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Bond is not the most popular name in Burnley and hasn’t been since the days of John Bond as manager, but tonight that’s the name of our referee with Darren Bond taking charge of our League Cup tie against Leeds United and it will be a first ever Burnley game for the Lancashire based official.

Bond was one of the original referees to become professional as part of Select Group 2 at the start of last season and this after just four seasons in the Football League. He’d previously been refereeing in the National League but got his first league match in August 2012, a League Two game between Burton and  AFC Wimbledon which Burton won 6-2.

He reached the Championship during that season, getting one game between Millwall and Peterborough at the Den in February. He sent off Millwall’s Shane Lowry in a game Peterborough won 5-1.

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He remained predominantly a League One and Two referee until the start of last season and, as a Select Group 2 official, he now referees mostly in the Championship and by the end of the season he’d refereed 40 games of which 30 were in the Championship, four in the cups and just six in the lower two divisions.

This season he’s refereed nine games; six have been in the Championship, one in League Two and tomorrow will be his third League Cup tie.

In those nine games he’s given out 30 yellow cards and one red card. Eleven of the yellows have gone to home team players with 19 to away team players. The one player he’s sent off this season is Birmingham’s Maikel Kieftenbeld in their 2-1 home win against Bristol City.

Bond’s last game was last Saturday’s Championship game between Middlesbrough and QPR. Middlesbrough won the game 3-2 but they were level on the cards with both sides picking up four each.

The home players yellow carded were Adam Clayton, Grant Leadbitter, Cyrus Christie and Lewis Baker while QPR saw all of Massimo Luongo, Pawel Wszolek, Alex Smithies and Jamie Mackie pick up cards.

The assistant referees are David Avent (Northamptonshire) and Matt McGrath (East Yorkshire). The fourth official is another Select Group 2 official David Webb (County Durham) whose last Burnley game was the 1-0 win at home against Brentford in August 2015.

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