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Men In Black -v-Scunthorpe
Men In Black -v-Scunthorpe
Wednesday, 30th Mar 2011 10:40

The whistle blower for this Saturday's contest between Norwich City and Scunthorpe United has been named as Oliver Langford. This is "Bonnie" Langford's first season as a National List referee, but already, he is out to prove himself as equitable with bookings and sendings off. In 28 games as a referee, Bonnie has shown 67 yellow cards and three red.

The red mist descended on Langford when he was the man in charge at Swindon Town's County Ground when they played host to Plymouth Argyle. One player from each side saw red after receiving two bookings, and a further four Plymouth players found their names in the book. Two more of his games saw 6 yellow cards; only three league games and one cup game went the whole 90+ minutes without a single booking.

Here is his profile interview with Refworld.com

28-year-old Oliver is in his first season as a National list referee, after three seasons as an assistant. He started refereeing in 1995 at age of 15 in the Midlands progressing through the Midland Combination and Midland Football Association leagues. He was part of the PGMO team that refereed in the Dallas Cup 2008 and enjoys keeping fit and playing other sports like tennis. He also enjoys watching speedway, live music and spending time with family.

How did you get introduced into refereeing?   

My Dad told me off when I was 14 for having a go at a referee in the youth side I played in and said I should have a go if I felt I could do better. It was also better paid than delivering papers! Thanks Dad!!

What has been the highlight of your career so far? 

It has to be promotion to the National List of referees. That said it’s a great feeling to receive the letter informing you of promotion and rewarding your hard work and endeavour whatever level you’re at. 

What is the best game you have officiated and why?

For me every game carries the same amount of importance, so it’s hard and unfair on the others to single one out.

What are your aims as a National List Referee? 

As it’s my first season the aim is to establish myself at this level as quickly as possible. On from that I strive to become a select group referee and make the international list.

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

Confidence in your own ability along with a willingness to listen and learn from the excellent coaches we have at our disposal. A strong mind and determination to do well are also essential. This along with good communication, man-management skills, a love of the game and an excellent knowledge of the laws of the game should stand you in good stead.

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

Going back to when I first started I have always been grateful for the help, support and guidance received through my County association, local leagues & Training Groups!

Recently I’ve been fortunate to work with Eddie Wolstenholme and Steve Dunn who have both helped me develop as a referee with their vast experience and professional know–how. 

My girlfriend and daughter, apart from being very understanding at time spent away with football, are the ones who help through the bad times as well as good. The biggest influence though is my Mom and Dad. Apart from being my taxis, cleaners, ‘Main Sponsors’ they’ve always been supportive in what I’ve done. Dad still acts as Taxi on occasions now!!

In your opinion who is/was the best referee?

Mike Reed was probably the first referee I took notice of as he refereed with a smile on his face. More recently I used to like watching Paul Durkin and Graham Poll similarly for their personalities on the field.

Currently I think we have some of the best referees in the world but Howard Webb and Alan Wiley stand out to me purely for there consistently good decision making.

Assisting Bonnie Langford will be Mssrs D Ford and SJ Bratt, while the fourth official has been named as SG Artis.

Photo: Action Images

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