Chris Kavanagh

Referee Kavanagh Joins World Elite

Manchester FA’s first ever Premier League referee has been promoted once again, it has been confirmed.

Kavanagh, who recently took charge of the Merseyside derby, will be added to the FIFA list of match officials as of 1st January 2019.

The list is the highest accolade a match official can achieve, with the recipient able to officiate International fixtures.

 “It’s a dream come true to have been promoted to the FIFA list”, said Kavanagh. “To look back on where it all started, as a young lad on the parks pitches of Greater Manchester and then compare it to where I am today – I struggle to believe it!”

Having refereed 26 top flight games since making his debut at The Hawthorns in 2017, the Tameside-based referee is looking forward to the challenges ahead. “I’m extremely proud to be a Manchester FA referee and I have to thank my family, friends and colleagues for the amazing support along the way. I couldn’t have done it without them”.

After taking up the whistle aged 14, Chris’ rise to the top has been meteoric but to many, it has been no surprise. Manchester FA’s Referee Development Officer, Tom Elliott, said: “Since his promotion to Select Group 2 during the 2016/17 season, Chris has looked a natural in the professional game with outstanding performances, week after week. Despite this, he is often found at one of our Referee courses helping to educate new officials whenever he can.”

A former Referee Development Manager at Manchester FA, Kavanagh left the role to pursue his career in professional football.

Manchester FA CEO Colin Bridgford added: “What people don’t see when Chris is on Match of the Day officiating top level football, is the hard work that has been putting in for a number of years.  You will not find a more driven individual than Chris but as talented as he is, what inspires me most about him is his work ethic and determination to succeed. Match officials across Greater Manchester should see his achievements and know that these things are possible if you work hard enough!”

With more high profile games undoubtedly coming his way, keep an eye out for Chris on international duty during 2019 and beyond.

Photo credit: Tony Marshall/Getty Images