Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool (01/11/2008) - Meet the Referee
Thursday, 30th October 2008
Phil Dowd of Staffordshire will referee his first Liverpool game this season as we travel to London to play Tottenham Hotspur.

The 45-year old has been refereeing for 24 years now and took up the whistle after taking charge of a local game when the original referee did not turn up. He was told by both managers that he was poor, so he decided to prove them both wrong and went on a refereeing course.

Three years after receiving his certificate he was officiating in the Staffordshire Senior League. In 1992 he was promoted to the Football League as a linesman. He spent five seasons with the flag before finally been given the chance in the middle of the park. Four years later he finally made the big jump to the Premiership.

Phil has yet to referee a domestic final, but he was fourth official for our dramatic FA Cup Final penalty win over West Ham United in 2006.

He has now been refereeing in the top flight for 8 seasons, and his relatively late start as a referee has probably prevented any promotion to European football. Two seasons ago he was heavily criticised by Paul Jewell, who was the Wigan manager at the time and the Wigan owner Dave Whelan after his performance during their clash with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. Jewell claimed he was the worst referee in the league and that he had sworn at his players. Jewell was charged with ‘Improper Conduct' and Dowd did not referee another top flight game for the rest of the season. This meant that he never refereed Liverpool at all during 2007.

It will also be his first time in charge of a Spurs match this season, ironically Dowd's last match at White Hart Lane was against Portsmouth. Goals from Bent and O'Hara ensured the points stayed in North London.

Saturday's game will mean that Phil has refereed three Premiership games this week, the previous two ended up in victories for the away side. Arsenal's 2-0 win at West Ham and Everton's last minute win at Bolton on Wednesday night.

His last Liverpool game was also in North London, last April he was in charge of our 1-1 draw at Arsenal. This ended a run of four consecutive defeats in London under Dowd.

His assistants for the game are Mike Bull and John Flynn with Keith Hill as the fourth official.

Some memorable matches involving Liverpool and Phil Dowd.

6th November 2002 - Liverpool beat Southampton 3-1 in a Worthington Cup tie. The game saw the debut of John Otsemobor and Patrik Berger's last Liverpool goal.

5th February 2003 - Crystal Palace shock Liverpool by winning 2-0 in a FA Cup 4th round reply, they even had Dougie Freedman sent-off for elbowing Sami Hyppia.

13th November 2004 - Milan Baros scores his first ever Liverpool hat-trick including two penalties - one of them in the last minute to beat Crystal Palace 3-2.

25th October 2005 - Crystal Palace knock us out of the Carling Cup with a 2-1 win at Selhurst Park.

30th November 2005 - Momo Sissoko is sent off in a 2-0 win at Sunderland.

25th March 2006 - 10 yellows and 2 reds as Everton are defeated 3-1 at Anfield with goals from a Phil Neville (og), Garcia and Harry Kewell.

23rd December 2006 - Craig Bellamy scores his last Liverpool goal in a 2-0 home win over Watford.

26th January 2008 - A Benayoun hat-trick sees off a spirited performance by Havant & Waterlooville in the FA Cup.

2nd March 2008 - Aurelio scores his first Liverpool goal in a 3-1 win at Bolton.

5th April 2008 - Damien Plessis makes his Liverpool debut in a 1-1 draw at Arsenal.

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