[C]umberland Football Association has announced that county referee, Anthony Backhouse, has been promoted and will commence 2017/18 as a Level 1 National List Referee; meaning that the26 year-old will be appointed to matches in the English Football League (EFL).
The news comes just days after Anthony oversaw the National League Play-Off final between Tranmere Rovers and winners Forest Green Rovers.
Promotion to Level 1 National List of Referees makes Anthony the first Cumberland official in over 40 years to be added to the EFL list, whilst he also becomes the youngest ever from the county alongside being the youngest on the 2017/18 National List of Referees.
Anthony, affiliated to Cumberland FA, commenced his refereeing at the age of 14 and becomes the first-ever referee from Cumberland to take charge at the national stadium. Anthony’s dad, Chris, who was also a referee, inspired Anthony and has supported him throughout his rise to his current position.
After realising his potential as a referee, Anthony began working his way up the promotion ladder. He finished playing football at 18 so as to concentrate on his goal of becoming a top-flight official.
Through his career to date, Anthony has taken charge of county finals and, at the age of 26, became one of the youngest officials to take charge at Wembley. His promotion to the National List of Referees is the result of an incredible amount of belief, hard work and dedication
Upon receiving news of his promotion, Anthony said: “I was overwhelmed when I received the phone call informing me I had been promoted to the top level.
“Those who are close to me understand the huge amount I have sacrificed and compromised in order to achieve this level, so I’m just relieved that my hard work and dedication has paid off. I’ll enjoy the summer break, but will be training hard to ensure I’m fully prepared for the start of the 2017/18 season.
“Officiating at Wembley was a fantastic experience, but this news is icing on the cake. Once again, I would like to thank all those who have supported and guided me through my career so far, especially my family.”
Steve Dobinson, Referee Development Officer at Cumberland FA, added: “Everybody at Cumberland FA is extremely proud of Anthony and congratulates him on his promotion. This is a fantastic achievement for such a young referee – and Cumberland in general should be proud. Anthony is a brilliant role model for all our referees. His hard work and dedication is a credit to himself, his family, all county referees and the Association. Throughout his development, Anthony has perfectly encapsulated the values set out by The FA’s DNA of English Refereeing including respect, empathy, fitness, evaluation, reliability, education and excellence. These are integral values that we work to ensure every referee observes.”
For more information on getting involved in refereeing in Cumberland, please contact Steve Dobinson, Referee Development Officer at the Cumberland FA, via [email protected] or 01900 872310.