Darren Drysdale will be the man in the middle when the Iron visit Home Park on Saturday, where Plymouth Argyle are the opponents.By day, 43-year-old Drysdale is an RAF Sergeant and has previously served abroad, in the likes of Cyprus, Gibraltar and Iraq.
He has refereed 26 matches this season, showing 85 yellow cards and eight reds. The last time he dismissed a player was for Bury’s fixture with Rochdale last week. Dale missed the chance to go top of League Two as they drew 0-0 and Drysdale dismissed Dale’s Ian Henderson after showing him his second caution before the break.
In total last season, he oversaw 36 matches, brandishing six red cards and 105 yellows.
He last refereed the Iron in August 2011 when Preston visited Glanford Park. We drew 1-1 with thanks to a late Andy Barcham goal and Drysdale booked just three Preston players.
Drysdale’s refereeing career may have been fate. At 15, his father, a player-turned referee, asked him to run the line on a Sunday morning and he hasn’t looked back since.
He started out in the Football League in 1996, still on the line, and he rose to appear in the Premier League regularly and the 2000 FA Cup final before becoming the main man in the middle in 2004.
The final stands out for Drysdale, especially considering it was the last FA Cup final to be played at the Old Wembley. "I watched the finals as a kid," he said in an interview with the Football League’s website. “To be able to one day walk up to the Twin Towers, well, it was like Roy of the Rovers. I'll treasure that memory forever."
Declan Ford and David Woolford will assist Drysdale on the lines at Home Park and Stephen Finch will be his fourth official, when he hopes the fixture will be more plain sailing than previous experiences from his career serving our nation.