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Life President
Oct 28, 2003
As we look to improve on a poor recent record at Griffin Park (no win for over 22 years) the man in charge of tomorrow's replay, weather permitting, is the shaven-headed 41 year old, Darren Drysdale from Lincolnshire. A sergeant in the RAF, on the human resources side, he began refereeing in 1988, officiating in the Northern Alliance and Northern Premier League, became an assistant referee for the Football League in 1996, and in1997 progressed to being a Conference North referee. In 1998 he was appointed as an assistant referee for the Premier League, and two years later was given the honour of being an assistant referee to Graham Poll in the 2000 FA Cup Final, he also became a FIFA assistant referee in the same year. In 2002, he became a UEFA assistant referee, one of only three from the UK at the time. He was appointed to the Football League List of referees in 2004.

He attracted some media attention in 2007 after Bradford City's Dean Windass received a five-match ban for swearing at him in the car park after a home game against Brentford.

He was dropped from the list a couple of years later and is now in his second spell as a League referee. Apparently he drives a top of the range Bentley with personalised number plates.

We have seen little of him over his 8 years; just four matches.

Most recently was the 3-2 away win this season at Bristol Rovers when any criticism would have centred on a slightly soft penalty. He sent off one of theirs and booked Tomlin and Phillips. Before that he brought the curtain down on last season with the home play-off match against Crewe which, of course, we drew 2-2. Four cautions - one for us (the badly-missed Grant) and 3 for them including a controversial one for simulation.

Previously, it was a 3-2 home defeat by Coventry in 2006/7 (2 yellows apiece) and the 2-1 win at Port Vale the following season when Macca got the winner (we shaded the yellows 3-2).

His card count was incredibly low last season but this season it has crept above average with 77 yellows and 4 reds from 22 matches, a good number of which have been in the Championship.

Assistants are Darren Blunden from Dartford and brummie Andy Hendley (who was with Drysdale at that Bristol match). As it's the 3rd round of the cup we have a "proper" referee as 4th Official, Brendon Malone from Salisbury who refereed the Barnet hoime match this season.