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The Men in Black at the KC Stadium
The Men in Black at the KC Stadium
Thursday, 17th Mar 2011 11:08

The clash against Hull City at the KC Stadium this Saturday sees Rob Shoebridge taking up the pivotal official role. Can Shoebridge be regarded as a referee that is not wholly concerned with the spotlight?

In 25 games so far this season, Shoebridge has shown just 49 yellow cards, an average of just under two per game. Add to that three red cards and Saturday looks as though it will be a rarity - a flowing game.

When Hull beat  Portsmouth 0-1 at Fratton Park in January, Shoebridge issued two bookings.

Shoebridge has yet to officiate for Norwich this season, although he was in charge of the game against Oldham last season, where Norwich took the spoils away from home with a 1-0 win.

Prior to that, Shoebridge was the man in charge when City went down by seven goals to one at the hands of Paul Lambert's Colchester United.

The following is the Refworld profile for Shoebridge.


Rob is an operations officer, aged 31 and just completing his second season as a National List referee. He started refereeing when he was 13 years of age and progressed through the Central Midlands and Northern Premier Leagues to reach the National List of assistant referees in 2003. Was an assistant referee on the 2006 FA Youth Cup Final, and refereed England v Turkey at U19 level in 2006. Since his trip to the Dallas Cup in 2007, he enjoys country music in addition to DIY, gardening and swimming.

How did you get introduced into refereeing? 

I started refereeing in 1989 following a short unsuccessful playing career. I wanted to stay involved in football and thought refereeing was a good way to keep involved.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Highlight of my career so far has been the opportunity to represent England by refereeing in the 2007 Dallas Cup, an International Youth Tournament.

What is the best game you have officiated and why?

Best game I have officiated in was the FA Youth Cup Final as assistant referee at Anfield in the 2005-2006 season. Officiating at Anfield in front of a large crowd was very special.

What are your aims as a National List Referee?

My aims as a National List referee are to perform to a high standard on a regular basis. This, coupled with hard work off the field will hopefully allow me to progress my career further. During the season my aim is to get high profile appointments and to officiate in later rounds of the cup competitions. 

What skills do you think you need to become a referee? 

A referee requires many skills but the most important one, in my opinion, is the ability to man manage. The ability to think quickly on your feet is also paramount, as is the dedication to regularly train to meet the ever increasing physical demands of today’s game. 

Who has been the biggest influence in your career and why? 

Early in my career my parents were very influential in my success as they supported my refereeing. As I have progressed the support structures in place have provided advice and support, as have referees who I have become good friends with. It would, of course, be remiss of me not to mention my wife, who is most supportive of my refereeing, helping me through the difficult times that sometimes come along. 

In your opinion who is/was the best referee?

The best referee has to be Jack Taylor, his achievement of refereeing the World Cup final is something unlevelled and this highlights the ability he had as a referee.


Shoebridge's assistants will be I A Dudley and D R Street, while the Fourth Official will be K D G Lawson


Photo: Action Images

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