Mark Clattenburg was used to enforcing the law during his 13-year Premier League career, but the former top-flight referee found himself in hot water thanks to his love of Ed Sheeran back in 2014.
Speaking on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, the 45-year-old Geordie explained how Neil Warnock got him a one-match ban – and what he says to people who take the mick out of his tattoos.
It was this game between Crystal Palace and West Brom, and I did everything that was normal before the match. The officials travelled in together and we had a gentleman’s agreement that we could leave after the game.
Some went via the subways in London, some would get their parents or friends to pick them up, and I just got my car. This time I had left it in a car park – I’d left it there earlier before I’d got to the hotel. I’d done everything normal.
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After the match, I left to go to an Ed Sheeran gig. The problem was, Palace manager Neil Warnock came looking for us half an hour afterwards. I think I’d left after 25 minutes, thinking he’d not f*cking bother me – but he did.
He called us on my way back up home, up to Newcastle on the way to the concert and he wanted to have a word with us.
He wanted to have a rant and rave.
I had to report myself for taking a phone call from a manager [as all officials must be present during a conversation with a manager], so I ended up getting a one-match ban.
But was it worth it for going to watch Ed Sheeran? It was, and actually my garden the following week looked absolutely immaculate because I spent all week there as I wasn’t allowed to do anything in the Premier League.
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I got my Olympics tattoo first because I did the Olympic Final in 2012. No-one knew about it though, and that’s why I wore long sleeves.
Everybody was like, why the f*ck is he wearing long sleeves in 40 degrees? It was because I trying to hide my tattoo.
I then got stick for the Champions League Final one but you think – like why do you care? Life is too short to worry about things.
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You know what, concentrate on your own life. Let me deal with my life and if I want to do something that isn’t against the law, I should be able to do whatever I want. If it p*sses people off, so be it. Get a life.
I did the Chinese Super Cup Final and I don’t know where to put that at the moment! I need to get the emblem!
I haven’t got any more room on my arms so it might have to be on another part of my body. I’ll let you guess – it won’t be on my legs anyway.
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