Anthony Taylor (referee)

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For other people named Anthony Taylor, see Anthony Taylor (disambiguation).
Anthony Taylor
Full name Anthony Taylor
Born (1978-10-20) 20 October 1978 (age 36)
Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester, England
Years League Role
2002–2004 Northern Premier League Referee
2004–2006 Football Conference Referee
2006–2010 The Football League Referee
2010– Premier League Referee
Years League Role
2013– FIFA listed Referee

Anthony Taylor (born 20 October 1978)[1] is an English professional football referee from Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester. He supports non-League side Altrincham.[2]

In 2010, he was promoted to the list of Select Group Referees who officiate primarily in the Premier League, and in 2013 became a listed referee for FIFA allowing him to referee European and international matches. In 2015 he officiated the Football League Cup final at Wembley Stadium.[3]


Early career[edit]

Taylor started refereeing in the Northern Premier League in 2002,[4] progressing to officiate in the Conference North in 2004.[5] He was appointed to the Football League referees' list at the start of the 2006–07 season and his first appointment was a 0–0 draw between Wrexham and Peterborough United in a League Two match in August 2006.[6]

In November 2006 he refereed an England under-19s international friendly match against Switzerland under-19s at Gresty Road, the home of Crewe Alexandra; England won 3–2.[7]

Taylor's first experience of public criticism came after a Football League Championship match between Hull City and Charlton Athletic in October 2007.[8] A disallowed goal and two red cards were disputed by the team managers.[9] The official also received criticism after a League One fixture between Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield Town in January 2008[10] in which he awarded a 35th-minute penalty kick to the away side and sent-off Forest's Kelvin Wilson for a professional foul.[11] Forest's appeal to retrospectively rescind the red card was rejected by the Football Association.[12] A red card shown by Taylor to Swansea City's Albert Serrán in the 17th minute of a match in December 2009 against Crystal Palace — a decision described by Swansea manager Paulo Sousa as "ridiculous"[13] — was successfully appealed by Swansea.

After a live televised game between relegation rivals Sheffield United and Crystal Palace in November 2010, Taylor and his assistants were censured for a number of decisions.[14] Taylor awarded Palace an 18th-minute penalty when Jean Calvé was adjudged to have pushed Neil Danns, although the contact appeared minimal, and later awarded a second penalty, this time to United, for a foul by Nathaniel Clyne on Ched Evans, though Clyne appeared to play the ball. Palace midfielder Owen Garvan was given a second yellow card for dissent following the penalty award.[15] In the second half, Palace had regained the lead until the 85th minute when Evans scored an equaliser from an offside position. Minutes later, Taylor awarded United a second penalty, the third of the match, although this one appeared justifiable; the penalty was converted to give Palace a 3–2 lead. In stoppage-time, he showed another red card, this time to United's Daniel Bogdanović for serious foul play.[16]

Professional career[edit]


Taylor's first Premier League appointment was a February 2010 encounter between Fulham and Portsmouth, which Fulham won 1–0. He refereed one more game in the top-flight during that season before being promoted to the League's list of Select Group of Referees for 2010–11.

In September 2010 he took charge of his fourth Premier League match, contested by Blackburn Rovers and Fulham. The match ended 1–1 but Taylor was criticised by both managers for apparently failing to see a handball outside of the penalty area by Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and later awarding Blackburn the opening goal despite an apparent foul on Schwarzer.[17]

In March 2011, Taylor and his assistants came under scrutiny from Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger after his team was held to a 0–0 home draw by Sunderland. The officials elected not to award Arsenal's Andrei Arshavin a late penalty after an apparent push by Sunderland captain Titus Bramble.[18] Wenger said afterwards that he was "too disgusted" to talk about the decision.[19]


Taylor sent off three players in his first game of the 2011–12 season. Middlesbrough won 1–0 at Leeds United in a fixture which saw Jonny Howson and Max Gradel of Leeds and Boro's Tony McMahon dismissed, all for second bookable offences. Leeds manager Simon Grayson said afterwards: "There wasn't a dirty challenge and three players have been sent off."[20] Taylor refereed a total of 34 matches that season and dismissed eight players in total, including the three at Leeds.


Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew said that he thought Taylor "had a good day" despite sending off his captain Fabricio Coloccini for serious foul play in the later stages of a match at Liverpool. The game on 4 November 2012 finished 1–1 and Pardew said he "accepted" the straight red card.[21] The following month, in a Premier League game between West Ham United and Everton, Taylor dismissed one player from both teams, both for high-boot challenges. West Ham's manager Sam Allardyce said the club would appeal against the automatic suspension for Carlton Cole who was sent off three minutes after Everton equalised in the second half, which Allardyce said had a "massive effect" on his team. His Everton counterpart David Moyes said they would appeal the red card for Darron Gibson for his injury-time challenge shortly before the game ended 2–1 in his team's favour. Moyes added that he "didn't think either were red cards".[22] The FA rescinded both red cards.[23]

Taylor became a FIFA listed referee on 1 January 2013, making him eligible to officiate UEFA European and FIFA international competitive games. In May 2013 he was fourth official to Andre Marriner for the FA Cup Final.


On the opening day of the 2013–14 season Taylor refereed Aston Villa's 3–1 victory away at Arsenal. He awarded Villa two penalties and dismissed Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny for two bookable offences. Arsène Wenger described Taylor's officiating of the match as "stubborn"[24] but Villa manager Paul Lambert said that he thought the official "had a good game".[25]


In November 2014, Taylor came under fire after a match between Liverpool and Chelsea. Late in the game, with Chelsea leading 2–1, Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard's shot appeared to strike the arm of Chelsea defender Gary Cahill in the penalty box. Taylor continued play, though replays suggested it was a deliberate handball, and Chelsea won the match. Afterwards, Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers said: "We are not getting the good fortune. But that was not even good fortune. We should have had a penalty."[26]

Taylor was also criticised in December, for booking Chelsea's Cesc Fàbregas for diving when replays proved he had been fouled by Southampton's Matt Targett. He apologised to Chelsea after that decision.[27] On 1 March 2015, Taylor was the referee for the Football League Cup final between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, his first match refereeing Chelsea since his apology. The Blues won the match 2–0.[27]


On 7 July 2015, Taylor was appointed to referee the 2015 FA Community Shield.[28]


Season Games Total Booked Booked per game Total Red card Red card per game
2006–07 26 78 3.00 5 0.19
2007–08 36 105 2.92 10 0.28
2008–09 38 91 2.39 4 0.11
2009–10 36 92 2.56 8 0.22
2010–11 32 118 3.69 12 0.36
2011–12 34 106 3.12 8 0.24
2012–13 35 89 2.54 6 0.17

Statistics for all competitions. No records are available prior to 2006–07.[29]


  1. ^ Anthony Taylor - Football Referee
  2. ^ Norwich City v Manchester United: live - Telegraph
  3. ^ "Anthony Taylor to referee Capital One Cup Final". (The Football League). 12 February 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015. 
  4. ^ Northern Premier League, 2002: SoccerFactsUK website.
  5. ^ Conference North, 2004: SoccerFactsUK website.
  6. ^ Wrexham v. Peterborough, first League match: website.
  7. ^ England v. Switzerland, Under-19 friendly: official website.
  8. ^ Hull 1 Charlton 2, 2 October 2007: website.
  9. ^ Hull v. Charlton, 2007, disputed decisions: ITV Football website.
  10. ^ Nottingham Forest 2 Huddersfield 1, 1 January 2008: website.
  11. ^ Forest v. Huddersfield, 2008, disputed decision: website.
  12. ^ "Forest red card appeal rejected", Kelvin Wilson banned: website.
  13. ^ Swansea 0 - 0 Crystal Palace
  14. ^ Sheffield United 3 - 2 Crystal Palace, 2010: BBC Sport - Football website.
  15. ^ "Blades steal points in thriller", 2010: Daily Mail - Football website.
  16. ^ Sheffield United vs. Crystal Palace commentary, 2010: Sky Sports website.
  17. ^ BBC Sport - Football, 2010: Bosses Allardyce and Hughes round on ref Anthony Taylor report.
  18. ^ Arsenal v Sunderland - 5th Mar 2011 | Report | Barclays Prem | Sky Sports Football
  19. ^ BBC Sport - Football - Saturday football as it happened
  20. ^ Leeds 0 Middlesbrough 1: Emnes condemns nine-man Leeds to defeat | Mail Online
  21. ^ Alan Pardew refuses to blame referee after Fabricio Coloccini red card | Mail Online
  22. ^ BBC Sport - West Ham and Everton to appeal against Cole and Gibson red cards
  23. ^ BBC Sport - Everton's Darron Gibson & West Ham's Carlton Cole win appeals
  24. ^ ‘Stubborn’ referee infuriates Arsenal boss Wenger | talkSPORT
  25. ^ BBC Sport - Arsenal 1-3 Aston Villa
  26. ^
  27. ^ a b Poll, Graham (28 February 2015). "Capital One Cup final referee Anthony Taylor needs to stay strong after making Cesc Fabregas blooper". Daily Mail. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  28. ^ Bradbury, Jamie (7 July 2015). "Anthony Taylor appointed FA Community Shield referee". Retrieved 7 July 2015. 
  29. ^ Anthony Taylor | Latest Football Betting Odds | Soccer Base

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