Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Tuesday April 3 2012
Wigan Athletic face Chelsea on Saturday at Stamford Bridge, we are in some good form at the moment, we need to be considering our predicament, the Latics could well be looking to the referee for a strong but fair performance considering what's at stake, so who will be the man in the middle? Chester official Mike Jones that's who.
This will be the second time this season that Jones has been in charge of a Latics game, the first occasion was back in October when Fulham visited the DW Stadium and, despite the Latics dominating the game, they left with a two nil victory
Mike Jones is famous or is it infamous, for being at the centre of an incident which saw one of the strangest goals of all time, Jones allowed Darren Bents beach-ball goal for Sunderland against Liverpool to stand. Unfortunately for Mike following that game at the Stadium of Light and a storm of controversy he 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.
It all sounds like a load of balls to me.
The 43 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 v Wigan Athletic game, in an interview Mike was asked:
What is the best game you have officiated and why?
He replied: '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, let's hope that on Saturday we get another great victory.
Mike Jones Card Watch 2011/12
Games - 26
Yellows - 100
Reds - 9
Chelsea v Wigan Athletic (3pm)
Referee: M Jones
Assistants: D Bryan, G Turner
Fourth Official: S Attwell
Match Delegate: G Mackrell
PGMO: P Jones
Latics and Proud
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Date:Tuesday April 3 2012
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