more frequently on pay-per-views and WWE tapings.

His refereeing career came to an end following a series of shoulder injuries.

Talking to Sportskeeda in 2016 about his back to back shoulder injuries, White said: “The shoulder injuries started back at the 2002 Judgement Day pay-per-view, during the Jericho vs Triple H Hell in a Cell match.

“I got knocked onto the cage and injured it as a result.

Tim White had to retire from refereeing due to shoulder injuries (Photo: WWE)

“I also injured it again at the 2004 Wrestlemania. It was re-injured during the three count.”

While he no longer refereed, White continued to work with WWE as a backstage official and talent agency up until 2009 when he was released from his contract, ending his 24 year tenure with the company.

In 2018, White appeared in a number of interviews for the HBO documentary André the Giant and last year, in June 2021, appeared on WWE’s Most Wanted Treasures, which was a reality show which saw WWE personalities travelling across the US searching for collectibles and memorabilia related to professional wrestling.

What matches did he officiate?

Over the course of his career as a WWE referee, White officiated a number of high profile matches, and was often booked as the main event referee.

He is best known for being the referee for the infamous Hell in a Cell match between Mankind and the Undertaker at King of the Ring in 1998.

The match between the Undertaker and Mankind is considered the greatest ever Hell in a Cell (Photo: WWE)

White had almost called the match off when Mankind, played by American wrestler Mick Foley, took a hard fall. However, Foley begged White to let the match continue and he allowed it, with the fight becoming one of the most iconic in wrestling history.

When did he die?

White passed away on 19 June 2022 at the age of 68.

WWE announced the news in a statement on its website, which said: “WWE is saddened to learn that long-time referee Tim White has passed away.

“For more than two decades, Tim White was a dedicated WWE referee and official. White began his illustrious career in 1985 working with Andre the Giant and as a part-time referee.

It was confirmed that Tim White passed away at the age of 68 (Photo: WWE)

“During his tenure, he was the referee for some of WWE’s biggest matches, including the infamous Hell in a Cell Match between Undertaker and Mankind at King of the Ring 1998.

“A shoulder injury effectively ended White’s in-ring career, but White still remained a major part of WWE working behind the scenes as an official and talent agent until 2009.

“WWE extends its condolences to White’s family, friends and fans.”

Tributes for Tim White

Following the news of White’s passing, many of his friends, family, fans and fellow WWE colleagues have taken to social media to post their tributes to the wrestling referee.