Stuart Attwell from Warwickshire returns to W12 to officiate Rangers clash with West Bromwich Albion
The young official broke the record to be the youngest referee to be promoted to the top flight, beating then 29 year old Mark Clattenberg to the title.
After one season refereeing in the Football League, the powers-that-be decided Mr Attwell was worthy of a call up to the Premier League, a decision that has come under much scrutiny in light of recent poor officiating displays.
A succession of errors have turned the young referee`s meteoric rise up the refereeing ladder into a laughing stock – as he continues to lose control of fixtures and dish cards out like confetti.
Indeed his most famed blunder is the infamous Ghost Goal of Vicarage Road. With Reading`s Noel Hunt desperately trying to salvage an attack he failed to keep the ball in play as the ball went inches over the line for a goal kick.
Linesman on that occasion, Nigel Bannister blamed an optical illusion for what he thought was a perfectly good goal and after consolation of Mr Attwell the pair decided a goal must be given. A frankly startling decision that was met with much criticism from players and managers alike.
So far this season in 21 games Mr Attwell has dished out 74 yellow cards and three reds, giving him a card average of 3.67 cards per game.
This weekend he will be assisted by Nick Kinseley (Essex) and Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire), with the fourth official being National Group referee Mick Russell (Hertfordshire).
His first chance back in the Championship was QPR`s midweek clash with promotion hopefuls Birmingham City. All preparation was thrown out of the window when Mr Attwell deemed a fair challenge by Mikele Leigertwood was worthy of a red card.
Loftus Road was more stunned than angered – but nevertheless the R`s had to plough on with ten men for the majority of the game.
Birmingham looked a shadow of the side that battled valiantly against relegation last season, as Samuel Di Carmine slammed home a fierce drive from distance as the rain bucketed down in W12.
The decision to send of Leigertwood wasn`t even discussed by the FA who instead opted to back their blue-eyed boy by banning Mikele for a further game for what they deemed a frivellous appeal.
There was nowhere to hide for Rangers’ players in Attwell’s subsequent QPR game as Ipswich Town ran riot at Loftus Road.
Despite Samuel Di Carmine’s opener like on Sky, Jim Magilton’s Ipswich took Rangers to pieces in the second half with Jon Stead, Pablo Couñago and Jon Walters all striking for the Tractor Boyd.
Mr Attwell & Queens Park Rangers
QPR 1-0 Birmingham City – 28-10-2008
Goals: Samuel Di Carmine 54.
Yellow Cards: Radek Cerny, Emmanuel Ledesma; Franck Queudrue, Jared Wilson.
Red Cards: Mikele Leigertwood.
QPR 1-3 Ipswich Town – 21-02-2009
Goals: Samuel Di Carmine 3; Jon Stead 14, Pablo Couñago 61, Jon Walters 70
Yellow Cards: Ben Thatcher
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