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Rochdale   v   Bradford City
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 22nd April 2017 Kick-off 15:00
Refwatch: Oldham v Dale
Friday, 21st Apr 2017 08:00 by TVOS

Select Group referee Kevin Friend is the man in charge of Saturday’s big local derby at Oldham.

Mr Friend joined the Football League list in 2003 and six seasons later he was promoted to the Select Group.

His first Premier League game was Wolves v Fulham in September 2009 and he has since refereed regularly in the top flight and in other high profile fixtures.

All told, since that debut at Molineux, Kevin has refereed 156 Premier League matches, the most recent of which was West Ham v Swansea a fortnight ago.

Swansea also featured in the pinnacle of Mr Friend’s refereeing career in February 2013 when he took charge of their League Cup Final against Bradford City, a game The Swans won 5-0.

Earlier that season he was again at Wembley for Chelsea v Manchester City in the Community Shield.

Due to the 45-year-old’s Select Group status, it is a number of years since we saw him at a Dale game.

His last Rochdale appointment was in May 2009 for the first leg of the League Two play-off against Gillingham at Spotland, which ended goalless.

That was Kevin’s fifth Dale match in total, the full record being:

Aug 2003 Cambridge (h) D 2-2

Oct 2004 Lincoln (a) D 1-1

Oct 2007 Morecambe (a) D 1-1

Feb 2009 Darlington (a) W 2-1

May 2009 Gillingham (h, PO) D 0-0

This season he has refereed 29 games, showing 114 yellow cards and two red. Eighteen of those games have been in the Premier League, including Manchester City v Middlesbrough, Tottenham v Burnley, Everton v Southampton and Burnley v Chelsea.

At the other end of the scale, Kevin refereed Bury v Fleetwood at the end of March.

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Photo: Action Images

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