Mike Dean has consistently officiated at the top level of English football since being appointed to the Select Group of referees in 2000. The referee has gone on to officiate a number of crucial league and cup matches since.
Dean’s first steps on to the Football League ladder came in 1995 as an assistant referee. He was promoted to the full referees’ list two years later and went on to officiate in the top flight of English football at the turn of the millennium.
In 2003, Dean was promoted to the FIFA list and took control of the FA Community Shield between Arsenal and Manchester United a year later. A Championship Play-off Final followed in 2006 and he was in the middle for his first FA Cup Final in 2008, when Portsmouth defeated Cardiff City at Wembley Stadium. He also officiated Birmingham City’s League Cup triumph over Arsenal in 2011.
Since his promotion to the FIFA list, three UEFA Champions League matches have seen Dean in charge, while the Wirral-born referee officiated a further 31 matches in the UEFA Cup/Europa League.
Dean has enjoyed a successful international career too, which began when he officiated a friendly between Netherlands and Republic of Ireland in 2004. In addition, he has since taken charge of FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship qualifying matches. The Cheshire FA official stepped down from the FIFA international list at the end of 2013 at the mandatory retirement age of 45.