Thursday, 17 April 2014

Referee who sent Wenger off for kicking water bottle handed cup final

The referee who helped send Arsene Wenger off for kicking a water bottle during an Arsenal's defeat against Manchester United will officiate the FA Cup Final.

Lee Probert will referee game between Arsenal and Hull on May 17.

The 41-year-old Wiltshire official memorably played a part in getting Wenger sent to the stands in the Gunners 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford in 2009.

The Arsenal boss reacted furiously - kicked a plastic water bottle on the touchline - after Abou Diaby scored an own goal in the game, a reaction Probert took exception to.

Acting as the fourth official that day, Probert called over referee Mike Dean to send Wenger off.

This hasn't stopped the FA handing the official May's showpiece event.

Probert will be joined by assistant referees Jake Collin and Mick McDonough with Kevin Friend as fourth official and Simon Bennett the reserve assistant referee.

Probert said:
"To be given the opportunity to walk out as the referee for an FA Cup final is the highest accolade in English football. It's a massive honour and I am absolutely delighted. 
"It still hasn't really sunk in to be honest. When I got the phone call, I have to say I did shed a tear and look to the sky. The first person I thought about was my dad, who I lost six years ago.
"He was always there to support me throughout my career and it's payback for all his hard work, taking me here, there and everywhere, encouraging me to never give up. When I walk out on 17 May, I know he'll be chuffed to bits."
Watch: Gordon Strachan narrates Wenger being sent off

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