Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Thursday December 2 2010
Wigan Athletic face Stoke City on Saturday and a win against the Potters would be very welcome following three away defeats, Stoke play a physical style and Latics could well be looking to the referee for a strong performance, so who will be the man in the middle? Chester official Mike Jones that`s who.
This is the first time Jones will have taken charge of a Latics game since we beat Burnley 1-0 at the DW Stadium last season with a last minute Hugo Rodallega goal.
Mike Jones is famous or is it infamous for being at the centre of an incident last season which saw one of the strangest goals of all time, Jones allowed Darren Bents beach-ball goal for Sunderland
against Liverpool to stand. Unfortunately following that game at the Stadium of Light and a storm of controversy Jones had a little time out of the Premier League limelight and was demoted down to the Championship
He was heavily criticised at the time by former referee Dermott Gallagher for getting the laws of the game wrong, Gallagher said about the incident: 'It was a glaring error and it's difficult to fathom. Even referees in local parks should know that if there is an outside agent on the pitch then you stop the game and restart it with a drop ball.`
Well Mike Jones apparently didn`t know but I`m sure that he does now.
Fear not with this weather it`s more likely to be snowballs than beach balls on Saturday
The 41 year old whistle blower started refereeing because he was awful at football and sick of being left out at school when the other boys were kicking the ball around so he took to enforcing the laws of the game at the tender age of 15.
You almost feel sorry for him
Jones was promoted to become a football league referee in 1997 and progressed to the Premier League in 2008 when he took charge of the Hull City Wigan Athletic game, in a recent interview with Refworld.com Mike was asked:
What is the best game you have officiated and why?
'The best game for a sense of achievement was my First Premier League Game between Hull City and Wigan Athletic.'
A 5-0 away win for the Latics that day and one that Jonesy will remember all his life, lets hope that today we get another great victory.
Mike Jones Card Watch 2010/11:
Games - 14, Yellows - 48, Reds - 2
Latics and Proud
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Date:Thursday December 2 2010
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