Kevin Friend

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Kevin Friend
Kevin Friend.jpg
Full name Kevin Friend
Born (1971-07-08) 8 July 1971 (age 45)
Bristol, England[1]

Kevin Friend (born 8 July 1971)[2] is an English professional football referee based in Leicester. He is a member of the Leicestershire and Rutland County Football Association.

In 2009, Friend was promoted to the list of Select Group Referees who officiate primarily in the Premier League. His most notable appointments have been to referee the 2012 Community Shield, played at Villa Park, and the 2013 League Cup final which was held at Wembley Stadium.


Friend started refereeing at the age of 14 in his home county of Leicestershire. He officiated in the Leicestershire Senior League and Midland Football Alliance before being promoted to the National List of Referees, and later to the Select Group of Referees ahead of the 2009–10 season. His first Premier League fixture was on 20 September 2009: a 2–1 victory for Wolverhampton Wanderers over Fulham; Friend showed two yellow cards during his debut appointment in England's top-flight.

Friend issued his first Premier League red card on 15 December 2009 to Sunderland captain Lorik Cana for a second bookable offence in his team's 2–0 defeat to Aston Villa.

He refereed the 2009 FA Vase final at Wembley Stadium on 10 May between Whitley Bay and Glossop North End, won 2–0 by the Bay.

During a Football League One match in 2010 between Norwich City and Milton Keynes Dons Friend issued 11 yellow cards, including two to Dons player Aaron Wilbraham.[3]

Friend showed a red card to Sunderland defender Wes Brown in a 2013 Premier League match against Stoke City, which the FA later rescinded.[4][5]

In 2016, Friend was controversially prevented from officiating a Premier League match between Stoke City and title contenders Tottenham Hotspur, due to him being a supporter of fellow title challengers Leicester City.[6]

2012 FA Community Shield[edit]

On 3 July 2012, it was announced that Friend would referee the 2012 FA Community Shield, played on 12 August at Villa Park.[7] His assistants were Michael McDonough and Richard West, and Anthony Taylor was the fourth official.

Chelsea were defeated 3–2 by Manchester City. Branislav Ivanović was sent off for the Blues for a high challenge towards the end of the first half. Ivanović did not serve any subsequent suspension, however, after FA rule changes regarding pre-season fixtures.[8]

2013 League Cup final[edit]

Friend refereed the 2013 League Cup final at Wembley Stadium on 24 February. The match was contested by League 2's Bradford City and Premier League Swansea City.

Swansea won the final 5–0.[9] An incident early in the second-half, when the Premier League side were already 3–0 up, saw Friend adjudge Bradford goalkeeper Matt Duke to have committed a professional foul. The official dismissed Duke and awarded Swansea a penalty kick, which was converted by Jonathan de Guzmán; he also scored again in the 90th minute. The other Swansea goals came courtesy of Nathan Dyer (2) and Michu.[10]


Season Games Total YC YC per game Total Red card Red card per game
2003–04 27 98 3.63 4 0.15
2004–05 37 107 2.89 7 0.19
2005–06 21 45 2.14 2 0.09
2006–07 34 87 2.56 6 0.18
2007–08 41 100 2.44 11 0.27
2008–09 46 124 2.69 6 0.13
2009–10 34 133 3.91 7 0.21
2010–11 33 116 3.52 7 0.21
2011–12 33 120 3.64 3 0.09
2012–13 34 120 3.53 3 0.09

Statistics are for all competitions. No records are available prior to 2003–04.


  1. ^ "Football: Leicester referee Kevin Friend can't wait to blow whistle on Capital One Cup final". This is Leicestershire. 22 February 2013. 
  2. ^ Birthdate confirmation at the Football League official website. Retrieved on 26 March 2008. Archived 28 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ [url=]
  4. ^ "BBC Sport — Stoke v Sunderland: Gus Poyet wants apology after red card". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  5. ^ Owen Phillips. "BBC Sport — Stoke City 2-0 Sunderland". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  6. ^ [url=]
  7. ^ "A Friend in me". The 12 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "Ivanovic spared suspension for Community Shield red". Yahoo! Europsort. 13 August 2012. 
  9. ^ "Bantams battered by Swans". ESPN. 25 February 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  10. ^ "Bradford 0 – 5 Swansea". BBC Sport. 24 February 2013. 

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