Anthony Buttimer

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Anthony Buttimer
Anthony Buttimer.jpg
Anthony Buttimer is surrounded by Bohemian's players during their 2015 League of Ireland game with Galway United at Eamon Deacy Park
Full name Anthony Buttimer
Born Drogheda, Ireland
Years League Role
2007 LOI First Division Referee
2008 LOI Premier Division Referee
2010 UEFA Champions League Referee
Years League Role
? UEFA listed Referee

Anthony Buttimer (known as the "Jersey Referee"[1]) is an Irish FIFA-level[2][3] soccer referee from Cork. A League of Ireland official, he took charge of the 2008 FAI Cup Final in the RDS, Dublin. Buttimer earned his nickname after a number of colourful incidents preceding and during FAI eircom League matches involving various team kits.


Buttimer regularly referees matches in the League of Ireland[4][5] where he has been accused of being "the main attraction of the night" by Sligo Rovers manager Paul Cook.[6] In the past he has been dispatched to referee local derbies including the Connacht Derby contested between Sligo Rovers and Galway United in August 2007.[7] He was also deployed in the 2013 FAI Cup Semi Final and Louth Derby between Dundalk and Drogheda, a game which received much attention.[8]

Colour difficulty incidents[edit]

Buttimer is best known for having difficulties determining the colours of team kits and managerial suits. At Oriel Park on 23 September 2007, he almost postponed Dundalk's league game against Shelbourne after taking issue with the colour of the goalkeeper's jerseys. Buttimer was said to be "unsatisfied" with four colours provided by Dundalk - blue, black, yellow and grey all causing some unspecified problem or other. A Shelbourne director left the ground to search for an alternative kit in the local Lifestyle Sports, as managers John Gill and Dermot Keely told the referee they were on the verge of "going for a pint". Buttimer suggested both goalkeepers wear bibs but was hastily halted, before it was agreed that Dundalk goalkeeper Chris Bennion would line out in a t-shirt with a white strip of tape on the back whilst Shelbourne goalkeeper James Hussey would wear a training top for the match.[9] In the ensuing media fuss, fellow referee Damien Hancock was mistaken for Buttimer by the Irish Independent.[10]

On 7 March 2008, in the opening game of that season, he declared that the kit worn by Sligo Rovers was too similar to the kit worn by St Patrick's Athletic, insinuating that it clashed with the white sleeve on the St Pat's jersey.[11] After a displeased stand-off, local junior club Lissadell United were requested to provide two sets of jerseys but these were also thought unsuitable by Buttimer. He forced them to wear the dark blue away kit of St Pat's emblazoned with the Paddy Power logo for the match, in which Sligo Rovers took the lead only to lose 3-1 after a delay of 35 minutes.[12] Sligo's kit-suppliers Jako were reported to be considering legal action against the FAI over the incident.[13]

At United Park on 16 May 2008, he chastised the St Pat's manager John McDonnell for his navy blue top which, in the referee's opinion was too similar to the blue of his own team's jerseys. Buttimer demanded that he change it before the game could get underway.[14]

UEFA Cup match[edit]

On 31 August 2008, Buttimer took charge of the 2008-09 UEFA Cup qualifier first round second leg match between KS Vllaznia Shkodër and FC Koper at the Loro-Boriçi Stadium in Shkodër, Albania. The match finished 0 – 0, with the referee issuing three yellow cards.[15]

2008 FAI Cup Final[edit]

On 23 November 2008, Buttimer took charge of the 2008 FAI Cup Final, in which Bohemians triumphed over Derry City, the second featuring the new trophy after the previous 86-year-old trophy's retirement in 2006, the second Final to be played at the RDS during the redevelopment of Lansdowne Road,[16] the first ever to feature a penalty shoot-out[17] and a match in which Buttimer denied one and gave another contentious penalty decision.[18] He denied Sam Morrow an early penalty before awarding a spot-kick after the ball struck Morrow's hand in the second half.[19]

2013 FAI Cup Semi Final[edit]

Buttimer controversially sent off two Dundalk players in the first half of their semi final versus Drogheda in Hunky Dory's park. Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny later declared it as a bad day for refereeing in Ireland.


  1. ^ "Referee Profile : Anthony Buttimer". Where My Heart Lies. 12 May 2008. Archived from the original on 5 January 2009. Retrieved 2008-11-23. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Kelly blows the whistle on Ireland's referee bashers". Irish Independent. 7 June 2006. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  3. ^ "FIFA awards 17 badges to Irish referees and assistants". 20 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-11-24. 
  4. ^ "Pre-match bust-up fails to stop Rovers' run". Irish Independent. 11 August 2007. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  5. ^ "Revenge sweet as Sammon nets win". Irish Independent. 21 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  6. ^ "Cook wants summit to address referee 'problem'". Irish Independent. 10 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  7. ^ "Charles and Cooke ensure home delight for Galway". Irish Independent. 25 August 2007. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  8. ^ "Referee red calls enrage Dundalk". The Herald. 
  9. ^ "Referee in goalkeeper strip fiasco". Irish Independent. 3 October 2007. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  10. ^ "Dunne's war cry". Irish Independent. 14 October 2007. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  11. ^ "Saints alive after ref gets shirty over jersey clash". Irish Independent. 8 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  12. ^ "Jersey chaos at Richmond Park". Irish Independent. 8 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  13. ^ "Sligo get shirty after jersey mix-up". Irish Independent. 10 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  14. ^ "A reffing success despite a little Buttimer 'colour'". Irish Independent. 19 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  15. ^ Anthony Buttimer profile. Accessed 24 November 2008.
  16. ^ "Bohemians 2-2 Derry City (AET, 4-2 pens)". RTÉ. 23 November 2008. Archived from the original on 4 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  17. ^ "Bohs win FAI Ford Cup on penalties". 23 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-24. 
  18. ^ "Sweet double delight for Bohs". Irish Examiner. 24 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-23. [dead link]
  19. ^ "Devastated Kenny cries foul over penalty gaffes". Irish Independent. 24 November 2008. Archived from the original on 5 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-23.