Date:Monday March 17 2008
Clive Oliver from Northumberland has been announced as the man to take charge of QPR`s away trip to Wolves on Saturday.
Mr. Oliver has established himself as a League One/Championship standard referee following his introduction to league football in 2003. His first game as a Championship official was in 2003, when he presided over Preston North End`s 1-0 win over Gillingham. It`s certainly a family affair in the Oliver household as his son Michael also became a League accredited Referee last season.
Since then Mr. Oliver has had to work hard to get Championship games, with the majority of his games being officiated in Leagues 1 and 2. He finally met the R`s in April 2005 as an injury ravaged Rangers side travelled to Turf Moor to face Burnley. An Ade Akinbiyi brace did for Rangers relatively young side that day which included debuts for Pat Kanyuka, Scott Mullholland, Lewis Hamilton and Luke Townsend. Memories of Shabazz Baidoo being kicked off the pitch by the Burnley defenders meant he didn`t last long, as the referee didn`t give enough protection to Rangers young players.
Mr. Oliver finally started to get more Championship games in the 2006/07 season, refereeing 7, second-tier matches in total.
The only other time in which Mr. Oliver has officiated the R`s was up at Blackpool earlier on this season. The precarious conditions made for a difficult day all round with the official, with the official getting nothing decisive wrong, which is more than can be said for the Rangers player who succumbed to a 1-0 defeat in the last minute. Ben Burgess was the man to sink Rangers on that occasion.
This season Oliver has taken charge of 28 games, handing out 72 yellows and a solitary red card. That red was for Norwich midfielder Darel Russell for his ill-advised lunge on Leicester defender Richard Stearman, a challenge that gave the official no choice whatsoever.
Here`s to hoping he is a vast improvement on Mr. Thorpe`s abject display on Saturday.
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Date:Monday March 17 2008
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