Premier League referee Andre Marriner has joked that he used to abuse Peter Crouch from the stands when the former forward played for his club Aston Villa.
The Birmingham-born official spoke about his support for his hometown club on the latest edition of Crouch’s podcast, adding that he goes to watch Villa matches whenever his schedule allowed.
“I’m a Villa fan yeah,” he said.
“I go as much as I can and my two kids are season ticket holders.
“I went to the League Cup final (a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City ) a few weeks back – we made a good account of ourselves. I thought we were going to get absolutely hammered.”
Marriner has been on FIFA’s international list of referees since 2009.
He was the man in the middle when Wigan shocked Manchester City in the 2013 FA Cup final, and has been a regular face in the Premier League for the past few seasons.
As a Villa fan he is not allowed to officiate any of the Villans games, and he admitted that he “probably” abused Crouch when the forward played for the club between 2002 and 2004, adding: “You weren’t prolific.”
Marriner, 49, also added that his status as a referee can sometimes transfer from the top level of the Premier League all the way down to junior football when he goes to watch his son play.
“I’m that annoying Dad that sometimes turns into a referee, yes,” he said.
“I shout etc. I try to encourage the younger referees that are coming through, reluctantly run the line for them if they need an assistant referee.
“I will reluctantly grab the whistle and referee my lad’s team if the ref doesn’t turn up.”
Source: News update