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James Bell will referee Burnley for the first ever time when we take on Wigan Athletic tomorrow at the DW Stadium.

The South Yorkshire official has just kicked off his third season in the Football League, His first ever league game was a 0-0 draw between Mansfield and Tranmere in League Two. That was in September 2020. He spent his first two seasons as a national list referee and all his games were in Leagues One and Two and during those seasons he refereed Wigan, our opponents, on three occasions.

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He was one of two referees, along with Bobby Madley, promoted to Select Group 2 this season and as such can now officiate regularly in the Championship and he got his first game at this level last week having kicked off the season with Blackburn’s home game against Hartlepool in the League Cup.

There was one yellow card for each team in that game but there were three in his first Championship game between West Brom and Hull with all three going to Hull players. Those carded were Lewie Coyle, Tobias Fugueíredo and Óscar Estupiñán.

The fourth official tomorrow is Thomas Kirk who, like Bell, hasn’t refereed a Burnley game.

Match Officials

Referee: James Bell
Assistant Referees: Matthew Jones & Richard Wild
Fourth Official: Thomas Kirk

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