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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 April, 2004, 08:35 GMT 09:35 UK
Final nod for Winter
FA Cup final referee Jeff Winter
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is heading for an FA Cup final reunion on May 22 with the referee he once branded "a joke".

Jeff Winter will officiate at the Millennium Stadium match with Millwall and will retire after the game.

Ferguson has had a series of run-ins with the Stockton official.

The Football Association banned Ferguson for two matches after Winter, acting as a fourth official, sent him from the dugout at Newcastle.

Ferguson was found gulty of misconduct for that incident when he reacted angrily to match referee Uriah Rennie's failure to show a card to Newcastle defender Any O'Brien.

The Manchester United boss kicked the ball away in anger before remonstrating with Winter who, dismissed him from the technical area.

Fourth official Jeff Winter sends Sir Alex Ferguson from the touchline
Jeff Winter and Sir Alex Ferguson clashed at Newcastle

In February Winter earned further criticism from Ferguson when he sent off Gary Neville in the Manchester derby for headbutting Steve McManaman.

Ferguson accused Winter of allowing a melee to develop and described the referee's decision as "an absolutely ludicrous piece of refereeing".

Winter has not awarded a penalty in any of the Premiership games he has officiated this season.

But he gave Cup finalists Millwall two spot-kicks in their 4-1 win over West Ham at The New Den in March.

In a fiery match, he also awarded one to West Ham and dismissed Hammers keeper Stephen Bywater.





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