Mark Clattenburg's tattoos the story of a busy summer

 Mark Clattenburg 
Benjamin Wright

MARK Clattenburg slumps into the chair, the tattoo artist is ready with the needle poised.

"What'll it be this time?" she asks.

'Clatts' lets out a heavy sigh, stares at the floor and let's it all out:

"I need a picture of Jose Mourinho poking Pep Guardiola in the eye over a prostate Marouane Fellaini as Zlatan Ibrahimovic holds Raheem Sterling in a headlock."

"Blimey, Mark that must have been one hell of a Manchester derby," says the ink jockey. "How many red cards did you dish out for that?"

"None, I've been told to let on I didn't see anything."

If Mark Clattenburg's 2016 is anything to go by, he'll want to commemorate today's clash of the reds and blues at Old Trafford in same way he has marked the other big games he's officiated at.

First, there was the Champions League final between two other city rivals, Real and Atletico Madrid. Clatters was unimpressed with Pepe ubiquitous rolling round and his bizarre tongue wiggle said as much. But he was so impressed with his own performance that he had the big old trophy tattooed on his arm.

It was the beginning of of big summer for the Durham whistler who was also slated to officiate at the Euro 2016 final between France and Portugal. The game may be remembered for a crocked Ronaldo hobbling off, an infestation of moths and an unlikely winning goal from Swansea City reject Eder, but Clattenburg will remember it as his second big European final in a few months and so got the Euro 2016 inked on his other arm.

Interestingly enough, he also took charge of the FA Cup final between Crystal Palace and Manchester United, but a shaky enough performances, in which he denied Palace a penalty and failed to play crucial advantage a couple of times didn't warrant some ink on skin. Such a shame too as a tat of Alan Pardew's dad dance after Jason Puncheon's opening goal would be class.

If he keeps up the tradition, however, he'll soon be as tattoo clad as your average Premier League footballer.


For many, this weekend will be the first chance to get a glimpse at the players snapped up in the hours before the transfer window slammed shut. Niklas Bendtner's free transfer to Nottingham Forest may have seen the former two-time European champions pay over the odds for the goal-shy Dane, but former manager and now pundit Ian Holloway has likened him to another Scandinavian goal machine.

“I nearly signed Nicklas Bendtner at Crystal Palace. I actually really liked him as a person. If we had got the deal done, I reckon I could’ve got something out of him. He’s a Zlatan Ibrahimovic-type of player in terms of ability, the only difference is Ibrahimovic keeps himself fit and is able to keep scoring.”

Yeah, apart from not being any good and hardly scoring, he's exactly like big Zlat.

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