Joslin first took up the whistle in 1979, officiating in leagues local to his home town, eventually being made an assistant referee in the Football League in 1992. His promotion to the Premier League assistant referees' list came in 1995, perhaps unusually, as this happened before he had been appointed to referee in the Football League. In 1998, he was an assistant referee for Paul Durkin in the FA Cup Final at Wembley on 16 May 1998, when Arsenal defeated Newcastle 2–0.
His promotion to the FIFA list of assistant referees also came in 1995, and he was included as one of the English team of officials at Euro 96.
The step up to Football League referee came in 1999, with his first game being the Third Division tie on 7 August 1999 between Halifax and Darlington at The Shay, when the home side lost 1–0 to a Marco Gabbiadini goal. On 18 March 2000, he took charge of a semi-final, first leg, in the FA Vase between Vauxhall Motors and Chippenham, which finished 0–0.
Striker Jon Newby, then of Second Division Bury, seemed to imply in a 2001 post-match interview that he had fooled Joslin into giving a penalty kick against visiting side Wycombe in a League game on 2 October 2001 and then sending off their defender Paul McCarthy as "last man". Newby said: "He definitely had his hand on my shoulder. I will do anything to help us win so if there is contact I am going to go down." The Bolton Evening News remarked that "he did not help proceedings flow".
He was congratulated, however, on a particular performance during a First Division match, in which no cards were shown, between Ipswich Town and Burnley on 22 October 2002, which ended as a 2–2 draw. Burnley's assistant manager Sam Ellis said: "We had a word with him after the game and praised him for his part in a match of such quality. The ref let the game flow, decided against using yellow cards and he certainly helped it as a spectacle".
In 2004, he received further praise, this time from Darlington's then manager, David Hodgson, after reviewing a decision made during their FA Cup first round tie at home to Yeovil Town on 13 November 2004. "Joslin ... admitted he was wrong to send Close off in the closing stages", and rescinded the red card. Hodgson said: "It's not often that a referee will admit he is in the wrong but he has and I think he deserves a lot of credit for that. He has taken it upon himself to ring me and ask me what I saw. I told him and he agreed that he'd made a mistake."
He was an assistant referee for only the second match to be played at the "new" Wembley Stadium, as England under-16s played Spain under-16s on 28 April 2007 in front of 28,210 people, England winning 1–0.
Joslin received heavy criticism after the Championship match between Ipswich Town and Leicester City at Portman Road on 11 December 2007, which finished 3–1 to the home side. After Leicester's Patrick Kisnorbo had tackled the home side's Pablo Couñago in his own penalty area, Joslin appeared to indicate a corner kick. However, after discussion with his assistant referee, he awarded a penalty to Ipswich and sent Kisnorbo from the field. According to the Daily Mail, "ideo replays suggest he got a foot on the ball in his challenge on Counago and was unlucky to be sent off, but he did not leave the field immediately, which may put him in hot water with the FA". Subsequently though, after review, the referee rescinded the red card, and Leicester manager Ian Holloway commented: "The ref was overruled by his linesman and that's like me picking a team and then being overruled by my assistant".
On 13 March 2008, it was announced that Phil Joslin would be taking charge of the Football League Trophy Final at Wembley on 30 March 2008. The participating teams are Grimsby Town and MK Dons.
Read more about this topic: Phil Joslin (referee)
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