With all the recent fuss and controversy surrounding England’s top official Howard Webb, and his inability to spot Cesc Fabregas’ handball at the Emirates last week that cost Liverpool the game, there is another figure that Liverpool fans loathe, that Webb is trying to emulate. Rob Styles, the controversial referee that screwed Liverpool back in 2007 and suffered so much abuse by Premiership players and fans that he had to call it a day last year and retire.
Liverpool fans will remember Styles’ day of infamy in August 2007, when he wrongly awarded Chelsea a penalty and then booked Michael Essien twice without sending the Chelsea midfielder off. Fiercely criticised over his officiating of the game, Styles was forced to apologise to Liverpool over his penalty decision.
Other high-profile gaffes include Styles awarding Manchester United a penalty last season after he adjudged Jlloyd Samuel’s tackle on Cristiano Ronaldo to be a foul, which video replays clearly show was not the case.
Styles retired in June 2009, reportedly disillusioned with the demands of top-level refereeing. Just don’t expect Styles to be welcomed to Anfield with open arms any time soon, or any one of the multiple clubs he alienated with his often-baffling decisions.
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