Neil Swarbrick from Lancashire will once again oversee Sheffield United’s trip to Loftus Road this Saturday.
A referee that discovered his calling late Mr Swarbrick wasted no time in making his way up the ladder, making the National List of assistant referees in six years four years later he was promoted to the National List of referees. Something he has stated is the highlight of his career.
The last game R’s game he officiated was one of many bore draws in W12, and it was the Blades last visit to Loftus Road towards the end of last season – all his meetings with QPR are documented below.
After refereeing his first Championship clash in 2006, he took charge of his first Rangers fixture the following season. John Gregory`s QPR were beginning to flex their muscles in the race to stay in the league and Marc Nygaard in particular was in no mood to be relegated.
Loanee Iñigo Idiakez set the ball rolling with a header just after the break, before Nygaard netted a penalty before unleashed a fearsome volley from distance to kill the game off. A consolation from the penalty spot from Iain Hume was all that the Foxes could muster.
Mr Swarbrick must be thinking that Marc Nygaard is the best forward since sliced bread as the Great Dane struck an equaliser against Ipswich Town at Loftus Road. Sylvain Legwinski’s outstanding dipping volley cancelled out by the man mountain forward.
In his next Rangers game he saw the R’s defeated up at Hillsborough in a game which Hogan Ephraim was given his marching orders. The visitors had the lead after 15 minutes when Delaney latched onto a dragback to net his first goal for QPR.
Sheffield Wednesday hit back before half time with Graham Kavanagh nodding a looping header home past Lee Camp. The lead and the game was taken when Deon Burton converted a penalty. Substitute Hogan Ephraim lashed out in frustration by the corner flag and was rightfully handed a red by Mr Swarbrick.
The R’s opened their campaign against Barnsley under new boss Iain Dowie and Mr Swarbrick was there to witness the razzmatazz, glitz and glamour of Flavio Briatore’s pre match entertainment. All of which was forgotten as Iain Hume handed the Tykes a lead inside five minutes.
Two goals from defender Fitz Hall turned the game on its head before the half time break firstly bundling over the line before athletically turning in a right-footed volley. The pre-match fireworks continued on the field for Marciano van Homoet who got himself sent off for an ill-advised lunge.
Finally and most recently Mr Swarbrick took charge as Sheffield United came to town in March 2009, with the visitors in truth far better off in their chase for a playoff place.
Indeed Kevin Blackwell’s men were looking a tough unit in this clash, but the fixture petered out into a war of attrition rather than a fixture between two playoff chasers.
So far this season the official has refereed 19 games, dishing out 45 yellows and a couple of reds – giving him an average of 2.47 cards per game.
Mr Swarbrick & Queens Park Rangers
Leicester City 1-3 QPR – 17-03-07
Goals: Iain Hume 90pen; Iñigo Idiakez 47, Marc Nygaard 51pen, 68.
Yellow Cards: Iain Hume, Nils-Eric Johansson; Danny Cullip, Paul Furlong, Ray Jones, Damion Stewart.
QPR 1-1 Ipswich Town – 20-10-07
Goals: Marc Nygaard 73; Sylvain Legwinski 53.
Yellow Cards: Rowan Vine.
Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 QPR – 08-03-08
Goals: Graham Kavanagh 45, Deon Burton 52pen; Damien Delaney 15.
Yellow Cards: Marcus Tudgay; Damien Delaney, Damion Stewart.
Red Cards: Hogan Ephraim.
QPR 2-1 Barnsley – 09-08-08
Goals: Fitz Hall 29, 31; Iain Hume 5.
Yellow Cards: Lee Cook.
QPR 0-0 Sheffield United – 07-03-09
Yellow Cards: Damion Stewart
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