The man in charge of the npower Championship match between Peterborough United and Leicester City is Premiership referee MICHAEL OLIVER.
Based in Cramlington Northumberland, Oliver was introduced to refereeing by his father, Clive, at the age of 14. He quickly progressed through the ranks and was promoted to the National List of Referees in 2007 and refereed the 2007 Conference National play-off final, becoming the youngest referee to officiate at Wembley Stadium. In addition he had already been the youngest-ever Football League assistant referee, youngest-ever Football League referee, and would also become the youngest ever fourth official in the Premier League.
The Oliver family enjoyed a unique refereeing double when father Clive took charge of the 2009 League 2 play-off final and son Michael officiated the next day at the 2009 League 1 play-off final.
Oliver was set to become the youngest-ever referee in the Premier League when he was appointed to the match between Fulham and Portsmouth on 9 January 2010. However, adverse weather resulted in him having to postpone the match and it was not re-arranged until after he had undergone an ankle operation which sidelined him until April.
His Premier League refereeing debut was therefore put on hold and after being promoted to the Select Group in August 2010, his first appointment was Birmingham City against Blackburn Rovers on 21 August. Oliver was 25 years and 182 days old, breaking Stuart Attwell’s record as the youngest-ever Premier League referee.
Oliver has refereed 31 games so far this season, showing 82 yellow cards and four red.
Of the 31 matches, he has refereed 18 Premier League matches this season and 6 Championship matches. His last Championship game was on 10th March when he oversaw Cardiff win 2-1 at Bristol City. Five yellow cards were issued in that game.
Despite spending most of his time in the Premiership this season, his first match of the season was in the Championship for a mid-week match involving Posh! Posh drew 2-2 at Millwall in a game that saw three yellow cards. Lee Tomlin and Paul Taylor were booked for Posh on that occasion.
The last time he took charge of a Leicester match was back in November 2010 when the Foxes beat East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest 1-0. Two yellow cards were issued; both of which went to Forest players.
Peterborough United v Leicester City
Location: London Road
Date: 31st March, 2012
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