A top football referee at the centre of a raging controversy about 'biased officiating' at a top Championship play-off match has denied being a whistleblower.
Alan Gust, who has been on the Football League Referees Register for donkeys' years, is accused of preventing a crucial goal being scored in the Fulham v. Cardiff City game, when, at 2-1 to the Bluebirds, he stopped play with Cardiff striker Junior Hoylett through on goal with only the 'keeper to beat.
As Hoylett prepared to shoot, an ear-shattering peep from a whistle pierced the air, and the striker stopped. The ball rolled gently to the Fulham goalkeeper.
With Fulham having won 2-0 at Cardiff in the first leg, the aggregate score stood at 3-2 in the London club's favour, and a third Cardiff goal would have set up extra-time and, possibly, penalties.
Potential promotion to the Premier League, and almost-certain ruination was at stake.
But the ref said:
"I don't know why he stopped. I heard a faint sound, a bit like a wolf whistle, but not a ref's whistle. A bit like a dustman, I suppose, when he's emptying your bin. Or a postman. Or a milkman. It wasn't me though As far as I was concerned, he was onside, and the ball was in play. He should have got his shot off!"
Fulham will now play somebody else in the final.