Latics face Charlton Athletic at the DW Stadium this weekend, the man in the middle will be Essex official Michael Bull.
The 44 year old who works as a Project Manager in the City is making his debut this season as a Football League National List referee, some may say he is a little late in life to be making the grade and what has taken him so long? Well as with everything in life, there is a back story and Michael Bull may be recognised by the eagle eyed amongst you, he has been a Premier League assistant, running the line in support of the decision makers for the past three and a half years.
Now he is flying solo Bull reckons the experience of being with the big lads will stand him in good stead, Bull says – ‘I did three-and-a-half seasons on the Premier League and it’s a marvellous occasion
‘It is Roy of the Rovers stuff when you’re running out with all the people that you’ve watched on the TV.
‘It’s the next best thing from playing – it’s not like managing because if you’re managing you’re not out there.
‘We are out there, although we’re a separate team and we’re there just to run the occasion. But we are still a part of it in a very big way.’
Bull got his first taste of refereeing in the Football League last season, back in February he was given the Wycombe Wanderers v York City game and he was soon in the thick of the action awarding a penalty inside the first 90 seconds!
Bull said on the experience – ‘It was an interesting game because the very first decision I had to make within that game was after 82 seconds and that was to give a penalty.
‘It settled me down, I was buzzing around beforehand, the adrenaline had kicked in.
‘But once you’ve made a decision like that, you’re happy with it.’
This season Bull has made the National List and according to his own words, he is ‘over the moon’, he concluded – ‘To use an old footballing cliche, I’m over the moon’
‘I’m just pleased to be on the list and I’ll referee whatever game I’m asked to referee.
‘People have had disappointments before so you never like to think you are going to get on the list, you’re hopeful, but you do have to get through the interview.’
Well here’s hoping he isn’t full of Bull and we are left over the moon with his performance on Saturday
Michael Bull Card Watch 2013/14
Games – 14
Yellows – 44
Reds – 1
Wigan Athletic v Charlton Athletic
Referee – MICHAEL BULL
Assistants – Edward Smart and Nigel Smith
Fourth Official – Danny Gratton
Bull In Charge