Calum Murray in charge of Tynecastle send-off

Calum Murray will be the referee as Scottish Championship winners Hearts prepare to lift the trophy after their final-day encounter with Rangers at Tynecastle on Saturday.

Calum Murray blows his whistle (Inverness v Aberdeen - 28th Dec 2014)
Dropping down: It will be Murray’s ninth match in the second tier this season (Picture from BT Sport)

REFEREE Calum Murray will take charge of the Scottish Championship clash between champions Hearts and third-placed Rangers on the final day of the season.

The 47-year-old has been chosen as the man in the middle on Saturday when Robbie Neilson’s Jambos host a Gers side who are seeking to pip Hibernian into second place in their last home game of their promotion campaign.

He will be assisted in Gorgie by linesmen Graeme Stewart and Andrew McWilliam while the fourth official is Bobby Madden – who will oversee Celtic’s Premiership match with Dundee on Friday night.

Hearts – who gained promotion back to the top-flight at the first time of asking last month – will lift the trophy after the televised lunchtime game at Tynecastle.

Murray has handled 34 games in all competitions so far this season – brandishing 112 yellow cards, sending off eight players and awarding five penalties in total.

The experienced Edinburgh-based whistler – who has only received 11 Premiership games this season – will take charge of his fifth Hearts game of the campaign but the first since their 2-1 win at Falkirk in mid-November.

His only two Rangers matches came against their play-off rivals Falkirk and Hibernian within the first month of the season.

Calum Murray referee
Reunion: Murray will take charge of both Hearts and Rangers for the first time in 2015 (Picture from BBC ALBA)

Murray – who has refereed three Celtic games since the start of March including their 2-1 win at Dundee last week – is no stranger to a fixture involving Hearts and Rangers.

He oversaw three league encounters between the sides when they were both last in the top-flight in 2011/12 including a 1-1 draw at Ibrox on the opening weekend.

The systems developer – who is the oldest of the current match officials in Scotland – has issued five red cards in his last nine games.

Murray began 2014/15 at Tynecastle in the Petrofac Training Cup as he oversaw Hearts’ 3-1 win over Annan in the first round of the competition.

It is thought that he could retire at the end of the current season although Murray continues to be a fit and capable official who once competed with Craig Thomson and Willie Collum to receive the high-profile appointments.

Thomson oversaw Hearts’ 2-1 win at Ibrox on the opening weekend and their 2-0 victory at Tynecastle in November in which he sent off Gers full-back Stevie Smith in the first half.

Sunday’s fourth official Madden was in control of the clash earlier this month as Rangers ran out 2-1 winners despite the red card shown to captain Lee McCulloch.

Calum Murray referee Old Firm derby (29th April 2012)
Coming up: Murray will also referee the Premiership catch-up match between Inverness and Dundee United in the Highlands next Tuesday night (Picture from Sky Sports)

Murray has been officiating in the Scottish top-flight since 2000 and was a Fifa referee for eight years until reaching the mandatory retirement age in 2013.

He took charge of the 2008 Ramsdens Cup Final at St Johnstone’s McDiarmid Park when Airdrie beat Ross County on penalties and the 2011 Scottish Cup Final as Celtic beat Motherwell 3-0 at Hampden Park.

In what could be Stuart McCall’s final game as manager, Rangers will claim second spot with a win if Hibernian fail to beat Scottish Cup finalists Falkirk away from home.

Three points for Hearts – who have won four of their six league games since their promotion was confirmed – would see the capital club end the campaign with 93 points as well as 30 wins from 36 matches this term.

The 12:15 BST kick-off – which was moved back 24 hours following complaints from Hibs and Hearts that it would impact on “sporting integrity” – will be shown live on Sky Sports 3.

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