Kevin Friend

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor


Kevin Friend will take charge of Newcastle's Barclays Premier League home fixture against Manchester United on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

It will be the third time this season that the Leicestershire-based official has overseen a Magpies match, having refereed a 2-1 away win at Cardiff in October and a 4-1 travelling triumph at Hull last month. 

On that eventful afternoon at the KC Stadium, Friend booked five players including Cheick Tiote and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, and also sent off manager Alan Pardew following a touchline altercation.

In total during the 2013/14 campaign, he has refereed 26 games across the Premier League, FA Cup, Capital One Cup, Championship and League One, handing out 84 yellow cards, one red card and awarding 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 at St. James' Parkm, Friend will be assisted by John Flynn and Richard West, with Carl Boyeson the game's fourth official.

Tickets for Newcastle's home Barclays Premier League fixture against Manchester United are still available for Members. To secure your seat, click here.