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Men in Black: Norwich City v Stoke City

Neil Swarbrick is the man in charge of City's first home Premier League game of the season against Stoke City tomorrow (1.30pm).

The Lancashire official didn't take up refereeing until he was 29, and after quickly progressing through the ranks took charge of his first Football League match in August 2005 - a 3-0 win for Cheltenham Town at home to Barnet.

His first game officiating the Canaries was a 3-1 defeat away to Derby County in October 2008 - one of the few games of the season where no cards were issued.

He also took charge of the 3-2 East Anglian Derby defeat to Ipswich at Portman Road the following April, a game long since forgotten by those of a yellow and green persuasion.

Last season Mr Swarbrick refereed two City games, the 2-2 draw at Leeds in February and Good Friday's 2-1 home win against Nottingham Forest in which Paul Konchesky was sent off in the last minute.

Stoke are yet to lose in three previous games where Swarbrick was in charge. In March 2007 they beat Southampton 2-1 at the Britannia, and drew 0-0 with Barnsley and 1-1 with Hull during the 2007/08 season.

Tomorrow will be his first Premier League game of the season, having previously overseen Derby's opening day win against Birmingham and Brighton's win at Portsmouth last weekend. He issued 13 yellow cards in those games, but is yet to show a red.

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The Journalist

Writer: Dill Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday August 20 2011

Time: 9:42AM


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