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Andre Marriner – A Top Bloke!

By Matthew Mackey :  02/11/2010 :  Comments (15) :
As part of the FA campaign to get more respect into the game towards the referee at all levels, our local club where my lad plays U10s football, invited local premier League referee Andre Marriner to come and talk to the kids on this issue. I live in the West Midlands now and Mariner is from Solihull. Our local club were also seeking FA accreditation and this presentation went towards that accreditation.

Mr Marriner gave a good account of himself as he gave a presentation which included that great film clip made by the FA - the one where actor Ray Winston is shouting and bawling at the side of the pitch when his lad is playing a game only to find at the end everyone has left because he has driven them away.

At the end of the presentation there was a question-and-answer session which started with dozens of questions by the kids, some relevant, some amusing and some confusing! Andre answered them all very well. He then asked the parents for any questions and I have to say that some of his answers were very enlightening.

A snapshot of some of his answers and statements are as follows. (I found the last two here particularly interesting):

He's a Villa fan so he's not allowed to referee any game involving Villa, Birmingham or WBA.

He admitted that, after reviewing the video evidence after the recent game between Stoke City & Man Utd, he made a big mistake in not sending Gary Neville off.

He loves the way Arsenal play the game but couldn't agree with a lot of what Arsene Wenger said!

He couldn't understand why Man City have appointed Teves as captain as he can't speak English so he has to use Gareth Barry as some kind of interpreter when explaining something to him on the field.

He explained (justified) why he allowed the Theo Walcott goal up at Newcastle last week in the Carling Cup when there was suspicion of offside.

He confirmed that referees ARE allowed to go in front of the cameras after a game to justify their decisions, but the reason they rarely do is because many referees feel that the media are always trying to set them up.

When asked if there were any current players who were a pleasure to referee he said Yossi Benayoun and Danny Murphy as they had no airs and graces about them and were well mannered.

When asked who were the most difficult players to referee, i.e giving him verbal grief he stated Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher!!!

And when asked which ground he particularly like refereeing at he said Goodison Park because it was a great atmosphere and the fans were so passionate. (I kid you not!)

He also informed me that he will be refereeing our game against Blackpool on Saturday, so if any of you are fortunate enough to get tickets then give him a round of applause when you're there. A top, top bloke who not only gave a great presentation to the kids, but he did it free of charge! Well done Mr Marriner ? I respect you for being so honest and open.

Reader Comments

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James Flynn
1   Posted 02/11/2010 at 23:23:57

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Good post Matthew, thanks. Marriner's a good fellow for making time for the kids.
Pat Finegan
2   Posted 03/11/2010 at 01:09:09

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It's nice to hear something like this. Refs are so often vilified, unfairly I think, for making bad calls. They screw up all the time but they're human. Referee is arguably the most difficult job in the world. So much is expected of these guys and they will never live up to it. Well done, Mr. Mariner.
Andy Guest
3   Posted 03/11/2010 at 07:26:49

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I worked with Andre while he was progressing up the the non-league ladder. We used to call him "fast-track" at our local club (Halesowen Town!) as the FA were really pushing him as a young ref.

I remember having the conversation with him when he was thinking about packing his job in to try full-time refing as he was having to turn to many matches down through work commitments. It's funny now to see him at Goodison refing Premier League games, and seeing him deal with the big name players! He is going to be a top ref for a long time! And Matt's right, A top bloke!!

Alan Clarke
4   Posted 03/11/2010 at 08:13:34

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It's a shame it wasn't Clattenburg. I'd love to hear his answers.
Matthew Mackey
5   Posted 03/11/2010 at 08:51:09

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Alan #4;- many of the kids asked Andre about the "Nani" incident at Old Trafford last weekend. He said that it would be discussed at length during the Premier League referees' weekly get together this week when they go through the previous weekend's games. Unfortunately though he said that Clattenburg wouldn't be in attendance this week because he was on Champions League duty. It was clear from Andre's response and his body language that he was a bit embarrassed by his colleagues performance!
Colin Potter
6   Posted 03/11/2010 at 10:26:21

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Great post Matthew, it made a really nice change!
Kevin Gillen
7   Posted 03/11/2010 at 10:45:42

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Great post. Refereeing is a really hard job. All that you can hope for is that the man in the middle is unbiased and honest. I really feel it is unfair in the way the media uses technology to highlight errors refs make. We should be using technology to help refs not undermine them.There is so little news in pointing out when the officials get difficult decisions right so we shouldn't be so quick to jump on them when they get it wrong.

As Evertonians we have a long history with poor reffing: Clive Thomas, the Hutchison goal, Clattenburg and that slimy nosferatu Collina (he got an honorary degree from Hull University for services to sport!!) so it's hard to have sympathy with the man in the middle but well done to Andre Marriner for his input and let's pray for at least one pen on Saturday and some protection for Pienaar.

Norman Merrill
8   Posted 03/11/2010 at 12:44:25

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Matthew, Thank you for letting us know the type of person Andre Marriner, is away from football, helping in the community etc. But I don't rate him as a referee. Too indecisive, and does not get a grip on a game, in the early stages, leading to cards being shown right, left and centre. In fact I despair when I read that he has our game.
Mike Gwyer
9   Posted 03/11/2010 at 14:34:54

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I can take it for granted that you took him for a few beers, obviously a strip club then filled his pockets with tenners - pointing out that EFC must win on Saturday. Additionally, and being extremely honest, you pointed out that EFC are due a penalty or three. Yes? well done.

After the result on Saturday, you can ask for contributions.
Mike Rourke
10   Posted 03/11/2010 at 14:43:17

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It's nice when nice people do nice things.

Still won't stop me labelling him a corrupt and useless gobshite if he makes any decision I perceive as being even fractionally against us at the weekend.

Hey, it's what they sign up for when they put that whistle to their lips, right?...
Leon Perrin
11   Posted 03/11/2010 at 17:21:54

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Interesting about the verbal abuse from players, last week I met a Cameroon player who'd played for Amiens in France and Sturm Graz in Austria. He'd come to one of the lower league clubs in England and was astounded by the way domestic players abuse the ref.

His comment was: "English players say 'Fuck Off, Ref' and the ref says 'thank you'."

Apparently you get heavilly fined abroad so they don't do it. For what its worth he also said we don't play football in this country, we just kick each other.
Peter Roberts
12   Posted 03/11/2010 at 18:24:36

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I was at the recent NFL match at Wembley and before the game was talking to a woman from Pennsylvania who was astounded that I was a fully qualified American Football referee (and have been for two years!).

We talked about the difference between "soccer" and "football" players and came to a similar conclusion - in soccer there is a lot less respect for the referee than there is in "football" simply because of the way the game is played. I will admit to having been verbally abused by plenty of coaches in the 40 or so games I have done, but hardly ever by a player.

In that light, I appreciate Marriner's stance - it is an incredibly tough job and you certainly have to have a thick skin to be a referee in this country. Good on him for being very open and candid at the recent event.

And like Mike, even though we are in the same profession (of sorts), it still won't stop me calling him a bent so-and-so if he denies us a stonewall penalty on Saturday..
Jeremy Buckley
13   Posted 04/11/2010 at 08:39:23

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Nicely set up for Saturday.... a contentious decision leading to a Blackpool win me thinks!!!
David Grace
14   Posted 04/11/2010 at 11:02:48

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Great post. Always nice to see that these guys are human beings doing some good away from the sport!

Marriner's certainly not the best or worst, what startles me is that these guys have weekly meetings and discuss things; however, EVERY week we're discussing what they did wrong! Granted it's a tough job for them but they certainly don't make it easy on themselves.

The standard of refereeing currently is just about the worse I have ever seen and decent people like Marriner, as he has proved with the above, should come out and speak publicly more, then we would have more respect for their decisions!
Conor Feeney
15   Posted 04/11/2010 at 20:20:29

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Not every day you come across a UK based fully qualified American football referee !!!!!

Who woulda thunk it ?

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