Darren England will referee Arsenal’s Carabao Cup game against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night and if you’re currently thinking ‘who?’ you’re not alone.

darren england
Darren England

England, of course, hails from the north of the country, coming from South Yorkshire. There seems to be some sort of law that referees cannot come from the south of England.

This looks like it will be the biggest match England has taken charge off, having never before officiated a match featuring one of the Premier League’s top six given he’s in the Select 2 group at PGMOL.

In fact, he only seems to have taken charge  of games featuring Premier League sides when they drop down to the Championship or play in the EFL/Carabao Cups. Prior to this, his career highlight seems to have been running the line during the 2015 FA Cup final that Arsenal won 4-0 against Villa.

This season, he has reffed four games and issued a total of just seven yellows. One of those games featured Arsenal’s opponents and he saw fit to book just one West Brom player as Forest lost 1-0 at home.

In two of his games so far this season he’s issued no cards at all – and one of those was Burnley v Sunderland in the EFL Cup which you imagine must have been a proper kick-fest.

There’s so little about England online that he doesn’t even have his own wiki page and I had to read an article from 2015 to work out what age he is – in and around 34, depending on when his birthday falls, if you’re interested.

Although he hasn’t been taking charge in the Premier League, he has ran the line many times.

On his linkedin page he describes himself as, “…a reliable, focused and driven individual. I set myself high personal and professional standards and expect the same from those I work with. I am exceptionally conscientious and methodical but I have learnt to adapt my approach when faced with the unexpected, finding ‘out of the box’ solutions when appropriate. I work well as part of a team and have excellent communication skills that I have used effectively to engage, support and motivate others.

“I have a wide range of interests, many of which are sport & education related. I have a keen interest in sports officiating, golf and foreign languages including Spanish. I am always eager to learn and develop my knowledge of current affairs and innovative developments & practices within the arenas of sport & education.”

First published 23 September 2019