Should the Manchester United v Newcastle game have a referee born just six miles from Old Trafford?

Newcastle United visit Manchester United on Saturday desperately hoping for a result '“ but should the game have a referee born just six miles from Old Trafford?

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 3rd October 2018, 12:05 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd October 2018, 12:13 pm
Match referee Anthony Taylor grew up just a few miles from Old Trafford

Anthony Taylor will be the man in the middle, and some Magpies fans have voiced concerns around his appointment.

The 39-year-old, who has been refereeing in the Premier League since 2010, is allowed to officiate Man United games despite being from Wythenshawe as he doesn't support either Manchester club.

Altrincham chairman Grahame Rowley claimed in 2016 that Taylor was a fan of the National League North club.

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"He has helped with refereeing schools at the club and he is often at the ground.

"People around here always ask if you’re a Red or a Blue. He’s actually a great advocate for non-League football, and he should be praised not criticised.”

Taylor's avid support for Alty allows him to referee games involving Manchester clubs.

"Appointments are made by the Professional Game Match Officials Board.

"They take into account several factors, including the referee’s overall experience, their current form, how often they have refereed the clubs involved, which team the referee supports and any forthcoming international appointments."

Since 2012, according to, Taylor has refereed 19 Premier League matches involving Manchester United, five of which have ended in defeat.

The first followed when Newcastle were knocked out of the League Cup in a 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford in 2012.

And the other game ended in late drama as Ashley Young fired home a last gasp winner at St James's Park in 2015.

In those fixtures, Taylor has appeared to have refereed the game fairly, dishing out three yellow cards for Newcastle and two for Manchester United.

And while it will always be up for debate on whether Taylor should be allowed to take part in Manchester United games, it is encouraging to know he hasn't been at the centre of any major decisions when the two clubs lock horns.