Wigan Athletic travel to London on Sunday to face Chelsea in what is possibly the biggest Premier League game of the season with none other than the title of champions at stake, so who have we got to control any antics, keep the peace and keep the football flowing, Martin Atkinson that`s who.
Bradford born Atkinson started refereeing at the age of 16 and by 34 he had made his Premier League debut when on the 20th April 2005 he took charge of the Manchester City Vs Birmingham City game.
Atkinson is now a regular top flight ref and so far this season he has taken charge of 48 games including the Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United game at the start of November, omens?
In a recent interview with refworld.com (yes I know) Atkinson cites the Liverpool Vs Arsenal Carling Cup tie as the best game he`s been involved in, the score finished 3-6 in Arsenals favour and it was a nine (ouch) goal thriller, cant seem to get away from that number this season!
Below is an excerpt from the interview:
How did you get introduced into refereeing?
Started refereeing at the age of 16 due to the local team not having a Referee to officiate games. I therefore took the FA Referees instruction course in order to make myself available. I was encouraged by a local Referee who assisted me at the start of my career.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
There have been numerous highlights in my career to date including promotion onto the National List of Referees, promotion onto the Select Group of Referees. The highlights of my career was the appointment to the FIFA international list and refereeing The 2006 FA Community Shield at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.
What is the best game you have officiated and why?
Best game involved in was the Liverpool v Arsenal re-arranged Carling Cup tie a couple of years back. I had to postpone the first game due to fog, then the re-arranged game produced nine goals in a 3-6 win for Arsenal. This was an end-to-end game of cup football and a pleasure to be involved in as a Referee.
Have a good game Martin on Sunday we don`t want to give Chelsea any excuses when we do the double over them.
48 games, 186 yellow cards and 5 reds
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