Kevin Friend

By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor

Kevin Friend will take charge of Newcastle's Barclays Premier League fixture at Hull City on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

It will be only the second time this season that the Leicestershire-based official has overseen a Magpies match but in total during the 2013/14 campaign, Friend has refereed five games across the Premier League, FA Cup, Capital One Cup, Championship and League One.

In that time he has handed out 68 yellow cards, one red and awarded nine penalties.

The 42-year-old officiated in the Leicestershire Senior League and Midland Football Alliance before being promoted to the National List of Referees, and later to the Select Group of Referees ahead of the 2009/10 campaign.

And Friend refereed his first top flight fixture in September 2009, as Wolverhampton Wanderers beat Fulham.

He was the man in the middle of the 2012 Community Shield, which saw Manchester City triumph 3-2 over Chelsea in a thriller at Villa Park, and also given the top job in the 2013 Capital One Cup final, where Swansea beat Bradford City.

On Saturday, Friend will be assisted by John Flynn and Andy Garratt, with Howard Webb the game's fourth official.