By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Martin Atkinson will take charge of Newcastle United's trip to local rivals Sunderland on Sunday in the Premier League (1.30pm kick-off).
It is the second time this season the Yorkshire-based official has overseen a Magpies' match - having been in the middle on the opening day of the 2012/13 campaign when goals from Demba Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa secured a 2-1 home win over Tottenham.
In total this term, he has refereed ten games across the Premier League, Champions League and international stage, issuing 38 yellow cards and not a single red.
Having started refereeing at the age of 16 in his local Bradford leagues, Atkinson rose through the leagues and was appointed to his first top flight fixture in April 2005, as Manchester City took on Birmingham City.
He has grown in stature to be regarded as one of the country's top referees and in recent years has overseen the 2006 FA Community Shield between Liverpool and Chelsea, as well as the 2011 FA Cup Final which saw Manchester City defeat Stoke.
Atkinson, aged 41, has also run the rule over numerous World Cup and European Championships qualifiers and Champions League fixtures.
On Sunday at the Stadium of Light, Mike Mullarkey and Stuart Burt will be Atkinson's assistants, with Anthony Taylor the game's fourth official.