Date: 10th March 2014 at 10:17pm
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Sheffield Wednesday are in town on Wednesday as the Latics get back on the Championship trail, the man charged with ensuring fair play is Sunderland based referee Andy Haines. It will be the first time that he as refereed a Latics game

The 49 year old first got into refereeing when he lived in London, he was secretary for a seven a side league which struggled to recruit enough referees, he was bemoaning this fact to a friend who said ‘Then why don’t you get yourself a whistle’ came the blunt retort. ‘Me and my big mouth’ Andy says, ‘But that’s what I did.’

Haines progressed his refereeing career through the Spartan, South Midlands and Southern leagues and then, on moving to Sunderland in 2000, the Wearside and Northern leagues. The EDF project manager finally became a Football League referee in 2005

‘When I was in London, I just did it for the enjoyment’ Haines says. ‘I had no idea how to get up the ladder, how to get promoted. I never had any dizzy expectations. It was only when I’d moved to the North-East that I suddenly realised where I could get to.

‘Everyone has their own style but I always try to referee with a smile on my face. Hopefully, after 90 minutes, it’s still there. OK, perhaps not after every game!’

When asked about his ambitions Haines says – ‘I’d love to referee at Wembley, that would have to be the highlight of most referees’ careers

‘Maybe for a play-off final, any FA final would do me actually. To officiate at the national stadium, that’s really something to go for.’

Andy Haines Card Watch 2013/14

Games – 26
Yellows – 74
Reds – 9

Wigan Athletic v Sheffield Wednesday
Referee –
ANDY HAINES
Assistants – Paul Kettlewell and Glen Hart
Fourth Official – Sebastian Stockbridge

Andy Haines in the middle on Wednesday