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Referees Rants: Mark Halsey Profile

Referee Profile

Mar. 09, 2010 - 05602394 date 09 03 2010 Copyright imago Referee Mark Halsey Prepares to Make His Comeback From Cancer AT A Leicester City v Scunthorpe Reserve Game AT Hinckley Today Reserve Match Leicester City Reserves v Scunthorpe United Reserves 9th March 2010 PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK Football men England 2009 2010 Photo shooting Vdig xkg 2010 horizontal Highlight premiumd.

Personal information

Full name: Mark R Halsey

Date of birth: 8 July 1961 (age 49)

Place of birth: Welwyn Garden City

Football League Referee: 1990s-1999

Premier League Referee: 1999-

Mark Halsey, who first started refereeing in 1989, had spells with Cambridge City, Barnet and Hertford Town before turning to the whistle. While Halsey started refereeing he was on St Albans City’s books before ending his football career in the early nineties and going into refereeing full time. He then went on to referee in the football league in mid nineties.  After several years in the football league, Halsey was selected for the Football League One play-final between Gillingham and Manchester City which finished with City winning 3-1 on penalties after the match finished 2-2. The year went from good to great for Halsey as he was also promoted to a level 2 premier league referee.

Mark Halsey’s first game as a Premier League official was between Wimbledon and Coventry City which ended in a 1-1 score draw. Post match, Halsey’s was praised for his control of the game. Three years later, after being added to the FIFA List Of Football Referees in 2000, he officiated at the 2002 FIFA Disabled World Championship held in Japan also in that year he was forth official in the FA Cup Final before officiating in a final of his own in 2008.

He took charge of the Football League Cup Final at the new Wembley with Tottenham and Chelsea battling it out for the trophy. In the game Halsey made two controversial decisions the first was when he was given guidance by his assistant that Chelsea’s Wayne Bridge handled the ball which Halsey agreed with giving Tottenham a penalty which they inevitably scored making the score 1-1. The second of which was when Halsey blew the whistle while Chelsea forward Kalou was attacking into the box at the end of the game but as it says in Law 5 ‘The referee may blow his whistle at any time, and he therefore does not have to wait for an attack to finish’ but this decision wasn’t taken well by Chelsea staff and fans but in LOAF he was right.

Football - West Ham United v Aston Villa Barclays Premier League - Upton Park - 20/12/08.Referee Mark Halsey Photo via Newscom

It was then confirmed just over a year later that Halsey was suffering from lymphoma of the glands and was to undergone surgery to remove a cancerous tumour in his throat after officiating in the start of the season match between Arsenal and Everton. It finished 5-1 to the Gunners and after the game it was an emotional fair well to the game.

By 4 March 2010 Mark passed a basic referee fitness test and was allocated his first game back after his illness. It was Leicester City Reserves against Scunthorpe Reserves which the Foxes won 5-0. Halsey also was due to referee the Football League Division Two match between Accrington Stanley and Barnet but it was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch but he did return to referee the League 2 game between Rotherham United and Port Vale at the Don Valley Stadium on 3 April 2010.

It was then confirmed that exactly a year after he officiated his last Premier League game Mark Halsey would be returning to the Premier League in the fixture between Wigan and Blackpool after a successful recovery. The game was a real upset with Blackpool beat Wigan 3-0 but didn’t come without its controversy but this time it wasn’t Halsey that was in the firing line it was his assistant who ruled out two goals, one for each side that looking back on replays were goals but Mark had a good return back to Premier League football.

My next post will be a referee analysis of Chris Foy after his match at Old Trafford on Monday which should be up by Tuesday morning but i still haven’t uploaded my Referee analysis from the England friendly.

If You have any questions for me at all please comment on any of my posts and i will answer them all

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  1. I*T*P*L

    15 August, 2010 at 19:39

    Good idea for a feature Oliver, I also referee (level 7).

    I once attended a charity match refereed by Halsey, he drives a silver Peugeot with the registration BI9 REF.

    What’s the mandatory retirement age for referees these days do you know? I thought it was 50. That means that at 49 Halsey’s excellent comeback could be very short.

  2. Oliver McGrath

    15 August, 2010 at 21:15

    There isn’t one! as long as your fit enough you ref as much as you like its just if your 84 i think the premier league wouldn’t believe that you are fit enough but i think he’ll have another couple of years in the prem then slowly go down the leagues and end up in the conference because i know a referee who got to the championship and stayed there and then came down the leagues as he aged and he refs in the conference south now. I’m level 8 as im under 16. do you still ref ? and i love the number plate

  3. Oliver McGrath

    15 August, 2010 at 21:19

    also i think he is still fitter than other referees i.e alan wiley who is 50

  4. I*T*P*L

    16 August, 2010 at 18:23

    Thanks for the info Oliver, it does make sense that referees can keep going as long as they’re competent, though Wiley has now retired I believe. It will be interesting to see if Halsey does drop down the leagues as he gets older, as referees like Wiley and Bennett have opted not too, but Halsey has done so well to get back to fitness it would be a shame for him not to continue as long as possible.

    Yes, I still do referee, but really I only do it for the money, I have no ambitions to take it very far, do you? I’m eighteen now so might go for one more promotion so I can do more open age matches.

  5. Ian Logan

    19 February, 2011 at 22:38

    I have been watching English league football for a number of years and as a Stoke City supporter, have had to endure many dire refereeing performances.
    I have a mate who has supported his team in the various leagues in which Stoke participated in our “leaner” years and together we compared referees’ performances and concluded with a list of referees who were consistently iconsistent, inept and deserved the “You’re not fit to referee” barrages.

    However we are united with several other symapthisers in the opinion that Mark Halsy is the undisputed best referee in the league and his approach to refereeing a game should be the benchmark to which all other refs should aspire.

    He commands respect. Instead of brandishing a card for a first offence he weighs up the wider scenario and deals with it sensibly first by verbal interaction and only uses cards as a last resort. He is mindful of the paying supporters’ appreciation of flowing football and is generally appreciated by ensuring that the game is “ours”, not “his”.

    Pity he didn’t officiate the 2010 World Cup Final. I think it would have been a much better game rather than ruined by a ref who dished ou cards ad infinitum to mask his all too obvious incompetence in handling players.

    Mark, I always look forward to a game in which you are officiating as I know you will allow football to be the talkingpoint not the officials.

    I salute you in returning to the role in the game that you obviously love after the serious difficult time that afflicted you and your family and I loo forward to seeing you officiate at as many sCFC ganes as you are allocated before you retire.

    When you do retire you should start a school for “sensible refereeing” which sadly too many of the card happy insecure imposters in green / black sorely need.

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