News of a late change to the referee for today's tie. Neil Swarbrick will replace Lee Mason out in the middle.— Reading FC (@ReadingFC) March 7, 2015
As the competition has progressed, Reading have encountered referees we haven't encountered since our Premier League days and the official for the Bradford game is no different. It's the experienced Lee Mason, the second Lee we've had in the cup this season, following Mr Probert in round four.
The last Royals game Mason took charge of was at Manchester United in the 2012-13 season, which resulted in a 1-0 win for the hosts.
In total the Lancashire official has previously refereed 12 Reading fixtures (W6 D1 L5), with perhaps the fondest memory being a 6-0 win over West Ham on New Years' Day 2007.
Ibrahima Sonko was sent off twice by Mason, in August 2006 against Aston Villa and almost exactly two years later against Charlton.
As for this season, the 43 year old has overseen 23 games, mostly in the Premier League, giving out 76 yellow cards and fairly high five reds, most notably Wayne Rooney back in September. Meanwhile, Mason - who has previously worked in the car rental industry - has given four penalties this season, with all being scored.
Lee was in charge of last season's Championship Play-Off Final at Wembley, which reminds me...
"Que Sera, Sera...."