Chris Foy (born 20 November 1962) is from St Helens, Lancashire. He became a Football League referee in 1996, and was promoted to the Premier League in 2001, where he took charge of a 0-0 draw between Bolton Wanderers and Charlton Athletic on 15 December 2001.
Foy doesn’t appear to have upset too many Premier League managers throughout his illustrious career, but has managed to irk Manchester United manager Sir Alex. After an FA Cup defeat by Leeds United earlier this season, Ferguson was furious that Foy only added on a meagre five minutes injury time, whilst also failing to award Manchester United a single penalty. It was, in Ferguson’s opinion:
“[A]n insult to the game and to the players out there”.
Here here! Five minutes injury time? You’re a disgrace Foy!
Foy had already fallen foul of Ferguson by failing to spot an elbow by Michael Ballack on Patrice Evra in the Community Shield show-piece on 10 August last year. Whilst Evra lay pole-axed upon the Wembley turf, Chelsea took the lead through Frank Lampard, as Chelsea went on to eventually win the game on penalties.
However, the most obvious instance of Chris Foy’s total incompetence as a referee was after he failed to allow Fulham mascot Billy he Badger to break dance following the West London side’s 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on 3 February 2008.
Billy the Badger is considered one of Britain’s best break dancers, but after Fulham, who were fighting relegation at the time, took the lead against Villa, Foy sent Billy to the stands after the Badger celebrated a goal by busting some moves on the Craven Cottage turf. To his credit however, Billy took the high road and did not serve Foy, but took the proceedings with grace befitting the badger race:
“I apologise to Mr Foy. I’m remorseful of my impromptu antics at the Villa game but badgers are hard of hearing and short of sight.
“But if Fulham do win a match, I cannot be held responsible for any over-excited break dancing celebrations that may occur.”
Sounds fair enough to me. Foy just needs to let the game flow and let a badger dance.
Foy is a well known supporter of Everton, and is not allowed to referee any of the Blues matches. However, one game did slip through the net, after Foy took charge of Aston Villa v Everton at Villa Park on 30 January 2002. Despite having the referee on their side, Everton could still not win however, and the match finished 0-0.
Despite his xenophobia towards underground-based mammals, Foy has been announced as the referee for the 2010 FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Portsmouth on 15 May 2010. Let’s just hope he plays a fair game, and treats everybody, badgers, hedgehogs and humans, with the kindness and equality he failed to afford to Billy.
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