Premiership and Football League Referees 1888 to 2005

By Gilbert Upton


Although we are increasingly familiar with the referee as a ‘news item’ in today’s media, there is little in print about them beyond a handful of ghosted autobiographies and the occasional ‘how to referee’ guide.  This new SoccerData publication is the first definitive record of referees in the senior English competitions, all 1,536 of them since 1888.   

The book includes the official lists of referees for each season, compiled from Football League handbooks and other sources.  It is unique in the huge bibliography of English soccer.  The details are laid out in grid format, so that you can follow a referee’s career season-by-season.  The referees of important games such as play-offs and cup finals are given, together with English referees of World Cup and European cup finals.  Though not providing game-by-game details (except for the various finals), the book helps to resolve the mistakes caused (for example) by reports listing T.C. Mour when they meant T Seymour!   

Author Gilbert Upton is the Tranmere Rovers historian with four books on the club to his credit.  He was recently awarded the Rovers’ “Fan of the Year” trophy for 2004 by the Liverpool Echo as recognition for his efforts over the past twenty years re-connecting the club with its forgotten past.  Gilbert believes his latest book can be a solid foundation for others wishing to pursue the history of referees, generally and individually, and the history of the laws of the game.

The book is an A4 sized paperback book of 70 pages with b/w illustrations and a full colour cover.  The price is £9.  Copies are available from specialist sports booksellers and by post from Tony Brown.  If ordering by post, please send a cheque or postal order for £10.50 (which includes postage and packing) payable to Tony Brown, to 4 Adrian Close, Beeston, Nottingham NG9 6FL.


You will find some pages of the book by following the links below. Please note your browser needs Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these pages. Free downloads are available at or you will find a copy on many magazine cover discs.  Please be patient whilst the sample pages load!

Sample Pages


1946 to 1979 - a sample

Soccer Data Publications can be ordered from Tony Brown at 4 Adrian Close, Beeston, Nottingham NG9 6FL.  E-mail address: