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Ref Watch ....... Charlton (A)


Life President
Oct 28, 2003
We are way behind Charlton in head-to-head League matches having won only 10 to their 25, with 10 draws. Our only win there in the last 85 years came 23 years ago when goals from Dublin, Thomson and Tilson gave us a 3-0 win.

For tomorrow’s visit we have a Select Group referee – one who is allowed to referee Premier League matches, although they haven’t yet trusted him with one involving any top teams!

It will be Simon Hooper from Swindon refereeing Southend for the eighth time in his 11th season as a League referee. On Swindon’s books as a junior he was released at the age of 16 and turned his attentions towards refereeing. He also represented Wiltshire at tennis and athletics in his younger days.

Since the formation of Select Group 2 we have seen nothing of him since the Millwall home match in the Paint Trophy back in 2015/16. Fairly low key game but he did okay – a caution for Coker and one of theirs in our 0-2 defeat. That was his second visit to Roots Hall that season, having done the 2-1 home win over Peterborough when he started badly and improved slightly as the game went on. Again, one yellow apiece, ours to Leonard.

Before that he was, of course, the man who refereed the Play-Off Final at Wembley and who, in my opinion, did so rather badly. Someone must like him as his promotions seem to be despite rather than because of his performances.

Prior to that final, his most recent Southend match was the unfortunate game at Mansfield in 2013/14 when we lost 2-1 and had Clifford sent off along with yellows for Bentley, White and Barnard. Phil Brown went very public with his criticism of the referee on this occasion and it seemed from the Wembley performance that Hooper still bore a grudge!

Before that it was the early season home draw with Northampton in 2011/12 - yellows for Mohsni, Grant and Phillips and 2 yellows and a red for them. His previous visit to Roots Hall was the match against Brighton (0-1) which I believe sealed our relegation in 2009/10. Only a yellow apiece, ours went to Moussa.

The other match was a win at Hereford, as always, in 2008/9 with all four yellows going to the home team.

He was also 4th Official at the away leg of our Orient JPT triumph en route to another visit to Wembley.

His card count this season is a very average 63 yellows and 3 reds from 21 matches.

Assisting are Peter Kirkup, a regular Premier lino from Northampton and Londoner, Neil Davies who’s certainly not in football for the money; educated at Oxford University he is an Actuary in the City of London. Fourth Official is a "proper" referee, Lee Swabey from Plymouth, in his fourth season as a Football League referee. He refereed our curtain raiser against Blackburn last season.