The man in black ... and white
Ice hockey, not football, is the family background of Mark Clattenburg - though he quickly grew up into a Newcastle United fan.
"Clattenburg is a common name in Canada," smiled Mark, "even if we're the only ones in the UK.
"My grandad came over to play for Durham Wasps and my dad, who was also Canadian-born, played the game a little bit. We all used to go down to Durham ice rink.
"I was born in Consett and football naturally bit at an early age. I have two brothers and two sisters and we're split in our devotion - one brother is a Newcastle supporter and the other supports Sunderland. I'm a Toon Army soldier. I've always been a Magpie and used to support them from the terraces.
"As a consequence I can't now referee United games, though I've taken charge of reserve matches at Kingston Park.
"I did their game with Everton this season. That's not so intense, more a fitness thing.
"I probably would ask not to do Sunderland games as well because I have many friends who are Sunderland supporters. But I'd take charge of Middlesbrough. Jeff Winter, a Boro fan, refereed at Newcastle and Alan Wilkie, who supported Newcastle, did Boro games. That isn't a problem."
Clattenburg was once the fourth official at the Stadium of Light when Peter Reid was manager.
"'Oh aye, you're a daft Geordie,' he said to me. `Aye, and you're a daft Mackem,' I replied.
"Actually Reidy is a terrific bloke. I enjoy meeting him. His banter is excellent."
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