Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Tuesday January 18 2011
This weekends Premier League game between Arsenal and Wigan Athletic at the Emirates Stadium will be officiated by Leicestershire referee and postman Kevin Friend.
It will be the third time this season that Friend (sounds strange saying that!) has refereed a Latics game, he was in charge of the Carling Cup win over Swansea and awarded us a penalty after Charles N`Zogbia was tripped in the area, maybe he really is a friend, or maybe not, he officiated in the 2-1 defeat away to Blackburn Rovers in November when he inexplicably disallowed a Charles N`Zogbia goal for, well for nothing.
The 39 year old has been refereeing since he was just 13 and made the grade all the way to the top when on 20th September 2009 he took charge of the Premier League game between Wolves and Fulham.
Speaking last summer about his appointment to the select group of ref`s Friend said he was chuffed but also that it was a challenge, now what could he mean by that?
Well being a former postie he could be worrying that if he got the letters wrong when booking or sending off players he could end up with the sack, sorry, couldn`t resist. So remember Kev its W-I-L-S-H-E-R-E
Friend said about his appointment to the big league: 'I'm chuffed to bits and really thrilled,'
'It is also a big challenge because it will be completely different to what I'm used to.
'There's a lot of pressure in the Premier League and there's a lot of money involved. I've been fourth official at all the big venues, but being out there in the middle will be a totally new experience.
'My promotion means I'm now full-time which allows me to concentrate solely on the football.'
Here`s hoping the fussy ref will be regarded as a friend of the Latics come 5 pm on Saturday.
Kevin Friend Card Watch 2010/11
Games - 19, yellows - 67, reds - 5
Latics and Proud
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Date:Tuesday January 18 2011
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