A referee for over 26 years, Simpson started through the North Lancashire and West Lancashire Football Leagues and the Contributory League Referees, before gaining promotion to the Professional Game Match Officials List during the 2005/06 season as an assistant referee.
In 2007 he was an Assistant Referee for the FA Vase Final at Wembley, and then subsequently promoted onto the Select Group 1 and FIFA International list as an Assistant Referee and for three seasons (2007-10), officiated in many Champions League, UEFA Cup and International appointments as well as serving in the Premier League.
From 2010, Simpson concentrated on refereeing and was promoted onto the National Referee list in 2012/13 season after refereeing the Conference Play-Off Final at Wembley (York City vs Luton Town in May 2012). He has refereed over 200 EFL games, and since the start of the 2016/17 season, has been part of the Select Group 2 Referee list.
Simpson has taken charge of just one fixture so far this season, officiating Preston North End’s 3-0 league win over Wigan Athletic ten days ago. Assisting Simpson tonight will be Shaun Hudson and Andrew Fox, while Andy Woolmer will be on fourth official duties.