They’re the men in black that you love to hate, but someone has to do the job. Here’s EPL Talk’s guide to the Premier League referees for the 2008/2009 season (click on the referee’s name to view his photograph):
Martin Atkinson. Premier League ref since 2005. Age 37. On August 13, 2006 he took charge of the FA Community Shield match at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, between Liverpool and Chelsea.
Stuart Attwell. Premier League ref since 2008/2009 season. Youngest ever Premier League referee at 25 years of age.
Steve Bennett. Premier League referee since 1999. Age 47. Bennett was involved in some controversy when he refereed the Manchester United versus Liverpool Premier League encounter on March 23, 2008. He sent off Liverpool’s Argentine Midfielder Javier Mascherano for a second bookable offence.
Mark Clattenburg. Premier League ref since 2004. Age 33. He became a FIFA referee in 2006, at the age of only thirty, reaching this distinction earlier than any English referee in living memory.
Michael Dean. Premier League ref since 2000. Age 40. He was originally appointed to referee the 2006 FA Cup Final at the Millennium Stadium on May 13, 2006, but the Football Association took the unusual step of replacing him with Alan Wiley after concerns were raised about his ability to be impartial towards Liverpool, who are based near Dean’s home town in the Wirral.
Phil Dowd. Premier League ref since 2001. Age 45. He was heavily criticised by Wigan’s then manager, Paul Jewell, and their owner, Dave Whelan, following his performance in the club’s Premiership match with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on February 11, 2007.
Chris Foy. Premier League ref since 2001. Age 45. On February 3, 2008, Foy removed the Fulham mascot, Billy the Badger, from the playing area for breakdancing on it during their 2-1 home win over Aston Villa.
Mark Halsey. Premier League referee since 1999. Age 47. His first match in the EPL was the 1-1 draw between Wimbledon and Coventry City on August 14, 1999.
Michael Jones. Premier League ref since 2008/2009 season. Age 40.
Andre Marriner. Premier League ref since 2005. Age 37. He was given his first Premiership match on 13 November 2004 – the 4-0 home win by Charlton Athletic over Norwich City.
Lee Mason. Premier League ref since 2006. Age 36. His first ever match in that league as man-in-the-middle came on 4 February 2006, when Middlesbrough lost 4-0 at home to Aston Villa,
Mike Riley. Premier League ref since 1996. Age 43. During the first half of the home match against Newcastle on 30 April 2007 Kingsley Royal, the Reading club mascot, was sent from the field by the referee for standing too close to the pitch.
Keith Stroud. Premier League ref since 2007. Age 38. He was ‘trialed’ for the Premier League, being given the match on March 17, 2007 between Middlesbrough and Manchester City at the Riverside Stadium.
Rob Styles. Premier League ref since 2000. Age 44. On August 19, 2007, Styles refereed the Premier League game between Liverpool and Chelsea, where a controversial penalty was awarded by him to Chelsea Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez was quoted as saying that the decision was ‘unbelievable’. “That decision is impossible to explain, it was the invisible penalty” said Benítez after the 1–1 draw.
Steve Tanner. Premier League referee since 2007. Age 37. On January 1 2008 he was added to the FIFA list of referees, replacing Graham Poll, allowing him to referee in international and continental competitions.
Peter Walton. Premier League ref since 2003. Age 48. His first ever Premiership match in charge was the 4-3 home win by Wolverhampton Wanderers over Leicester City at Molineux on 25 October 2003.
Howard Webb. Premier League referee since 2003. Age 37. Refereed at Euro 2008 but was not selected to referee the knock-out stages.
Alan Wiley. Premier League since 1999. Age 48. He took charge of the FA Cup Final on May 13, 2006 when Liverpool played West Ham United at Wembley.