Sian Massey-Ellis

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Sian Massey-Ellis
Sian Massey.jpg
Massey-Ellis in May 2011
Full name Sian Louise Massey-Ellis[1]
Birth name Sian Louise Massey
Born (1985-10-05) 5 October 1985 (age 34)
Coventry, England[1]
Other occupation School teacher
Years League Role
2008– Premier League Assistant Referee
Years League Role
2009– FIFA listed Assistant Referee

Sian Louise Massey-Ellis, MBE (née Massey; born 5 October 1985)[2][3] is an English football match official who officiates generally in the role of assistant referee in the Premier League and the Football League. She has also been appointed to matches in the Football League Trophy, UEFA Women's Champions League,[4] FIFA Women's World Cup qualification rounds, and the FIFA Women's World Cup. Massey-Ellis turned professional in 2010 and was appointed to the FIFA list of women assistant referees in 2009.[5][6][7]

She is based in Coventry, West Midlands.[8]


Domestic career[edit]

In May 2009, Massey-Ellis was appointed fourth official for the year's FA Women's Cup final at Derby County's Pride Park Stadium, a game which saw two injury-time goals and Arsenal defeat Sunderland 2–1.[9] In the 2009–10 men's season Massey was fourth official in five matches and assistant referee in 11 matches. Her first appointment as an assistant referee was on 29 August 2009, a 2–2 draw between Hereford United and Port Vale.[10]

On 11 February 2010, Massey-Ellis refereed the season's FA Women's Premier League Cup final between Leeds Carnegie and Everton at Rochdale's Spotland Stadium. Massey was required to interpret two notable incidents; she disallowed a third first-half goal for Leeds for a foul on Everton's goalkeeper and disregarded Everton's late first-half appeal for a penalty kick. Leeds won the match 3–1, winning the cup for the first time since its inaugural 1991–92 season.[11]

Massey-Ellis turned professional in March 2010, joining the Professional Game Match Officials Board (PGMOB), who provide the officials for men's Premier League matches, the highest level of professional football in England. Her first Premier League appointment was on 28 December 2010, as an assistant in Blackpool's 2–0 away win at Sunderland.

During a game between Cardiff City and Middlesbrough in May 2011, Massey was knocked over by Cardiff player Kevin McNaughton, although the incident was said, officially by the FA, to be an accident.[12]

In August 2011 Massey-Ellis was appointed to the Select Group of match officials.[13]

Massey-Ellis was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to football.[14]

Sexism controversy[edit]

After her second Premier League game, as an assistant in Liverpool's 3–0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers on 22 January 2011, a sexism controversy erupted over remarks made about Massey-Ellis by staff of the Premier League broadcaster Sky Sports, which led to commentator Andy Gray and presenter Richard Keys being sacked. Reporter Andy Burton was suspended. Massey-Ellis was withdrawn by the PGMOB from her next appointment, a League 2 game between Crewe Alexandra and Bradford City on 25 January, as they believed the added attention Massey might receive could detract from the match itself.[7][15][16][17] The PGMOB also withdrew her for a second time, from a Conference North game between Corby Town and Eastwood Town on 29 January, with Corby stating there had been huge demand for television access when it was announced Massey was to referee the game.[18] Massey returned to the line on 5 February for a League 2 match between Chesterfield and Aldershot Town, and was then appointed to her third Premier League fixture on 12 February between Blackpool and Aston Villa, as an assistant to 2010 World Cup final referee Howard Webb.[19]

International career[edit]

Massey-Ellis's early international career has included involvement in the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup by taking up the role of fourth official for England's 4–0 qualification stage win over Austria on 20 April 2006.[20] In September 2007 Massey was assistant referee at England Women's 2–1 international friendly defeat by Denmark Women. She was also an assistant referee for the qualification stage of UEFA Women's Euro 2009.[21]

Her involvement in the qualification stage for the Women's World Cup increased for the 2011 edition of the competition, taking up the role of assistant referee for Norway's 2–0 win over Ukraine,[22] Sweden's 1–0 away victory over the Czech Republic in Prague[23] and Belgium's 11–0 home win over Azerbaijan.[24]

In June 2017, Massey-Ellis was appointed to be an assistant referee for the UEFA Women's Euro 2017 in the Netherlands.[25]

On 3 December 2018, Massey-Ellis was appointed to be an assistant referee at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France.[26]

Personal life[edit]

She is married to Robert Ellis, also a football referee.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b as per
  2. ^ "List of Football League officials". 30 September 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  3. ^ "England: Referees". Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  4. ^ "England – Sian Massey – Profile with news, career statistics and history – Soccerway". Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  5. ^ "Education & Technical - Referees by Association". Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  6. ^ "Northampton Town v Accrington Stanley". Getty Images. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  7. ^ a b "Sian Massey-Ellis Stars As Female Assistant Referee in Wolves vs Liverpool Match". EPL Talk. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  8. ^ "National Group Assistant Profile – Sian Massey-Ellis". Refworld. 22 August 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  9. ^ "Watch The FA Women's Cup Final". The The Football Association. 6 May 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  10. ^ Smith, Rory (24 January 2011). "Female assistant referee Sian Massey 'epitomises quality' FA are looking for despite Richard Keys and Andy Gray". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  11. ^ Lavery, Glenn (11 February 2010). "All White on the night". Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  12. ^ "Kevin McNaughton's barge on Sian Massey declared accidental". The Guardian. 4 May 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  13. ^ "Referee Sian gets promoted to Premiership". Coventry Telegraph. 13 August 2011. p. 6.
  14. ^ "No. 61803". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2016. p. N18.
  15. ^ "Richard Keys resigns from Sky after sexist remarks". BBC Sport. BBC. 26 January 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2011.
  16. ^ Gibson, Owen (25 January 2011). "Sky reporter Andy Burton dropped in wake of Sian Massey comments". London: Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 27 January 2011.
  17. ^ "Andy Gray sacked by Sky for offensive behaviour". BBC News Online. BBC. 25 January 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  18. ^ "Sian Massey withdrawn from refereeing Blue Square match". BBC Sport. BBC. 28 January 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
  19. ^ Biggs, Alan (8 February 2011). "Sian Massey's return draws a line under Sky Sports sexism scandal". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
  20. ^ "England leave it late". 21 April 2006. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  21. ^ " – Women's EURO 2009 – Slovenia-Ukraine". Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  22. ^ "Women's World Cup 2011 – Norway-Ukraine". Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  23. ^ "Women's World Cup 2011 – Czech Republic-Sweden". Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  24. ^ "Women's World Cup 2011 – Belgium-Azerbaijan". Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  25. ^ "Women's EURO referees - the tournament's 17th team". Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  26. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup 2019™ - News - Match officials appointed for FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™ -". Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  27. ^ "Footballers who have backed out of a transfer for another late in the day". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. 1 August 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.