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Phil Dowd


Phil Dowd

Phil Dowd
Full name Philip Dowd
Born (1963-01-26) 26 January 1963
Staffordshire, England
Years League Role
? – ? Staffordshire Senior League Referee
? – ? Midland Football Alliance Referee
1992–1997 Football League Assistant referee
1997–2001 Football League Referee
2001– Premier League Referee

Philip "Phil" Dowd (born 26 January 1963)[1] is an English professional football referee who officiates primarily in the Premier League. He is based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, and is a member of the Staffordshire Football Association.

Dowd made his first appearance as an official in the Football League as an assistant referee in 1992. Since he was promoted to the list of Select Group Referees in 2001 he has refereed a number of notable matches, including the finals of the FA Cup, in 2012, and the Football League Cup, in 2010, as well as the FA Community Shield in 2011.


  • Career 1
  • Notable matches 2
    • 2010 League Cup Final 2.1
    • 2011 FA Community Shield 2.2
    • 2012 FA Cup Final 2.3
  • Card statistics 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Dowd began refereeing in local leagues in 1984, eventually officiating in the Staffordshire Senior League and Midland Football Alliance. He was appointed to The Football League list of assistant referees in 1992, before joining the League's full list of referees in 1997, aged 34.[1]

He was promoted to the Premier League list in 2001, his first match being a fixture between Fulham and Everton in December of that year.[2] The 2011–12 season is his twelfth year refereeing in the top flight of English football.

In 2006, Dowd was the fourth official at that year's FA Cup final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Later that year he came in for criticism from Wigan Athletic's manager Paul Jewell following his team's 1–1 Premier League draw with Blackburn Rovers. Jewell claimed that "the officials cost us the game", believing that his goalkeeper was fouled in the build-up to Blackburn's late equaliser. Blackburn manager Mark Hughes countered that he felt "the ball was there to be won. The keeper certainly didn't have it under control." Television replays also suggested an Arjan de Zeeuw goal for Wigan should have stood despite the assistant referee flagging for offside.[3][4]

Paul Jewell and Wigan chairman Dave Whelan would censure Dowd again in February 2007 following the club's Premier League match at Arsenal. Dowd denied Wigan, who were leading 1–0, a penalty kick following a challenge by Arsenal's Mathieu Flamini on Emile Heskey. Wigan were playing with ten men at the time (Josip Skoko had left the field for treatment to an injury), and Dowd then did not allow Skoko to return to the field of play as Arsenal attacked. Flamini, who arguably could have been sent off had the penalty for his challenge on Heskey been given, received the ball in an offside position, however, the assistant referee failed to spot the infringement. Flamini then crossed the ball, leading to an own goal by Fitz Hall, bringing Arsenal back onto level terms. Arsenal then went on to win the match 2-1.[5]

On 5 February 2011, Dowd was appointed to a Premier League fixture between Newcastle United and Arsenal, notable for becoming the first game in the league's history in which a team recovered from being 4-0 down to salvage a draw.[6] Dowd was required to interpret a number of key incidents during the course of the second half, with Arsenal having taken a 4-0 lead into half-time. He issued a 50th-minute red card to Arsenal's Abou Diaby for violent conduct towards two Newcastle players following a challenge with Joey Barton. Arsène Wenger said after the match that he "could not argue with [the] red card", but believed Barton should have been punished for the original challenge; Newcastle manager Alan Pardew countered that "the referee's decision was fair. It was an aggressive tackle, that's all." Leon Best incorrectly had a goal ruled offside before scoring to make the scoreline 4-2. Dowd's assistant referee signalled for a Newcastle penalty, their second of the match, which Barton converted for his second penalty. Cheick Tioté then scored an 87th-minute equaliser.[7][8][9]

On 26 December 2011 Wigan Athletic's Conor Sammon was sent off by Dowd during his team's 5-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford. Wigan appealed the decision and the Football Association rescinded the red card three days later.[10]

Notable matches

2010 League Cup Final

28 February 2010
15:00 GMT
Aston Villa 1–2 Manchester United
Milner Goal 5' (pen.)
Collins Booked 11'
Downing Booked 18'
Report Owen Goal 12'
Rooney Goal 74'
Evra Booked 41'
Vidić Booked 68'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 88,596

On 28 February 2010 Dowd refereed the League Cup final between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Wembley Stadium. In the fifth minute of the match, Dowd deemed Manchester United's Nemanja Vidić to have fouled Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor in the penalty area. Whilst Dowd did award Villa a penalty kick, he elected not to punish Vidić; some commentators felt the offence qualified as a professional foul and therefore warranted a red card.[11] United overturned Villa's early penalty to ultimately win the match, and trophy, 2–1.

2011 FA Community Shield

7 August 2011
14:30 BST
Manchester City 2–3 Manchester United
Lescott Goal 38'
Džeko Goal 45+1'
Džeko Booked 19'
Richards Booked 22'
Y. Touré Booked 34'
Milner Booked 55'
Kolarov Booked 60'
Report Smalling Goal 52'
Nani Goal 58'90+4'
Anderson Booked 19'
Evra Booked 40'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 77,169

Dowd officiated the 2011 FA Community Shield on 7 August 2011 between Manchester City and Manchester United, also the 160th Manchester derby, at London's Wembley Stadium. United won the match 3-2 with a last-minute winner courtesy of Nani. Dowd issued seven yellow cards during the course of the game.

2012 FA Cup Final

5 May 2012
17:15 BST
Chelsea 2–1 Liverpool
Ramires Goal 10'
Drogba Goal 51'
Mikel Booked 36'
Report Carroll Goal 63'
Agger Booked 44'
Suárez Booked 81'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 89,102

Dowd refereed the 2012 FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Liverpool, at Wembley Stadium on 5 May 2012. He was assisted by Stuart Burt and Andrew Garratt and Mike Jones was the fourth official. Dowd described his appointment to the Cup final as an "honour and privilege". The fixture took place on the third anniversary of the death of his father, who Dowd said had always hoped to see his son referee a final of the FA Cup.[12]

Card statistics

Season Games Total Booked Booked per game Total Red card Red card per game
1998/99 32 125 3.91 3 0.09
1999/00 33 85 2.58 4 0.12
2000/01 33 120 3.64 10 0.30
2001/02 29 109 3.76 13 0.45
2002/03 38 130 3.42 8 0.21
2003/04 28 104 3.71 6 0.21
2004/05 36 115 3.19 7 0.19
2005/06 46 183 3.98 8 0.17
2006/07 33 99 3.00 3 0.09
2007/08 41 113 2.75 10 0.24
2008/09 45 148 3.28 11 0.24
2009/10 39 135 3.46 5 0.13
2010/11 38 139 3.66 12 0.32
2011/12 38 137 3.61 5 0.13
2012/13 38 130 3.42 5 0.13

Statistics for all competitions. No records are available prior to 1998/99.[13]

See also


  1. ^ a b Profile: The Football League Official website.
  2. ^,,10281~2080938,00.html
  3. ^ [1] match report: website.
  4. ^ [2] Daily Mail article.
  5. ^ Arsenal v. Wigan match report: website.
  6. ^ "FourToon favours the brave". The Sun (London). 7 February 2011. 
  7. ^ Hayward, Paul (6 February 2011). "Joey Barton's maverick inspiration proves just what Newcastle need". The Guardian (London). 
  8. ^ Wilson, Paul (5 February 2011). "Cheik Tioté completes remarkable Newcastle comeback against Arsenal". The Guardian (London). 
  9. ^ "Newcastle 4-4 Arsenal". BBC News. 5 February 2011. 
  10. ^ "Wigan Athletic win appeal over Conor Sammon red card". BBC News. 29 December 2011. 
  11. ^ McNulty, Phil (28 February 2010). "Aston Villa 1–2 Man Utd". BBC. Retrieved 28 February 2010. 
  12. ^ "Phil Dowd to referee FA Cup final". The Daily Telegraph (London). 17 April 2012. 
  13. ^

External links

  • Phil Dowd Profile at
  • Phil Dowd Referee Statistics at
  • Phil Dowd on
Preceded by
Mike Dean
FA Trophy Final
Succeeded by
Howard Webb
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