Dean loving life as a referee in PL's 500 club

4 Feb 2020

Mike Dean recalls memorable moments from his 20 years at the top level after taking charge of his 500th Premier League match

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Last month was an historic one for Mike Dean, who became the first referee to take charge of 500 Premier League matches.

Dean refereed his 500th top-flight match when Arsenal drew 1-1 with Sheffield United in Matchweek 23, before reaching 501 when Tottenham Hotspur won 2-0 against Manchester City on Sunday.

And it was Spurs and Man City who provided two of the most memorable moments in his 20-year career to date, which he looked back on in an interview with former referee Chris Foy.

'I was celebrating an advantage'

Dean appeared to be celebrating as he pointed his finger in the air after Mousa Dembele's goal for Spurs against Aston Villa in November 2015, but he said: "I wouldn't say it was a goal celebration. I was celebrating an advantage."

"As you can see, I kind of got carried away with the whole day really."

The former FIFA World Cup official was also reminded of the time he hid the match ball from Sergio Aguero, who had scored a hat-trick in a 6-0 victory over Chelsea in in February 2019.

"I put the ball up my jersey. Just as a bit of a laugh," Dean said.

"Well, just a bit of fun isn't it, really. That's just the way I am on the field of play.

"I love the job that I do and you can have a laugh and a joke with some players sometimes."

Dean made his debut as a Premier League referee when Leicester City hosted Southampton in September 2000, and to mark his 500th match he was given a special medallion and plaque by Mike Foster, the Chair of Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL).

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