Atkinson in 2014
|Full name||Martin Atkinson|
31 March 1971|
Drighlington, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
|1998–2000||Football League||Assistant referee|
|2000–2003||Premier League||Assistant referee|
Atkinson made his first appearance as an official in the Football League as an assistant referee in 1995. Since he was promoted to the list of Select Group Referees in 2005 he has refereed a number of notable matches, including the FA Community Shield and the finals of the FA Trophy, Football League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Europa League.
Atkinson started his refereeing career at the relatively early age of 16 years, as the local team did not have a referee to oversee matches. By 1998, he had been promoted to the Football League's list of assistant referees.
This was followed in 2000 by promotion to the Select Group of assistant referees. By December 2002 he was refereeing Football Conference matches, and also refereed the 2003 FA County Youth Cup final.
Only two years after his Conference debut, Atkinson was appointed to referee his first Premier League game, taking charge of the Manchester City-Birmingham City fixture on 20 April 2005, cautioning one player and awarding the home side a penalty kick in a 3–0 result.
During the three seasons between 2003 and 2006, Atkinson issued only eight red cards in 102 matches, an average of less than 0.08 per game.
The 2009–10 season saw Atkinson referee 48 matches in English football, his highest tally of appointments in one season to date.
In September 2010, Atkinson was handed a one-week demotion to the role of fourth official after a time-keeping dispute with Everton manager David Moyes. Everton had scored two injury-time goals to make the score 3–3 against Manchester United, but Atkinson then blew his final whistle while Everton were midway through an attack with a chance of a winner.
2006 FA Community Shield
2008 FA Trophy final
|Ebbsfleet United||1–0||Torquay United|
2011 FA Cup final
|Manchester City||1–0||Stoke City|
|Y. Touré 74'||Report||Wilkinson 76'
2014 Football League Cup final
Europe and international
On 13 October 2007, Atkinson refereed a group C qualifier for Euro 2008 between Moldova and Turkey. The game in the Moldovan capital Chişinău ended a 1–1 draw, with the referee showing two yellow cards.
The 2008–09 season was the first that Atkinson took charge of UEFA Champions League games. That season he refereed four matches, including FC Zürich against Real Madrid and Inter Milan versus Dynamo Kyiv. In 2010 Atkinson was fourth official to Howard Webb for the Champions League final in Madrid. He issued his first Champions League red card on 5 April 2011, to Cristian Chivu of Inter Milan as they lost 5–2 at home to Schalke.
Atkinson officiated multiple matches during 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualification, including the UEFA group 4 qualifying game between Germany and Finland in Hamburg on 14 October 2009 which ended 1–1. One month later, he officiated Portugal's 1–0 qualifying win over Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The referee abandoned a Euro 2016 qualifying match in Belgrade between Serbia and Albania on 14 October 2014 when violence on the pitch and crowd disturbances broke out after a quadcopter was flown over the pitch bearing a flag of Greater Albania.
With no English officials going to the 2018 World Cup for the first time since 1938, Atkinson refereed his last international match in March 2018, a friendly between Argentina and Italy at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.  Atkinson would referee the Manchester Derby at the same stadium less than a month later, a performance that was criticised by former Premier League referee Keith Hackett who stated "if you want proof of why no English referee will be represented at this summer’s World Cup finals in Russia, look no further than Martin Atkinson’s performance at the Etihad on Saturday."
|Season||Games||Total||per game||Total||per game|
Statistics for all competitions. No records are available prior to 2002–03.
- 'West Yorkshire' did not exist before 1 April 1974. 'West Riding of Yorkshire' is correct
- Profile Archived 15 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine: the Football League official website. Retrieved on 16 April 2008
- Football Conference referee, 2002: soccerbase.com website. Retrieved on 16 April 2008
- FA Youth Cup Final 2003: TheFA.com website. Retrieved on 16 April 2008
- "Fulhamweb" Profile Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine of Martin Atkinson. Retrieved on 16 April 2008.
- Man.City v. Birmingham Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine Fixture Details: RateTheRef website. Retrieved on 16 April 2008.
- Appointment as FIFA referee, 2006: TheFA.com website. Retrieved on 16 April 2008
- "Football". mirror. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
- FA Community Shield 2006, Liverpool v. Chelsea: TheFA.com website. Retrieved on 16 April 2008
- FA Trophy Final 2008, Ebbsfleet v. Torquay, referee: TheFA.com website. Retrieved on 16 April 2008.
- FIFA World Cup qualifier Archived 15 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Germany v. Finland, referee: Refworld.com website. Retrieved on 27 November 2009.
- "Euro 2012 Referees" (PDF). UEFA. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
- Serbia and Albania will be charged by UEFA RTÉ Sports, 15 October 2014.
- "Germany's Schweinsteiger and Mustafi sink Ukraine in Euro 2016 opener". The Guardian. 12 June 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
- "Fifa confirms no British referees will take part at Russia World Cup". The Guardian. 29 March 2018.
- "Atkinson cut Argentina-Italy cards". Football Italia. 24 March 2018.
- Hackett, Keith (8 April 2018). "Ashley Young had to be sent off for horror tackle - the fact he wasn't shows why our referees are not rated". The Telegraph.
- "Martin Atkinson | Latest Football Betting Odds | Soccer Base". www.soccerbase.com. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Martin Atkinson.|
- Martin Atkinson Referee Statistics at soccerbase.com
- Martin Atkinson Profile at RateTheRef.net
| FA Community Shield referee
| FA Trophy Final referee
| FA Cup Final referee
| UEFA Europa League Final referee