Card happy referee in charge tomorrow

Last updated : 08 February 2002 By Tony Scholes

The 41 year-old Walsall official is in his fourth season as a Football League referee and looks intent on setting records for the issuing of cards. It seems that he sees it as the answer to everything and to date in 112 league and cup games he has issued 351 yellow and a staggering 24 red cards.

Already this season the yellow cards has been shown 75 times and the red 6 times in just 20 games. Twice he has issued a red card to two players in a game this season. In the Wigan Athletic v Canvey Island FA Cup tie both Lee Ashcroft and Tony Dinning of Wigan saw red whilst Danny Allsopp of Notts County and Swindon's Neil Ruddock were sent off in Notts' 3-1 win.

The other two players who have received red cards from him this season are Bournemouth's Warren Feeney in a 2-1 win at Colchester and just last Saturday Shrewsbury's Luke Rodgers was sent off in a 2-2 home draw against Scunthorpe.

You are more likely to receive a yellow card from him if you are playing away from home, 30 of the 75 have gone to home players and 45 to away players.

He has already taken charge of one Burnley game this season, our 3-0 home win against Rotherham United. There were four yellow cards in this game, two each. The Burnley players booked were Gordon Armstrong and Kevin Ball.

Last season his only Burnley game was our 1-0 Boxing Day defeat against Barnsley and three of the four yellow cards that day went to Burnley players, Lenny Johnrose, Micky Mellon and Paul Smith.

In the 1999/2000 promotion season he was referee for our last home game against Cambridge, a 2-0 win that set us up for the game at Scunthorpe the week after. There were five yellow cards that day but only Paul Cook of Burnley was booked, the other four going to Cambridge players.

Back in his first season on the list, 1998/99, he first refereed us in our home game against Notts County. That was the day of the last minute Rune Vindheim equaliser and the sit in after the game in protest at the board. Warren carded both Andy Cooke and Paul Smith along with two Notts County players whilst later in the season he amazingly kept a clean sheet in our 1-1 draw at Wrexham.

So beware tomorrow, given this referee's record there should be three to four yellow cards and worryingly there is a better than one in five chance that a red card will be shown.