Date:Friday April 11 2008
Graham Laws from Tyne and Wear has been announced as the man to take charge of Rangers away trip to Hull City.
An experienced official, Laws, started his league career in 1997, refereeing his first game in the League Cup as Scunthorpe dispatched of Scarborough 2-0 at the McCain Stadium, with a brace from Alex Calvo-Garcia, whilst also sending off now Sky Sports pundit, Ian Snodin.
Laws was also heavily involved in 2002 playoffs, officiating Birmingham City`s away win to Millwall, whilst seeing Brentford through to the final with a 0-0 draw away to Huddersfield, whom Rangers were working hard to chase that year, and may have caught if it weren`t for the never-ending Leon Knight 90th minute winners. After seeing the Bees into the Division 2 Playoff Final, he refereed the final itself, handing out no cards as Stoke cantered to victory 2-0, over the R`s West London neighbours.
In 2004 he saw Brighton through to the Division 2 Playoff final, despite a loss at home to Swindon Town, whilst also seeing Huddersfield take the upper hand in the Division 3 Playoff Semi-Final in their away win at Lincoln. He saw Lincoln again at Sincil Bank the following year as they took advantage of Macclesfield, in the, then, League 2 playoff semi final.
Leon Knight`s double saw Swansea through to the final the following year; the year following he was back at Sincil Bank to see Lincoln lost 5-3 at home to Bristol Rovers, last seasons eventual winners. That capped off Laws` eighth playoff encounter to date as he has established himself as a League One referee.
In his lengthy refereeing career, Laws has only met the R`s six times, the first of which was just before the turn of the Millennium:
Rangers lost away to Bolton at the Reebok Stadium, after Gavin Peacock had drawn Rangers level from the penalty spot, Barcelona striker Eidur Gudjohnsen gave Bolton the win. After the turn of the Millennium, Laws oversaw the R`s taking apart Manchester City at Maine Road in a 3-1 win, Chris Kiwomya and Mikkel Beck were on target for the R`s.
In the final game of the 2001/02 season, Laws took charge of the R`s 1-0 defeat against Oldham Athletic, a game that meant nothing in terms of position with Oldham still finishing one place below the R`s.
Two more eventful away games ensued in Rangers playoff final season under the watchful eye of Graham Laws. Rangers took Mansfield to school in a 4-0 demolition at Field Mill, with the returning Clarke Carlisle receiving a standing ovation from the R`s faithful; Rangers then slumped to a 3-0 defeat against Notts. County in the build up to the Christmas period.
Since that day at Meadow Lane, Laws has only refereed one game, in the following season away at Wrexham, as Rangers took full advantage of the Welsh side`s inability to dispatch their chances, and with Marcus Bean scoring in the 7th minute, the R`s were on top; however with Kevin McLeod`s 72nd minute red card Rangers we hanging on. That was until Martin Rowlands stunning solo effort won it for the super hoops.
Mr. Laws has taken charge of a mere 28 games this season, showing 67 yellow cards and 2 reds; most recently sending off Sheffield United midfielder, Stephen Quinn in their 2-0 home defeat to Charlton.
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Date:Friday April 11 2008
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