Latics face Wolves on Saturday at the DW Stadium in a Championship game of massive importance to both clubs, the man aiming to prove that he is the exception to the rule that all referees at this level are garbage is Newport (Isle of Wight) official James Linnington, who has become something of a lucky charm for us.
This will be Linnington’s second Latics game this season, his first was our away win at Rotherham back in March, the only other Latics game that he’s had was away at Yeovil last season when we won courtesy of a Marc-Antoine Fortune goal, yes that is correct a Fortune goal.
The 33 year old plumber travels to all his games by ferry as he heads into Portsmouth from across the Solent, then makes his way by car to where ever he finds himself officiating.
The cost of the crossing is £60 return adding extra expenses to his refereeing fee Linnington remarked – ‘I think it’s the most expensive stretch of water in the world’
A former winger, he was released by two league clubs for being too small, before a growing spate shot him up to 6′ 2, ‘I just wasn’t strong enough,’ he recalled – and took up the whistle at 14. However, his growing spurt helped out with the refing ‘Having a tall presence, I think that helps my refereeing,’ he said. ‘I did think about going back to playing but I’m glad I didn’t now.’
In the 2009/10 season Linnington was the man in the middle for the League 2 play-off final between Dagenham and Redbridge against Rotherham United, he says – ‘To referee at your national stadium, well, you just can’t beat that.’ Erm James, you want to try winning the FA cup there, now that is something that you can’t beat.
James Linnington Card Watch 2014/15
Games – 36
Yellows – 95
Reds – 9
Wigan Athletic v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Referee – JAMES LININGTON
Assistants – Geoffrey Law and Gareth Mellor
Fourth Official – Kevin Wright
It’ll be Isle of Wight on the night for Linnington
Check out the latest PWU Podcast
This week we have a look back at Fulham and Millwall, another case of points dropped, the story of our season.
A night of controversy at The Den with three sending offs, referee Steve Martin as comical as his Hollywood funny man namesake.
Would Marc-Antoine Fortune score another goal for us if he played for another three seasons? I doubt it.
Brighton at the DW on Saturday, give the kids a run Gary, let’s see what we have in the squad for next season.
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