Tag Archives: Derbies

Referees in the Middle: David Allison

Premier League Career: 1992-1994

First Premier League Match: Middlesbrough 4-1 Leeds United (22 August 1992)

Final Premier League Match: Wimbledon 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur (30 April 1994)

David Allison was one of the referees in the very first season of the Premier League. By the time the competition had been formed in 1992, he had already being part of the profession for 12 years, taking charge of his first Football League match in 1980.

When he was promoted to the referees’ list at the age of just 31, some thought he was too young to handle the pressure of top-flight matches which in the 1980s were often played on slow, bumpy pitches at a more aggressive tempo. However, he was seen as a steady pair of hands to control these games. With more experience and maturity, he was becoming one of the best and most trusted officials in the Football League.

By the end of the 1980s, he was often the man given responsibility to handle the testing but enjoyable Manchester and Merseyside derbies. Despite this widespread praise, he was overlooked for the showpiece FA Cup final. David’s most senior appointment in cup football was taking charge of a League Cup semi-final first leg in 1992 between Nottingham Forest and Tottenham Hotspur.

His first Premier League appointment was newly-promoted Middlesbrough’s surprising 4-1 home win over defending champions Leeds United. Allison would remain on the Premier League’s officiating list for the first two seasons of the new era in English football, controlling 33 matches.  In 1994, the league decided to move to a smaller list of officials who would control its matches. It was a big surprise to see him not selected to continue duties in the top-flight.

This was a crushing disappointment for David but he didn’t pack up his whistle until the end of the 1996-1997 season after returning to Football League duty for another three campaigns. This included taking charge of the 1996 First Division play-off final between Leicester City and Crystal Palace when Steve Claridge scored with practically the last kick of the match to take Leicester back to the Premier League at the first attempt of asking.

In total, he controlled 463 matches in English football and remained in the game after retirement as a referees’ coach. In 2007, he was appointed National Group Manager in charge of the 57 top referees for the PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited) and is also the Training Officer for the Lancaster & Morecambe Referees’ Society.

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Iconic Moments: The greatest Manchester Derby ever? (September 2009)

Some say it is one of the greatest games the Premier League has ever seen.  Certainly, it is one of the finest Manchester derbies to have ever been played. The meeting of Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford in September 2009 was a special occasion.

It was the first time back at the Theatre of Dreams for Carlos Tevez since his controversial switch across the city that summer but his new club were quickly behind. Wayne Rooney opened the scoring inside three minutes.  It was 1-1 at half-time though. Tevez robbed Ben Foster of possession and Gareth Barry scored his first Manchester City goal.

Goals were exchanged throughout a belting second half. There were braces for both Darren Fletcher and Craig Bellamy. Bellamy’s second goal came on the brink of time added on and made the score 3-3. It looked like the points would be shared. However, this was Manchester United in “Fergie Time.”

Ryan Giggs picked out a wonderful pass for substitute Michael Owen. Owen kept his composure to beat Shay Given and score his first goal at Old Trafford since his summer arrival from Newcastle United. On the touchline, Mark Hughes was seething.  He felt the allotted time had been played well before Owen’s winner.  For now, the noisy neighbours had been silenced but the rivalry between the two clubs was greater than it ever had been.

It was an entertaining and dramatic contest which was voted the ‘Greatest Match’ by fans at the 20 Seasons awards in 2012.

Great Goals: David Luiz – Fulham vs. CHELSEA (April 2013)

Half-an-hour into the west London derby at Craven Cottage and the game between Fulham and Chelsea needs something special to ignite proceedings. Step forward the often much-maligned David Luiz.

The Brazilian has plenty of power in his game. This goal was all about power. Eden Hazard plays the ball across the pitch to Luiz, who isn’t closed down by Fulham defenders. Therefore, the Brazilian decides to try his luck. He catches the strike simply perfectly. The ball flies into the top corner past a helpless Mark Schwarzer, who would become Luiz’s teammate a season later.

Chelsea won the game 3-0 and ended the season with a European trophy under the interim guidance of Rafa Benitez.