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Ref-Watch: Wolverhampton Wanderers (A)

Will SIMON HOOPER not be "fit to referee" as the chant goes, after yesterday's Christmas dinner?

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Boxing Day football time (oh the joys!), and the Football League’s gift to us is putting a referee in charge of our game at Wolves who has Premier League experience.

Simon Hooper is the man in question, but I’m afraid it’s not as good as it seems (a bit like that present you asked for that you thought would be amazing, but now you realise it’s utter rubbish). Hooper has in fact officiated just one game in the top flight, which was Crystal Palace’s 3-1 win over Norwich City on the opening day of this season, in which handed out one yellow card and controversially disallowed a Canaries goal.

But he is still one of national group’s most prestigious referees, having taken charge of numerous cup games involving Premier League teams as well as the League Two Play-Off final last season.

As for this campaign, the Wiltshire whistle-blower has officiated 24 games in all competitions, handing out 57 yellow cards and two red cards. He has also awarded five penalties, including one in his most recent game between Nottingham Forest and MK Dons which Nicky Maynard missed. Hooper has previously taken charge of 10 Reading games, but only two have been Royals victories, with five defeats and three draws.

Happy Christmas Everyone! The fixtures just keep on coming, so I’ll be back with another Ref-Watch before the Brentford game on Monday.