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Life President
Oct 28, 2003
The man in charge of tomorrow's early kick off will be Simon Hooper from Swindon refereeing Southend for the sixth time in his 8th 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.

He will need little introduction to most, being the man who refereed the Play-Off Final last year and who, in my opinion, did so rather badly. Someone must like him because he has already been given a Premiership match this season; suffice to say he probably won't get another one any time soon.

Before that final, his most recent Southend match was the unfortunate game at Mansfield the season before last 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 bears 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 our last visit to Wembley.

His card count this season is a low 11 yellows and no reds from 6 matches, having been pretty average last season in this respect.

Assisting are John O'Brien from London and decent non-league referee Alan Young from Ely. The latter works as Referee Development Manager for the Cambridgeshire FA. Fourth Official is a "proper" referee as the match is being televised, Tim Robinson from Bognor Regis.