Mark Clattenburg will be the man in the middle as Queens Park Rangers face Wolverhampton Wanderers this weekend.
Clattenburg from County Durham is arguably one of England’s most decorated referees. He is both a select list referee and is a Fifa qualified official.
After refereeing in the North League for five years, Clattenburg made the inevitable steps up to become a Blue Square Premier League referee before joining the national list in 2000.
In 2004 he was promoted to the select list and barely two years later his efforts were rewarded in becoming a Fifa qualified official – taking charge of Uefa Champions League clashes.
This weekend he will be assisted by Mr Simon Beck (Bedfordshire) and Mr Andy Newbold (Leicestershire) with the fourth official Mr Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire).
Thus far Mr Clattenburg has dished out 70 yellow cards and five reds in 22 games – giving him an average of 3.41 cards per game.
Rangers first encountered Clattenburg in March 2003 as a playoff chasing QPR side turned over Huddersfield United in emphatic fashion. A Paul Furlong brace won the clash sandwiching a Dan Shittu goal at the Galpharm Stadium.
The season gradually improved from there as Rangers reached the playoffs after all. After drawing at Boundary Park, Mr Clattenburg oversaw Furlong strike once more this time defeating Oldham Athletic in the playoff semi-finals on an electric night in W12.
It came to pass that QPR would be beaten in the playoff final, but Clattenburg’s next R’s game would see them finally climb back to the second tier at the hands of Division Two strugglers Sheffield Wednesday.
Kevin Gallen and Paul Furlong had the R’s two goals to the good before Jon Shaw sent nerves rattling as he halved the deficit. A spectacular Chris Carr own goal secured the promotion dream for Ian Holloway’s Queens Park Rangers.
The luck of Clattenburg continued into the Championship as he oversaw a last gasp Georges Santos winner at Coventry City. Whether the ball had crossed the line was contentious, but the goal was given and Rangers kept up some fine form.
Eventually however the luck was to run out, and Gary Waddock’s QPR were beaten at Burnley on the opening day of the 2006/07 season. Steve Jones’ brace was enough to see the Clarets past QPR on the day.
Fast forward to 2010/11 and Mr Clattenburg oversaw what was a crucial clash between Nottingham Forest and QPR. Live on Sky, Tommy Smith gave the hosts a fantastic lead from the edge of the area before Radoslaw Majewski saw red for a poorly-timed lunge.
David McGoldrick was on hand to equalise for the Reds who were at that stage keeping tabs on the division’s top sides.
Leeds United came calling on a special day for Queens Park Rangers as despite a slender home defeat by the whites – the only side to do the double over Rangers that season – QPR finished as Football League champions.
Earlier in this Premier League campaign Mr Clattenberg oversaw a 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers. Heidar Helguson’s neat chip was levelled by a towering Chris Samba header. He then oversaw QPR’s first clash against a fellow promotee in Norwich City.
Russell Martin netted in successive games against QPR before Jamie Mackie equalised for the visiting side – it would prove to be Grant Holt’s day however as the forward came from the bench to nod the winner for the Canaries.
Mr Clattenburg & Queens Park Rangers
Huddersfield United 0-3 QPR 04/03/2003
Goals: Paul Furlong 5, 90, Dan Shittu 38
Yellow Cards: Kevin Sharp, Jon Stead; Clarke Carlisle, Gino Padula, Marc Bircham, Richard Langley, Paul Furlong
QPR 1-0 Oldham Athletic – 14/05/2003
Goals: Paul Furlong 82
Yellow Cards: Kevin Gallen; John Eyre
Red Cards: Wayne Andrews
Sheffield Wednesday 1-3 QPR 08/05/2004
Goals: Jon Shaw 59; Kevin Gallen 35, Paul Furlong 48, Chris Carr 69og
Yellow Cards: Derek Geary, Terry Cooke; Gino Padula, Richard Edghill
Coventry City 1-2 QPR – 22/01/2005
Goals: Ady Williams 59; Jamie Cureton 13, Georges Santos 90
Yellow Cards: Louis Carey, Dean Leacock, Gary McSheffrey; Andy Davies, Marcus Bignot, Gareth Ainsworth, Kevin Gallen.
Burnley 2-0 QPR – 05/08/2006
Goals: Steve Jones 59, 69
Yellow Cards: Mike Duff, Jon Harley, James O’Connor
QPR 1-1 Nottingham Forest – 13/02/2011
Goals: Tommy Smith 16; David McGoldrick 26
Yellow Cards: Kaspars Gorkss, Shaun Derry, Adel Taarabt; Nathan Tyson
Red Cards: Radoslaw Majewski.
QPR 1-2 Leeds United – 07/05/2011
Goals: Heidar Helguson 1; Max Gradel 38, Ross McCormack 68
Yellow Cards: Adel Taarabt
QPR 1-1 Blackburn Rovers – 15/10/2011
Goals: Heidar Helguson 16; Christopher Samba 24
Yellow Cards: Fitz Hall, Armand Traoré, Shaun Wright-Phillips; Jason Lowe, Steven N’Zonzi.
Norwich City 2-1 QPR – 26/11/2011
Goals: Russell Martin 14, Grant Holt 73; Luke Young 59
Yellow Cards: Kyle Naughton