William James “Bill” Harrigan was born in 1960 in the Western Suburbs of Sydney, New South Wales). He resided in the south-west and greater western suburbs of Sydney for all of his childhood. Harrigan joined the NSW Police Force in 1979. He served extensively in numerous units, including the Tactical Response Group.
Bill refereed his first game in 1977. In 1986 he refereed his first New South Wales Rugby League premiership match, between Cronulla and Western Suburbs.
Harrigan holds the following Australian rugby league refereeing records
392 first grade games,
21 State of Origin games,
25 Test matches, and
10 Grand finals (1989–1991,1997–2003)
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