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Martin Atkinson appointed referee for Merseyside Derby

Ref has been in charge for four previous derbies too

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Martin Atkinson has been appointed as the referee for the Merseyside Derby clash on Sunday. Toffees memories of the official are not too fond, after his controversial sending off of Jack Rodwell a few years ago. The last time Atkinson officiated a Derby at Goodison was in October 2011, when he gave the midfielder a straight red card for what he deemed to be a foul on striker Luis Suarez. despite protestations from the Everton players and manager David Moyes. The red card was later rescinded upon appeal, but the game was lost 2-0.

The ref was also in charge last season when we saw the epic equalizer from Phil Jagielka steal the point at Anfield. Oh, you don't remember that goal?

How about now?

Everton lost both other games when Atkinson was refereeing. His first Derby was at Anfield in February 2010, a game that Liverpool won 1-0 and was littered with reds. Liverpool defender Sotiris Kyrgiakos was given a straight red, Steven Pienaar saw two yellows for a red and five other players were booked too.

The other game was one that Blues would love to forget in a hurry - the 4-0 thrashing at Anfield in January 2014 that started derailing what was looking like a decent challenge for a Champions League spot in Roberto Martinez's first season.

Atkinson officiated in two other games at Goodison Park last season, the 1-1 draw against Manchester City in January and the 3-0 win against Newcastle United.

Atkinson had been an assistant referee in the Barclays Premier League between 2000 and 2003, but his first taste of refereeing in the top flight came when he was in the middle for Manchester City's clash at Crystal Palace in the 2004/05 season.
He has been a permanent fixture in the Barclays Premier League ever since and, after refereeing the 2006 FA Community Shield and 2008 FA Trophy Final, his most notable moment in English football came when he took charge of the 2011 FA Cup Final between Manchester City and Stoke City.
Atkinson has been a FIFA-listed official since 2006 and is one of a handful of Select Group referees who is an Elite FIFA referee. He has also officiated Champions League matches as well as at Euro 2012.

Excerpt from Barclays Premier League