Wigan Athletic travel to London on Saturday to face Fulham at Craven Cottage hoping to build on the run of just one defeat in ten games and also defend our unbeaten away record, so who will be the man in the middle charged with keeping the football flowing and protecting the Latics players, 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 top notch ref and recently took charge of the Champions League game between Bayern Munich and CFR Cluj.
In a recent interview with refworld.com (yes I know) Atkinson cites the Liverpool v 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 goal thriller.
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.
Games – 9, yellow cards – 33, red cards – 3.
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