JUST four years ago as a promising young referee, Darren England took charge of his first senior cup final on the local footballing scene.
Last Saturday, after what seems only the proverbial five minutes since then, the young man from Barnsley has tasted the experience of running the line on the Premier League for the first time.
Darren’s delight was compounded by the fact that on the opposite touchline was one of the country’s top assistant referees, Darren Cann who ran the line to Howard Webb at the 2010 World Cup Final.
Darren, who comes from Darfield, proudly walked out alongside the other Darren and referee Mike Jones for his Premier League ‘debut’ at Stoke City’s Britannia Stadium for their game with Neil Warnock’s QPR.
Darren was only 20 when he was chosen to referee the County Senior League Cup Final four years ago, the youngest ever to take that particular final, after an excellent season in the middle in that league.
Now he has tasted English football’s ‘big time’ and follows in the recent footsteps of another Barnsley referee, Scott Ledger, who is an assistant referee on the Premier League and, last year, was reserve assistant referee at the Carling Cup Final.