FORMER Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg is about to embark on a very different career path.
And it will be bulked-up bodybuilding stars that he will have to be wary of upsetting rather than footy players and fans.
The brand new launch of hit 90s show Gladiators will begin filming this week in Sheffield.
There will be 16 phenomenal Gladiators competing in the show in a series of new and classic challenges against a brave set of contenders in the ultimate test of strength and speed.
However, someone will be needing to ensure that everyone will be kept in line on the BBC show.
And that is now the task of the 48-year-old Clattenburg, one of England’s most-decorated referees.
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We revealed in March how Clattenburg is taking some time away from football after leaving Egypt where he was in charge of officials.
The ex-Premier League whistler suffered some outrageous abuse from Mortada Mansour, the president of Zamalek Sporting Club.
That led to him leaving due to safety fears after threats from fans.
Mansour has been critical of Clattenburg’s role in Egyptian football and incorrectly claimed that the ex-ref had left his wife to start a gay relationship.
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Clattenburg has decided to leave Egypt as he feared for his safety following threats from the supporters of Zamalek.
Clattenburg left the English top flight in February 2017 to take over as the head of refereeing in Saudi Arabia and he also had stints working in China and Greece.
Now the ex Fifa-listed official, who has overseen the 2016 FA Cup, Champions League and European Championships Finals, cannot wait to call out the legendary “Contenders ready, Gladiators ready” catchphrase in his new role.
Clattenburg said: “It’s amazing. When you look back to when it first started in the 90s, Gladiators was so iconic and wherever you go in the world, people have heard of Gladiators.”
He added: “Growing up, I used to sit and watch every show. John Anderson, the original referee, was so legendary.
“For me, it’s such an honour and such a privilege to now in 2023 to now be part of Gladiators.
“To be named referee after John Anderson is such an honour. Even though I’ve refereed some of the biggest games in the world – this is one the most amazing things I will do in my life.”
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