Lee Probert, of Gloucestershire (and just 36 years old!) has been given the task of refereeing this weekend`s Coca-Cola Championship fixture between QPR and Cardiff. He will be assisted by Mr M Cairns and Mr S Child. The Fourth Official, with the dubious task of holding up the board showing how many minutes extra time is to be played at the end of each half (!!), will be Mr G Scott.
Mr Probert first started refereeing in 1986. He began in the Bristol non-professional leagues and Football Conference South, before being promoted to the Football League in 1998, as an assistant referee. He advanced to the national list of referees in 2003.
Probert has not refereed a QPR game yet this season; but in the 11 games he has been in charge so far this term, ranging from League Two up to the Premier League, he has wielded the yellow card 29 times. Pleasingly, he has not found the need to brandish the red card at all this season – let us hope he doesn`t have a need to this coming Saturday!!
Last season, Probert was the man-in-the-middle when QPR beat Charlton Athletic 1-0 at The Valley, in the live Sky TV game on 27th October 2007. Adam Bolder scored our winner on that occasion! Probert produced the yellow card twice that day.
He was also the 4th official at Loftus Road in December 2007, when QPR lost 1-2 to Crystal Palace. That night, Probert did send off Palace manager, Neil Warnock, for time-wasting at the end of the game, which elicited the following response from Warnock: ” you can’t really get any recognition as fourth official without doing something like that, but I was actually trying to speed play up!”
The first game that Probert took charge of which involved QPR was our away trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers on 23 October 2004. We lost 1-2 and Probert brandished not just 3 yellow cards that day, but one red as well. He was the “main man” for our home game against Preston, on 12 February 2005, which we also lost 1-2. That day he issued 6 yellows and 1 red!
On 9th April 2005, when QPR travelled to Sheffield United, Probert earned the wrath of then-manager Ian Holloway. Probert awarded the home side a last-minute penalty which cost us the points (we lost 2-3) and resulted in a tirade from Ollie. ‘He should go to Specsavers. Fans behind my dug-out were laughing and asking why it had been given. There’s no point in seeing the referee now. He’ll have a big smile on his face and they will have concocted a cock-and-bull story,’ Holloway moaned. That tirade nearly had Holloway in big trouble with the FA! That night both Martin Rowlands and Kevin Gallen scored to cancel out a double strike by Blades` Danny Webber, before the penalty gave the home side all three points. Probert doled out 4 yellow cards and one red, to Andrew Davies (late in injury time which also angered Holloway!)
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