First Man Utd game for Tameside ref

A highly-rated referee who hails from Tameside will officiate his first Manchester United game this weekend - despite being affiliated to Manchester FA.

Chris Kavanagh (pictured) will take charge of the Red Devils' Premier League match against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium in the Saturday lunchtime match. 

The Fifa-listed whistler has previously been the fourth official and Video Assistant Referee in matches involving the Old Trafford outfit, but this will be the first occasion he will be the man in the middle for a United match. 

In fact, it's the first time the 34-year-old, who is from Ashton, will handle a game involving either of the two major Manchester clubs - having not refereed Manchester City before either. 

It has led to some fans questioning the appointment, when Kavanagh lives so close to Manchester, but it has been welcomed by fellow referees. 

In the past, fellow Premier League official Anthony Taylor has refereed matches involving both United and City - despite coming from Wythenshawe, just a few miles away from Old Trafford - although it is well documented that he is an avid fan of Altrincham FC and he is affiliated to Cheshire FA. 

Kavanagh - who last week refereed his first European group-stage match in the Europa League - will take charge of his 10th match of the season in all competitions in Dorset this weekend, as he is not involved in the midweek Carabao Cup fourth-round games. He has so far brandished 35 yellow cards and awarded four penalties, but he is yet to send a player off. 

Chris will be assisted by Constantine Hatzidakis, who gets his third United match in a row, and Sian Massey-Ellis, while Robert Jones - who put in a good performance in Swansea's 1-0 South-Wales derby win over Cardiff last weekend - will be the fourth official. Mike Dean will be the Video Assistant Referee, with Stephen Child his assistant. 

You can see how Kavanagh gets on by watching the match live on BT Sport 1, with kick-off at 12.30pm. 

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