He says: ‘Hi, I’m Mike.’ As if he wishes any creation. Mike Dean is the person in black and any person so widely known, he may sneeze and it will pass viral.
Yet he says social media’s obsession together with his behaviour does not hassle him.
‘That’s simply me being me,’ he says. ‘Some other folks name me, ‘The Greatest Showman’. I am getting the tune performed to me at times by way of the boys (his fellow referees). But it does not hassle me. Not in any respect.
‘It’s possibly moved that approach ever since that Tottenham-Aston Villa sport. I’d performed a really perfect benefit, Spurs scored, and I used to be sucked in. I gave the impression of I used to be celebrating. It is what it’s.
Mike Dean (above)referred to as time on his 22-year refereeing profession on the finish of remaining season
‘But would I alter anything else I’ve accomplished? Never. It’s now not my taste. If I attempted to switch the best way I’m, it will cock the whole lot up. I used to be simply being myself.’
Dean refereed 560 Premier League video games, awarded 11,876 free-kicks, pointed for 186 consequences, confirmed 2,046 yellows and 114 reds.
He will now not be noticed at the soccer box however can be operating as a full-time VAR at Stockley Park and writing solely for Sportsmail this season.
It would possibly appear abnormal having your existence’s paintings summed up in numbers — and they do not do justice to his true contribution over 22 years of carrier to the English best flight — however then Dean can have been measuring his profession in chickens as an alternative.
We’ll come to that later. First, we begin with the place it ended — Chelsea as opposed to Watford at Stamford Bridge on May 22, one ultimate trip as a Premier League referee.
‘I by no means play tune within the referee’s dressing room previously,’ Dean says. ‘But ahead of Chelsea-Watford, I performed The Final Countdown on my telephone. I figured, ‘Why now not?’ The lads — assistants Ian Hussin and Darren Cann and fourth legitimate John Busby — all joined in.
Dean used to be accused of celebrating when Tottenham scored towards Aston Villa in 2015
‘We had slightly sing and a hug, and it used to be handiest after we have been strolling out that I felt emotional. I knew it used to be the remaining time I’d be doing that, then I became round and noticed my spouse and my circle of relatives.
‘Among the avid gamers twigged that I wasn’t too just right. Some of them came to visit to invite if I used to be OK, which used to be great.’
As used to be the dialog with Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel and Watford’s Roy Hodgson of their pre-match assembly. ‘They stated, ‘It’s your day. Enjoy it and know that you can don’t have any hassle from any of our avid gamers’. Which I did not, fortunately!’
Footage of Dean blowing the full-time whistle quickly made it directly to social media. ‘I used to be all the time going to do a large whistle on the finish, wasn’t I? I needed to end the profession off proper.’
We’re in Meeting Room 6 on the Premier League’s headquarters in Paddington, London, with Dean having kindly travelled from his house within the Wirral to talk with Sportsmail and inform his tale. It begins with him being a goalkeeper for Pensby High School. ‘I by no means threatened to make a profession out of it,’ he says. ‘I used to be too heavy.’
He went directly to paintings at a poultry manufacturing unit, normally overlaying the 6am-2pm shift whilst juggling part-time refereeing.
His remaining sport as a referee got here within the conflict between Chelsea and Watford again in May
‘I did the whole lot there. I could be within the room the place we needed to take the insides out – sorry to any person consuming their sarnies at this time – or I could be within the killing space. Then as soon as I’d completed my shift, I may have to visit Hartlepool, Carlisle, anywhere, to referee a sport.
‘There wasn’t an inkling it will pass full-time. It used to be only a interest, every other task. But in 1999 there have been whispers in regards to the Premier League going full-time.’
From fowls to fouls, Dean’s first Premier League tournament used to be Leicester towards Southampton in September 2000. ‘No yellow playing cards! Can you imagine it? How instances modified, ey?’
Entering an area of Keanes, Vieiras, Fergusons, Wengers, it used to be daunting for the then 32-year-old Dean.
It took time for his self belief to return out. You would possibly name it conceitedness, however over the process a day with Dean, he comes throughout as anything else however.. In fact, the 54-year-old is solely a soccer fan, such as you or I.
‘I’ve supported Tranmere since my dad took me to a sport on the age of 7 in ’75. I adopted them house and away. Did I sign up for in with the chants? The ‘You have no idea what you might be doing?’ and all that? Of direction. All the time. When you are a fan, you are a fan. When you are a ref, you are a ref. If I’m looking at Tranmere and the ref makes a mistake, I’ll let him know!’
Dean is a Tranmere Rovers supporter and is frequently noticed celebrating within the stands
You’ve almost definitely noticed the tv pictures of Dean sitting a few of the Tranmere supporters. ‘I may not take a seat within the administrators’ field, although I may.. I’d moderately be with the enthusiasts, my associates, my circle of relatives. I’m there to revel in myself with everyone else.’
Since that Chelsea-Watford sport, Dean’s loved some down time. While his colleagues like Michael Oliver, Andre Marriner and Anthony Taylor are being weighed and put via their paces in preparation for the brand new season, he is been on his vacations.
He went to his villa in southern Spain, the place he may well be noticed using an inflatable unicorn within the swimming pool à los angeles Harry Maguire. He caddied for Ladies European Tour golfers Felicity Johnson and Lydia Hall. He went to look The Proclaimers, Go West and Paul Young.
‘I’ve loved myself. I’ve spent the remaining 22 years looking to stay myself in form and now I’ve completed, I’ve comfortable just a little. The lads were texting me ‘benefit from the beer’ whilst they have were given bleep exams to do.
Abuse used to be focused at Dean’s Family when he despatched off West Ham’s Tomas Soucek remaining yr
‘People were asking me, ‘When are you occurring I’m A Celebrity? Are you going at the subsequent Strictly Come Dancing?’ Apparently a large number of other folks have put bets on me showing on the ones. Unbelievable. Sorry to disappoint however I will be able to’t say I’ve been requested to seem on anything else like that!’
It’s price noting that Dean did ballroom dancing till round 14 years previous, so by no means say by no means, however he is content material with being a VAR in the meanwhile.
Why did he retire from refereeing when he had the choice of constant? ‘I’m 54 now. The older you get, your legs do not paintings as a lot, your knees don’t seem to be as nimble as they have been… it felt proper.’
The abuse will have performed an element, too. Dean is now on Instagram, but if he wasn’t on social media, members of the family have been focused after he’d pink carded West Ham’s Tomas Soucek in a sport towards Fulham. That incorporated demise threats.
‘The individuals who did which have been noticed to by way of the police, fortunately. Unfortunately now I’ve retired, any individual else gets the grief. We’re educated in find out how to care for that. But your circle of relatives is not.’
Dean by no means used to be one for letting grievance get to him. ‘I’ll concentrate to talkSPORT or BBC 5Live at the approach house from video games. I’ll watch Match of the Day later that evening. I used to test the newspaper scores however they are no just right them, are they? The Daily Mail by no means gave me a just right mark.’
Sorry about that, Mike. Now you might be our columnist, we is also kinder.
MIKE DEAN ON
HIS BEST GAME
Easy, Man City towards QPR in 2012. To be depended on with that sport, with the name at stake, used to be elegance.
the nook got here in and Edin Dzeko scored to make it 2-2. QPR took the kick-off and gave the ball again to City, which I’ll by no means perceive.
The leisure is historical past. Despite Taye Taiwo’s try at a take on, Sergio Aguero stayed on his ft and scored. That stored me a very simple resolution as a result of it will were a penalty.
SIR ALEX FERGUSON
It’s a fantasy that he’d come banging down my door. He received this recognition nevertheless it wasn’t his taste. I by no means had the hairdryer remedy. I’ve were given no hair to dry anyway.
Staying within the Premier League for 22 years. I’ve overseen 560 video games — now not all just right however I’ve controlled to stick on the best for lengthy sufficient to really feel proud.
MOST CHALLENGING PLAYER TO REFEREE
Craig Bellamy. Before the sport, wonderful. Warming up, wonderful. He may jokingly say, ‘Oh, now not you once more!’ Then for 90 mins he used to be other.
But I am getting that. He used to be simply so interested in successful.
Mike Dean can be writing solely for Sportsmail right through the season