Date:Monday October 13 2008
Fred Graham from Essex with referee Rangers fixture at the weekend against Nottingham Forest.
The 44 year old official was a slow starter to the refereeing circuit, only being promoted to the referee`s list in 2000.
Since then he has taken his time working his way up the leagues, through the Conference and into the Football League. He has spent most of his career officiating the lower echelons of the Football League - refereeing Rangers for the first time last season, fully eight years after joining the list.
Rangers 0-0 draw at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers last season was hardly a fixture to capture the imagination. The R`s could and should have taken three points in W12 - but in the end were lucky to leave with a point after Stephen Elliott`s close range miss.
Graham won a lot of admirers and critics on the same day as his continuance to let the game flow meant free-kicks were at a minimum as were cards.
A Gillingham fan on the BBC messageboard was less than pleased with Mr. Graham`s performance in their 1-1 draw with Southend United last season:
"Mr. Fred Graham, made a whole host of ridiculous decisions, giving us absolutely nothing. I'm not just saying this because I am a Gills fan, but he was a joke.
"I'm sure he just flipped a coin to see who the decision should go to. He even gave obvious throw-ins the wrong way, and proceeded to give totally incorrect reasoning for his decision.
"Not only did he mess up most of the decision-making he had to do, he managed to let Southend completely destroy the second half. The ball was not in play for longer than 3 minutes at a time because the Southend pansies decided to start crying everytime they were touched by another player.
"Yes, they should receive a large amount of the blame for this, but the referee let it happen. He continually stopped the game for injuries, only to see the player get up 2 minutes later and start running around again.
Strong words indeed as the referee continues to divide opinion - but once again the very fact that the refereeing hierarchy haven`t deemed him worthy of higher duties earlier, paints a picture of their opinions.
Mr. Graham & Queens Park Rangers
QPR 0-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers - 15th December 2007.
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Date:Monday October 13 2008
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