This weekend’s game between Arsenal and Sheffield United will be an historic occasion, because it will be the 500th Premier League game for one Mike Dean.
The man who makes a mockery of the truism that a good referee is one that isn’t noticed, Dean has become a central figure in all of our footballing lives and, as Duncan Alexander said on this week’s edition of the Totally Football Show, “one of the most iconic figures in Premier League games.” Dean has issued 102 red cards, awarded 152 penalties and has refereed 4.7% of all the Premier League’s games.
Is he a fellow who brings some much-needed fun to the joyless world of refereeing, or a rampant egomaniac with cards? Either way, he’s give us plenty of great memories down the years. Here are just a few of them…
The Celebration: Part One
— Stephen Elliott (@SleevesElliott) May 13, 2019
You think he couldn’t find a way to make himself the centre of attention when in the middle of a crowd? Oh, how naive you are. After his team Tranmere secured their place in the League Two playoff final in 2019 by beating Forest Green Rovers on their own patch, Dean did the only sensible thing: he clambered on top of a barrier and looned it up, big style.
The Celebration: Part Two
Who among us hasn’t done a little fist-pump or raised their hands to Sky after doing something good at work? After this allowed advantage paid off superbly for Tottenham, Dean was absolutely delighted with himself. And rightly so.
The Celebration Non-Appreciation
Mike Dean being Mike Dean again.
Not a big fan of Son’s heart celebration… pic.twitter.com/P2zw9JHJ81
— BG (@ScoutedSZN) March 11, 2018
Not a fan of all celebrations, though…
Things Mike Dean Hates #1,984: Bubbles#CelebrityRefs
— Celebrity Refs (@CelebrityRefs) January 2, 2017
And neither is he a fan of bubbles.
The Advantage: Original Edition
Referee Mike Dean doing Mike Dean things way back in 1998.
— Wycombe Wanderers (@wwfcofficial) September 6, 2019
He’s been at this game since 1998.
The Hatchet Man
Cynical. You don’t like to see scenes like this.
Flick of the yellow card. Peak Mike Dean. pic.twitter.com/D1yV9sjhCE
— AFCAMDEN (@AFCAMDEN) January 13, 2019
Why not add a little flair to the otherwise staid business of issuing a yellow card?
— Planet Football (@planetfutebol) December 20, 2016
You really can’t teach this stuff.
The Three Penalties
Just in case Frank Lampard didn’t find returns to West Ham stressful enough, our hero ruled out two converted penalties due to encroachment in the area. And, in fairness quite correctly. What would have been really fun was if he’d missed the third one, with all those Hammers players in the area too…
Who the flip was that?
The Hidden Ball
What could possibly be better than scoring a Premier League hat-trick? Scoring a Premier League hat-trick, and then engaging in some light badinage with Michael Dean, of course. Lucky Sergio.
Remember when he peeled off to join in the celebrations for possibly the most dramatic moment in Premier League history?
Everyone needs a way to wind down, something to take your mind off the day job, and Mike Dean’s way is to caddy on the Ladies’ European Golf Tour.
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