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Select Group 2 official Simon Hooper from Wiltshire is the man in charge tonight when the Clarets make the short trip to Ewood Park to take on Blackburn Rovers in the League Cup.

It will be his first Burnley game since January 2016 and that too was an away cup tie, he was in charge of our 2-1 win in the 3rd round of the FA Cup at Middlesbrough and he’s not been a regular referee for us in the Football League. This is his ninth season overall and tomorrow will be only seventh Burnley game.

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There haven’t been too many problems in the previous six and I can only point to the 1-0 win at Charlton in the 2012/13 season when he had a difficult afternoon. Other than that things have been fine.

Two seasons ago things seemed to be looking up for him when he was given his first Premier League game. It came at Norwich on the opening day of the season in a game the home side lost 3-1 against Crystal Palace.  He disallowed what looked a very good Norwich goal but he deemed the spectacular overhead kick to be dangerous. It seems to have cost him because more than two years on and he’s not refereed at that level since.

He’s not a referee who over uses his cards but last season in his 43 games there were 149 yellows and three reds. This season, after two quiet games to kick off the season, he had a busy afternoon at Reading a week last Saturday in their 1-1 draw against Fulham. There were four yellow cards in the game but significantly he sent off Fulham’s Tomas Kalas just 30 seconds into the game.

Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic diplomatically said: “It happened so far from my position that I didn’t really see it. The referee was very close to the situation when he made his decision,” and added: “It’s too early in the season to start complaining about the referees and blaming them.”

Hopefully, there will be no early red cards tonight and if Hooper referees how he’s done in previous Burnley games then things should be fine.

The assistant referees are Akil Howson (Leicestershire) and Jonathan Hunt (Merseyside). The fourth official is National League referee Joe Hull.

Previous Burnley Games – Simon Hooper

SeasonOpponentsVResYRBurnley Players Carded
2011/12Millwalla1-050Y: Trippier, Bartley, Easton
2012/13Charltona1-040Y: Austin, Lafferty, Vokes, Paterson
2013/14Leedsh2-120Y: Jones
2015/16Ipswicha0-210Y: Kightly
2015/16Brightonh1-140Y: Mee
2015/16Middlesbrougha2-130Y: Barton
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