While there’s no prizes for guessing who Mike Dean supports (treat yourself to that golden footage of Tranmere’s League Two play-off semi-final and final in 2019 if you’re unaware), his fellow Premier League referees may do a better job of concealing their favourite side.
We’ve looked before at whether refs in England’s top-flight are full-time, and how well-paid they are – what about where they’re from and where their allegiances lie? (Assuming it hasn’t previously come across in their refereeing, that is…)
Who Do Premier League Refs Support?
*NOTE: ‘Premier League ref’ is defined as any referee to have taken charge of at least one Premier League match in either 2019-20 or so far in 2020-21.
Records of games covered in Interesting Facts column correct as of October 28, 2020.
|Name||Where Is He From?||Who Does He Support?||Interesting Facts?|
|Michael Oliver||Ashington, Northumberland||Newcastle United||Was on Sunderland’s books as a youth player|
Never refereed a Newcastle or Sunderland match
|Martin Atkinson||Bradford, West Yorkshire||Leeds United||Never refereed a Bradford or Leeds match|
|Anthony Taylor||Wythenshawe, Manchester||Altrincham||Refereed 25 Man City matches and 32 Man Utd matches|
|Mike Dean||Wirral, Merseyside||Tranmere Rovers||Refereed 7 Everton matches and 6 Liverpool matches (including 3 Merseyside derbies)|
Was dropped from the 2006 FA Cup final (Liverpool vs West Ham)
Showed a record 100th PL red card in April 2019
|Chris Kavanagh||Manchester||Unknown||Refereed 3 Man City matches and 5 Man Utd matches|
Sent Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti off after final whistle in 1-1 draw with Man Utd in March 2020
|Jonathan Moss||Sunderland||Sunderland||Was on Sunderland’s and Millwall’s books as a youth player|
Previously a school teacher, sent off his old pupil James Milner in January 2019
Now also owns a record shop
Never refereed a Sunderland match, refereed 2 Newcastle matches (not since 2009) and 10 Millwall matches
|Craig Pawson||Sheffield||Sheffield United||Never refereed a Sheff Utd, Sheff Wed, Doncaster or Rotherham match, refereed 1 Barnsley match (all South Yorkshire clubs)|
|Paul Tierney||Wigan||Wigan Athletic||Never refereed a Wigan match|
|Stuart Attwell||Nuneaton||Luton Town||Awarded Reading’s ‘ghost goal’ vs Watford (Luton’s nearest rival) in Sep 2008|
Never refereed a Luton match, refereed 4 Watford matches
|David Coote||Winthorpe, Nottinghamshire||Unknown||Never refereed a Nottingham Forest or Notts County match|
Son of David Coote Snr, who played for Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club
|Kevin Friend||Bristol (but Leicestershire-based)||Bristol City and Leicester City||Was dropped from Tottenham’s PL game at Stoke in April 2016 due to Spurs being in title race with Leicester|
Never refereed a Leicester match, refereed 6 Bristol City matches and 4 Bristol Rovers matches
|Andre Marriner||Birmingham||Aston Villa||Awarded the latest penalty in PL history when giving Liverpool a 102nd-minute spot-kick vs Arsenal in April 2011|
Never refereed Birmingham or Aston Villa matches, refereed 1 West Brom match
|Lee Mason||Bolton||Bolton Wanderers||Younger brother Andy was on Bolton’s books in mid-1990s|
Never refereed a Bolton match
|Peter Bankes||Merseyside||Unknown||Never refereed a Liverpool, Everton or Tranmere match|
|Graham Scott||Oxfordshire||Swindon Town||Never refereed a Swindon or Oxford match|
|Darren England||Barnsley||Unknown||Used to be a coach in Barnsley’s academy, worked with the likes of John Stones and Mason Holgate|
Never refereed a Barnsley or Doncaster match, refereed 1 Rotherham match, 1 Sheff Utd match, 3 Sheff Wed matches
|Simon Hooper||Swindon||Swindon Town||Formerly in Swindon’s academy|
Never refereed a Swindon match
|Andy Madley||Huddersfield||Unknown||Older brother of former PL referee Bobby Madley – a Huddersfield Town fan|
Never refereed a Huddersfield match, refereed 1 Bradford match and 5 Leeds matches
|Robert Jones||Merseyside||Unknown||Never refereed an Everton, Liverpool or Tranmere match|
|Oliver Langford||West Midlands||Wolverhampton Wanderers||Never refereed a Wolves match, refereed 6 West Brom matches|
|Tim Robinson||Middleton-on-Sea, West Sussex||Unknown||Former PE teacher, officiated first PL game in Dec 2019 (Burnley vs Newcastle)|
Are There Rules On This For Referees To Follow?
Yes – at the beginning of every season, each referees’ background information is collated by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the organisation who appoints them to Premier League games.
This involves the referees completing a form including who they support, whether they’ve previously played football and where they currently live.
According to the PGMOL, this is so as to avoid “unnecessary extra external pressure and scrutiny on referees” in an “already a high pressure and demanding job.”
Has a Referee Ever Been in Charge of a Game With His Own Team?
He told the BBC: “I lived 35 miles away from Loftus Road. I refereed one win and one loss and I thought ‘I can’t do this again’.
“I never told them initially because it was back in the 1990s and things like that were only just starting to happen.
“I had to declare it because I felt like celebrating when they won. But once you’ve crossed the white line you’re the ref and you always remained professional.”