Referee who took charge of controversial sick-note six Leeds United game to officiate at Southampton
and live on Freeview channel 276
In his career, he has handed out 29 yellow cards to Whites’ opponents while putting a United player’s name into his book just 16 times.
On his second encounter with Leeds, Harrington was asked to officiate a game which was marked by controversy before a ball had even been kicked.
Back in April 2015, the Whites were set to depart West Yorkshire for a Championship fixture against Charlton Athletic when former Leeds manager Neil Redfearn was served a curveball.
A sextet of United players whom Redfearn had understood were fit and available for selection – Marco Silvestri, Giuseppe Bellusci, Mirco Antenucci, Dario Del Fabro, Edgar Cani and Souleymane Doukara – informed him that they were injured and unable to play.
Redfearn, charged with keeping Leeds ticking amid a chaotic season featuring no less than three managerial changes, was forced to rethink his line up at the eleventh hour as four of his first-team regulars were among those involved in the mass withdrawal.
A lunging tackle on Sam Byram by Addicks defender Tal Ben Haim looked set to brighten the mood as Harrington had no choice but to point to the spot for Leeds – but Billy Sharp’s penalty was saved.
It wasn’t long, though, before Redfearn’s side energised the travelling fans – who had suffered four consecutive Whites defeats – by taking the lead through Steve Morison at the Valley to send the visitors into the break with a 1-0 advantage.
With just fifteen minutes to play, Tony Watt struck a sweet back-post volley to level the score for Charlton, a huge blow for United who were desperate to put an end to their losing streak, despite the challenging circumstances.
But the actions of the sick-note six were yet to play a vital part in the fate of the game as stand-in ‘keeper Stuart Taylor, deputising for the absent number 1 Marco Silvestri, fumbled a save in the final ten minutes.
Unable to hold the powerful shot of Addicks sub Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, he raced Igor Vetokele to the spilled ball but brought him down in the contest – deemed unlawful by Harrington.
Charlton midfielder Yoni Buyens slotted it calmly past Taylor to seal a comeback win for the hosts and rub salt into the wounds of a club in chaos.
Harrington has since overseen a further four Leeds defeats, as well as four Whites wins and a trio of draws.
The Hartlepool-born man began his interest in officiating with a refereeing course undertaken as part of his Duke of Edinburgh award at school.
Harrington, who was formerly a PE teacher before becoming a full-time referee, was promoted to become a Premier League referee last summer and took charge of his first top flight game, a 1-0 win for Wolves over Brighton, in December 2021.
He is yet to hand out a penalty or a red card during a game in this division.
On Saturday at St Mary’s, Harrington will be assisted by Simon Long and Richard West, with Michael Salisbury acting as the fourth official. Simon Hooper is the fixture’s Video Assistant Referee, with Dan Cook assisting.