It is a year to the week since Lee Probert last took charge of a Preston North End game as the match official.
The experienced Premier League official is the referee for the clash with Leeds United, having also been the man with the whistle for another clash with a West Yorkshire outfit, away at Huddersfield, his first game in charge at the John Smith’s Stadium last April.
This is the Wiltshire referee’s ninth game in charge of North End since his joined the league’s lists back in the 2003/04 season; the last of which before that clash at the Terriers, being at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane in January 2015, when the Lilywhites won an FA Cup fourth round replay 3-1.
Over the years he has refereed European games and international matches, so is a very well-respected official, who this season have taken charge of 26 games, issuing 46 cautions and five red cards.
He has taken charge of one other Leeds game this season, their 3-1 defeat at Leicester City in the fourth round of the EFL Cup back in October.
An interesting fact is that Lee was the referee when the Lilywhites played at QPR in February 2005 in the first of the modern day Gentry Day fixtures, former PNE skipper Chris Lucketti and David Nugent scoring in the 2-1 win at Loftus Road and Chris is back at Deepdale for tonight’s game.