Premier League referee Martin Atkinson will be the man with the whistle for Saturday’s FA Cup third round tie at Crystal Palace.
Atkinson began his professional refereeing career at just 16 years of age and has risen through the ranks to become one of the most well respected officials in the Premier League.
After starting in local leagues, he advanced to the Football League’s list of assistant referees in 1998. Promotions quickly followed and he was refereeing Conference matches by 2002.
Atkinson had been an assistant referee in the Premier League between 2000 and 2003, but his first taste of refereeing in the top-flight came when he was in the middle for Manchester City’s clash at Crystal Palace in the 2004/05 season.
He has been a permanent fixture in the Premier League ever since and, after refereeing the 2006 FA Community Shield and 2008 FA Trophy Final, his most notable moment in English football came when he took charge of the 2011 FA Cup Final between Man City and Stoke City.
The 2013 Championship Play-off Final between Crystal Palace and Watford was referred by Atkinson and he also officiated Man City’s Capital One Cup Final triumph over Sunderland in 2014.
Mr Atkinson has been a FIFA-listed official since 2006 and is one of a handful of Select Group referees who is an Elite FIFA referee. He has also officiated Champions League matches as well as fixtures at Euro 2012, where he teamed up with fellow Select Group referee at the time, Howard Webb.
His last Grimsby Town game was back in 2005, a 1-0 home defeat for the Mariners against Shrewsbury in League Two.
A Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will be used in Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Selhurst Park.
He will be assisted by Harry Lennard and Lee Betts. The Fourth Official will be John Busby.