Wembley referee makes jump to Football League ranks

Referee Paul Marsden
Referee Paul Marsden
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The Fylde Coast has a new Football League referee.

Paul Marsden, 33, assistant principal at Hodgson Academy in Poulton, has been promoted to Level 1 after just one season refereeing in the National League Premier division.

Paul was the Fourth Official at the National League play-off final at Wembley earlier this month when Tranmere defeated Boreham Wood 2-1.

He is one of just six to make the leap into the professional game after a hugely impressive season in the middle.

He follows in the footsteps of Scott Oldham, also from Poulton, who was promoted to the Football League last year - the first Fylde coast referee to reach those heights since Mark Cowburn, who retired in 2006.

He will officiate in League One and League Two next season as a National List referee.

Leigh Doughty, 28, a teacher at Carr Hill High in Kirkham, has been promoted to Level 2a and will officiate in the National League Premier. He took charge of the recent National League North play-off final between Harrogate and Brackley.

Richard Aspinall and Elliott Swallow, from Marton, and Nat Cox, from Bispham, are now 2b referees having been promoted from the Evostik League to the National League North.