Arthur H Blythe
Intl. since:
Country: England

A referee from the 1940's and 50's, he last international season was 1950/51.
Arthur Blythe died in 2003.


In the 1950's the word obstruction appeared in football. A foul not bad enough for a direct free kick (a penalty is a direct free kick) but a foul nonetheless, so the indirect free kick¬?¬Ě was introduced by the English FA.

But this caused a problem for the referees, after every whistle players would come to the ref to ask if it the free kick was direct or indirect.

One day when Portsmouth was playing Man City, the Portsmouth chairman asked referee Blythe if he perhaps could raise an arm to indicate that the free kick was indirect, that way every one would know. Blythe decided to try it out, knowing the FA did not like its refs making gestures. He had the players and the audience informed.
The trial was a success and the raised arm is now a common sign.

Did you know

  • This is from "The Mercury" a newspaper from Hobart, Tasmania. March 26, 1951:
    To escape the anger of thousands of Newport County Easter football fans, referee Arthur Blythe was smuggled out of the Newport ground disguised as a St John ambulance officer.
    Blythe had called off the match against Norwich city 20 minutes before time when Newport was leading 5-0. Blythe collapsed from exhaustion when he reached the dressing shed after trying to control a game the conditions of which he later described as "impossible".
    Norwich players were hemmed in their dressing shed by several thousand Newport fans. One player ventured out - but only after disguising himself with a false moustache.

    (did they have false moustaches lying around?)
Statistics for ARTHUR H BLYTHE
Totals Home Away Total
Penalties 0 0 0
Fouls 0 0 0
Yellow 0 0 0
YellowRed 0 0 0
Red 0 0 0
Averages Home Away Total
Penalties 0 0 0
Fouls 0 0 0
Yellow 0 0 0
YellowRed 0 0 0
Red 0 0 0

Based on 1 international matches

Date Score Yellow Red Penalties Fouls
HungaryAustria1950-10-294 - 3 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)