The match official for Saturday’s game at Deepdale is making his second trip to PR1 this season and this is his third Lilywhites match of the campaign.
Experienced referee Geoff Eltringham will be in charge as of the clash with Swansea City, having also been here for the 3-1 win over Huddersfield Town back in November, as well as having officiated our 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest at the end of August.
The last time we saw the north east official here in Preston before the Terriers clash, was for the superb home win over Norwich City back in February 2019, before which he also refereed our final game of 2018, when we took a point from a fine performance against Aston Villa.
Prior to that he was referee when the Lilywhites travelled to Ashton Gate and defeated Lee Johnson’s Bristol City in October 2018 and also North End’s trip to Elland Road back in September – making it four games in the 2018/19 campaign, having also officiated five games for Alex Neil’s side in the 2017/18 season!
In that season, having taken charge our early season game at Derby County, Geoff also took charge of the Boxing Day trip to Barnsley, our January win at Nottingham Forest and March’s victory over Bristol City at Deepdale and finally our goalless draw with Norwich City in mid-April.
He also refereed one North End game in 2016/17, the home clash with our Barnsley, having also done one the previous season, the 1-0 home win over Reading.
The year prior to that he took charge of three PNE games, including the 2-0 home win over Peterborough United in March. Back in the 2013/14 campaign he also took charge of North End twice, both of those at Deepdale - the 1-1 draw with Tranmere Rovers back in November 2013 and then the goalless draw with Sheffield United in March.
The County Durham official is an experienced referee who had taken charge of North End a number of other times in the past including the very first game after the departure of Graham Westley, when John Dreyer took the team against an in-form Bournemouth side and ran out 2-0 winners.
He also looked after a thriller back in 2010, when North End overcame Crystal Palace 4-3 at Deepdale.
Geoff has so far taken charge of 17 games this season, with 66 cautions and two red cards issued, however, this will be his first Swans game of the season. For the game, the referee will be assisted by James Mainwaring and James Wilson, whilst Joe Hull will act as the fourth official.