Michael Oliver will take charge of the final fixture of the season as Rangers look to derail Preston North End`s playoff ambitions at Deepdale.
Image courtesy of refworld.com
Mr Oliver from Northumberland is the son of fellow official Clive Oliver and believes his father was the inspiration behind making the decision to become a referee.
At the age of 14 the young official took up refereeing and eight years later at the age of 22 he had made the national list of officials.
He holds the record for the youngest official to ply his trade at Wembley when refereeing Morecambe`s playoff final victory over Exeter City. He and Clive are the only father and son partnership to appear on the list at the same time.
Mr Oliver`s first league game was Grimsby Town`s 1-0 away victory over Hereford United, his only league fixture of the 2006/07 as he refereed predominantly at Conference level. The aforementioned playoff final wrapped up a satisfactory first year.
Moving into 2007/08 and Mr Oliver had more league responsibilities, starting the season mainly refereeing League Two games, before progressing into League One midway through the season. Three Championship fixtures also followed for the young official the first of which was Burnley`s 2-0 win over Scunthorpe United just after the turn of the year.
In 29 games that season the emerging referee handed out 73 yellows and six reds as he sought to build on what was a positive rise through the leagues.
He was granted his wish with further Championship games – 15 of his 38 fixtures this campaign have been refereed in the second tier where Mr Oliver has had the chance to walk out at grounds such as St Andrews, Pride Park and Bramall Lane.
In those 38 games this season Mr Oliver has handed out 90 yellows and five reds which is an average of 2.5 cards per game.
Michael Oliver has yet to referee a QPR game and will get his first taste this weekend as Gareth Ainsworth looks to dent his former side`s playoff ambitions.