Cumberland FA is pleased to receive news that Anthony Backhouse will referee in the EFL Championship next season having been promoted to Select Group 2 by the PGMOL this week.
The 32-year old began refereeing aged 14 in the Carlisle Glass Longhorn Youth League and has gone from strength to strength, with career highlights including refereeing the National League Play-Off Final in 2017, being Fourth Official in the 2022 FA Trophy Final and referee of the FA Vase Final this year.
Scott Taylor, Cumberland FA Referee Development Officer, marked the announcement with the following comments:
“This is an amazing achievement for Anth and rich reward for him after a fantastic season. His recent FA appointment to referee the FA Vase Final at Wembley was an early indication to me that his ability, hard work and commitment over the season had been recognised and I was hopeful that he would be in the mix for promotion at the end of the season.
"His League One play-off appointment was another sign and so the news coming out of the PGMOL this week finally confirmed things and I am delighted for him, his Dad (Chris) and the entire family. I’ve known Anthony since about the age of 12 and actually trained him aged 14 on one of our Carlisle Referee Courses (back in the day!) He always showed ambition and a thirst for refereeing knowledge.
"He was running the line on Cumberland County League games aged 15 and when a little bit older would come on evening Lancashire League games with me as a teenager whilst studying for his A-Levels and people would ask me “who’s that kid?” and constantly compliment him on his Assistant Refereeing ability.
"He rapidly worked his way through the grassroots levels in Cumberland as a referee, mainly on games in the Northern Football Alliance League. Like many others he has benefitted enormously from being part of the Referee Academy (now known as County CORE Group) and soon achieved Level 4 status.
"Whilst away at university in Newcastle he gained his Level 3 and operated on the Football League as an Assistant Referee aged only 19. Further promotions then followed in quick succession to Level 2b and Level 2a.
"In 2017, he gained promotion to the National List of Referees aged 25 and found himself officiating in League One and League Two. In 2019 he became the first match official from the Cumberland FA to be appointed to the Premier League, when he acted as 4th official between Leicester City v Watford.
"Now, aged 32 he joins Select Group 2 which will allow him to work with the top PGMOL match officials and be involved on games in the Championship, Premier League and VAR. I know that commitments and a career off the pitch were a constant challenge and resulted in big sacrifices from a young age, however despite several setbacks, Anth still believed in his ability and what he wanted to achieve. He is an inspiration to us all in Cumberland and we look forward in watching him hopefully gain further success in the future.”
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