Aston Villa v Pompey Whistleblower
One of the younger referees in the Premiership and regarded by many supporters up and down the country as one of the best in the game, Martin is currently 10th in the Referee`s Table after refereeing 20 matches so far this season. He has shown his yellow card 63 times, whilst only showing his red on three occasions, giving him an average of 3.3 cards per game.
Pompey have had a relatively amicable relationship with Martin in previous matches whilst in the Premiership and the only time he has officiated in a Pompey match this season was away at another side who wear claret and sky in their strip - that was West Ham United on boxing Day, which saw Pompey win 2-1 after Linvoy Primus scored twice. Hopefully such significance in the venue and shirt colours will prove a lucky omen for Pompey this coming Sunday.
In contrast, Villa have had the pleasure of Martin`s officialdom this season; these were the 1-1 draw at Spurs in October, the 0-1 home defeat by Arsenal in March and then their fine 2-1 away win at Blackburn just two weeks ago which assured them of Premiership survival.
Martin began refereeing at local level in 1986 before moving up to join the National List of Assistant Referees in 1998. A year later, he became a Panel referee which he then followed by making the grade of Select group assistant referee in 2000. His progression moved on in 2003 when he was moved up to the National List of Referees, just two years later and he became a Select Group referee in 2005. Martin then surpassed that by joining the FIFA List of referees in 2006.
His most notable matches have been as assistant referee in the 2003 Football League Cup Final 2nd leg; referee in the 2005 Football League Two Play off Final; 2006 F.A. Youth Cup Final referee and the referee in the 2006 F.A. Community Shield between Chelsea and Liverpool.
Aston Villa v Portsmouth - Sunday 22nd April 2007
Sky Sports 1 - Kick off 4.00 p.m.
Martin Atkinson (Yorkshire)
John Holbrook (West Midlands)
Kevin Pike (Dorset)
Peter Walton (Northamptonshire)