The Consett-born referee Mark Clattenburg is to leave his duties in the Premier League in order to take up a post in Saudi Arabia. Mr Clattenburg has an impressive record of refereeing Premier League, Champions League, International and Olympic matches.
Perhaps Mr Clattenburg’s highest profile games came in 2016, when he refereed the Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in Milan as well as the FA Cup Final between Crystal Palace and Manchester United.
In the same year, Mark Clattenburg also refereed the Euro 2016 final between Portugal and France.
Other notable matches he has refereed include the 2012 League Cup Final and, in the same year, the Olympic Final in London, at which Mexico claimed the gold. He was also the referee for the 2013 FA Community Shield and the 2014 UEFA Super Cup.
In the 2002-3 and 2003-4 seasons, he refereed a number of Division One, Two and Three play-off semi-final matches, as well as one final.
Mr Clattenburg was the referee for Alan Shearer’s testimonial match in 2006. Mr Clattenburg is a Newcastle United fan and so has never refereed any competitive matches involving Newcastle.
Mark Clattenburg learned to be a referee in 1990, through participating in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.
After becoming an assistant referee in the Northern League at the age of 18, he rose through the Football Conference and made his refereeing debut in the Football League at the age of just 25. He became a Premier League referee in 2004.
Mr Clattenburg, 41, will now become the head of refereeing for the Saudi Arabian Football Federation.
Professional Game Match Officials Limited, the organisation that trains and provides officials for the Premier League and Football League, said, “Professional Game Match Officials Limited would like to wish Mark Clattenburg well as he prepares for his move.”
“Mark developed into one of our top officials, refereeing at the highest level and setting standards for others to follow.”
“His accomplishments are numerous and last year saw Mark achieve a memorable treble, on top of another consistently excellent season in the Premier League, as he officiated three major cup finals.”
“Mark is a talented referee. He has been a great asset to the English game and hopefully an inspiration to those who want to get into refereeing at the grass roots of the game.”