Mark Clat­ten­burg on Bel­lamy

Three things re­ally an­noy the ex-pre­mier League ref – traf­fic war­dens, mos­qui­toes and Craig Bel­lamy

FourFourTwo - - CONTENTS - In­ter­view Nick Moore Illustration Bill Mc­conkey Mark Clat­ten­burg is an am­bas­sador for Paddy Power dur­ing the FIFA World Cup

Hi Mark. How of­ten do peo­ple call you ‘Bat­ten­berg’, and do you now rue the ex­is­tence of that sound-a-like fancy sponge cake? Hi. Yeah… Ki­pling’s cakes, that’s where my name is from. Clat­ten­burg is re­ally a Ger­man name that got spread out in Canada – my gran­dad was a Cana­dian ice hockey player – but ev­ery birth­day cake I had as a child was a Bat­ten­berg. I’ve had so much Bat­ten­berg in my life, I don’t like it any more. I’ve been called Bat­ten­berg many times but I’ve been called far worse, so I’d say Bat­ten­berg is one of the nicer ones. What is your cake pref­er­ence, then? Banof­fee pie, with the harder base. It’s the only dessert I re­ally like. De­li­cious. Do you ever blow a whis­tle in day-to-day life, like at a dog? I don’t have a whis­tle, or a dog, though I whis­tle the odd tune with my mouth. Al­ways Look on the Bright Side of Life is my top whistling melody. I’ve lost a few friends re­cently, so it’s a good at­ti­tude to life. Live it to the full. I’ve been try­ing to teach my daugh­ter to whis­tle, as she lost a tooth and couldn’t do it. Do you reckon you could beat Usain Bolt run­ning back­wards over 100m? I ref­er­eed him at Soc­cer Aid, so maybe we should have done it then. Run­ning back­wards is an un­der-ap­pre­ci­ated skill as long as you don’t hit the deck. There is noth­ing a crowd likes more than a ref go­ing over, though refs aren’t ac­tu­ally en­cour­aged to run back­wards any­more. They want us run­ning for­wards. In the Half Man Half Bis­cuit song The Ref­eree’s Al­pha­bet, it’s re­vealed: “J is for ju-jitsu, which I quite in­tend to dis­play given a dark al­ley and some of the narky blerts I’ve en­coun­tered”. If you could ju-jitsu one narky blert, who would it be? Craig Bel­lamy. I think quite a lot of refs would say that. He knew how to push my but­tons. The prob­lem was that I’d re­act to him. You’re meant to stay calm, bal­anced and im­par­tial. Bel­lamy was like deal­ing with a drunk, ir­ri­tat­ing per­son as a po­lice­man. You should re­spect play­ers, but it was very hard with him. Which world leader would make the best ref­eree and which ref­eree would make the best world leader? Who’s the most bor­ing ref, to be a good politi­cian? Prob­a­bly Martin Atkin­son. He is the per­fect role model – he’d have his tie the ideal length. Don­ald Trump would prob­a­bly be the best ref be­cause no one likes him. He doesn’t care, so he’d fit in. Howard Webb once con­fessed to FFT that he pinches toi­let rolls. Have you ever com­mit­ted a petty crime? Ha. I do like to nick the lit­tle sham­poos from ho­tel rooms. Howard can’t do that be­cause he’s bald, but now I’ve had my hair trans­plant done, I’m OK. My main crime was be­ing a s**t ref­eree! [Cack­les] Ref­er­ees are un­pop­u­lar de­spite just do­ing their job, so let’s see what you think of other ma­ligned en­ti­ties that are per­form­ing an as­signed func­tion. Traf­fic war­dens... Oh they wind me up. You’ve got to have cer­tain tol­er­ance lev­els, and I’ve al­ways tried to be fair as a ref­eree. But if you’re only an inch out, they won’t show any lee­way. I’ve been done my­self for be­ing mil­lime­tres over the line. It’s an­noy­ing. Es­tate agents. They do a good job, but I do think some of their charges are ex­tor­tion­ate. Speed cam­eras. I hate them. I got done on my first day in Saudi Ara­bia. They get put in places they just don’t need to be. By a school, fine. But why are they on mo­tor­ways? Wasps. I’m not a fan, but what’s even worse is mos­qui­toes. And they f**king love me! Fi­nally, you’ve got a few tat­toos – if you had to have one celebrity’s face done on your back, who would it be? I’ll go for my­self, just to wind peo­ple up! Cheers for chat­ting, Mark. Hope you get a banof­fee on your next birth­day. Thanks.

“BEL­LAMY WAS LIKE DEAL­ING WITH A DRUNK, IR­RI­TAT­ING PER­SON AS A PO­LICE­MAN”

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