20 December 1965|
Preston, Lancashire, England
|? – ?||Northern Premier League||Referee|
|? – ?||Conference||Referee|
|2005–2011||The Football League||Referee|
Swarbrick took up refereeing relatively late, at the age of 29. Within six years he was promoted to the National List of assistant referees. He fulfilled this role for four years before being added to the Referees' List.
He refereed in the Football Conference until moving up into the Football League. He has also officiated FA Cup and Football League Cup matches. Swarbrick's first Premier League appointment came in December 2010 when he took charge of a goalless draw between Fulham and Sunderland. During his second Premier League appointment in February 2011 Swarbrick issued his first red card in England's top division, to DJ Campbell of Blackpool as they lost 4-0 away to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
It was announced on 20 June 2011 that Swarbrick had been promoted to the Select Group of Referees who officiate all Premier League fixtures. He joined the Select Group for the 2011/12 season alongside fellow newly promoted official Jonathan Moss.
After a match between Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa on 24 February 2018, Swarbrick attracted criticism for his performance. In the game, he awarded 16 fouls to the away side, and only one to home side, which was seen as an unfair imbalance between the two sides. Swarbrick also turned down a penalty appeal for Wednesday, Villa defender John Terry appeared to get away with what looked like a red card offence for a foul on striker Atdhe Nuhiu, and he awarded a questionable late penalty to Villa. His performance was defended former Premier League referee Roger Dilkes.
Swarbrick retired from refereeing at the end of the 2017/18 season however will continue to work and lead the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in the Premier League. He is Head of Implementation of VAR in the Premier League and is involved in the training of Select Group 1 and Select Group 2 referees to use VAR when it is introduced in the 2019/20 season.
|Season||Games||Total||per game||Total||per game|
- "Neil Swarbrick - Football Referee". Football-lineups.com. 20 December 1965. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- "Wolves 4-0 Blackpool". 26 February 2011 – via news.bbc.co.uk.
- "Sheffield Wednesday 2-4 Aston Villa". 24 February 2018 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- Cusick, Aiden. "Sheffield Wednesday 2-4 Aston Villa: Pair defend performance of referee Neil Swarbrick".
- "Aston Villa's Sheffield Wednesday win ruined by 'match fixing' claims". 24 February 2018.