Kevin Friend to referee 2012 Community Shield

By Alex Byrom
Referees Editor



40-year old official Kevin Friend became a Premier League referee in 2009 

Barclays Premier League referee Kevin Friend will officiate the 2012 FA Community Shield between Chelsea and Manchester City on Sunday August 12th at Villa Park.

The traditional curtain-raiser to the English football season, a week before the season begins, will take place at Aston Villa’s stadium due to Wembley hosting the Football Olympics final.

It will be the Leicestershire whistler’s first cup final. He will be joined on the day by assistant referees Michael McDonough and Richard West, whilst Anthony Taylor does the 4th official duties. Charles Brakespear is the reserve assistant referee.

The 2012 FA Community Shield, the 90th in the fixture's history, is the latest achievement for Friend who was also in charge of Whitley Bay's FA Vase Final triumph over Glossop North End at Wembley Stadium in 2009.

He has also previously been a fourth official for both the League Cup final, in 2012, and FA Community Shield in 2011.

"My first major Cup final was the Leicestershire FA Senior Cup final in the 1990s which was a tremendous honour," said a delighted Friend.

"It felt then like a reward for the hard work, commitment and dedication that had been put in to reaching that goal, and those principles still apply to my refereeing career today.

"I first started refereeing back in 1985 and I never thought I'd reach this level back then.

"My dad was a referee but rugby was more my game when I was a kid so I had to make a decision as my commitments to both would clash. I really enjoyed refereeing so I chose that and it's paid dividends."

Almost 27 years later and Friend's excitement ahead of another new season remains as strong as ever: "My pre-season is officially under way which I'm really pleased about as I get fairly restless during the summer," he added. "I've had a couple of weeks' holiday but you do miss the buzz of match days and the camaraderie with your colleagues.”

"Villa Park has a rich football heritage and is a tremendous venue in its own right so I'm looking forward to stepping out there in August,” he added.

The 2012 FA Community Shield has another new kick off time of 1.30pm on August 12th and features the FA Cup holders Chelsea – who beat Liverpool in May’s final - and Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City, champions for the first time after that day of unbelievable drama. The match will be broadcasted as ever exclusively live on Sky Sports.

The FA Charity Shield, which became the FA Community Shield in 2002, was first contested in 1908 and each year raises hundreds of thousands of pounds to be distributed to community-based football initiatives and charities up and down the country. Manchester United have won it the most times (13) and have appeared in a record 22 finals, and were the winners of last year's shield, beating neighbours Manchester City 3-2.

Friend refereed 20 Premier League matches last season, dishing out 76 yellow cards and one red card, to Liverpool midfielder Jay Spearing in their 1-0 defeat to Fulham. He gave four penalties also in the top-flight. He was more of a 'card-happy' referee last season with an average card count of 3.85. 

Overall, he refereed 33 matches, 120 yellow cards were handed out along with three reds at an average of 3.72. Moreover, his final match of last season, saw him referee Liverpool's match with Chelsea at Anfield, which ended in a 4-1 victory for the hosts, in which he awarded a penalty for Liverpool, but it was missed.



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