Eric Jennings

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Eric Jennings
Eric Jennings (1969).jpg
Jennings in 1969
Full name Eric Thomas Jennings
Born 22 January 1923
Worcester, England
Died June 1988
Hereford, England
Years League Role
1954-1970 Football League Referee
Years League Role
1966-1970 FIFA listed Referee

Eric Thomas Jennings (22 January 1923 - June 1988) was an English football referee, who operated in the Football League and for FIFA. In his refereeing years he was based in Stourbridge in the West Midlands. Outside football he was employed as a technical representative for a water treatment company.


Jennings was promoted to the Football League referees List in 1954, aged only 31.

By the mid-1960s he was a leading English official and this was marked by his ascendancy to the FIFA List in 1966. His experience of officiating between nations was limited mainly to friendly matches, which included East Germany's 2-0 win against Romania at the Stadion der Freundschaft on 21 September 1966,[1] and the 2-2 draw between the Republic of Ireland and Poland at Dalymount Park on 15 May 1968.[2] He also handled games in the Home International competition of the time, such as Northern Ireland versus Scotland at Windsor Park, Belfast, on 18 April 1970.[3]

On 13 November 1968 he went to Amsterdam to referee Ajax versus Fenerbahçe in a European Cup second round tie,[4] but bettered this later that season on 13 April 1969 with a return to the Dutch club for its semi-final against Spartak Trnava.[5]

The following season (1969-70) was his last before retirement, and he was awarded the FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Leeds at Wembley on 11 April 1970 as the climax to his long and successful career. This game ended in a draw,[6] and in those days a replay was required. It was to be another seven years until the Final was given to a referee in his retirement season, when Bob Matthewson handled the Manchester United versus Liverpool game.

Jennings' career also overlapped with another top League and FIFA referee from his home town - Ken Burns.



  • FA Cup Final programme 1970, p12-13
  • Football League Handbooks, 1954–1970
  • Ionescu, Romeo (2004) The Complete Results & Line-Ups of the European Champions Clubs’ Cup 1955-1991, Soccer Books Limited.
  • Gilbert Upton (2005) Football League and Premiership Referees 1888 to 2005, Soccerdata


  1. ^ East Germany v. Romania Archived 29 July 2007 at, friendly match, 1966: statistical website.
  2. ^ Republic of Ireland v. Poland Archived 2 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, friendly match, 1968: statistical website.
  3. ^ Home Internationals, Northern Ireland v. Scotland, 1970: rsssf statistical website.
  4. ^ Ajax v. Fenerbahce, European Cup 2nd round, 1968: website.
  5. ^ Ajax v. Spartak Trnava, European cup semi-final, 1969: website.
  6. ^ Match details, FA Cup Final 1970: website.
Preceded by
George McCabe
FA Cup Final Referee
Succeeded by
Norman Burtenshaw