Mike Dean has revealed that he played 'The Final Countdown' in the dressing room before his final game as a Premier League referee.
Dean, dubbed by some as a celebrity ref for his pantomime villain behaviour, blew his whistle for the final time at the back end of last season. The 54-year-old will continue next season as a dedicated VAR official, but he retired from on-field duties following Chelsea's 2-1 victory over Watford at Stamford Bridge in May.
He has now opened up about that fateful day in west London, revealing that he and his fellow officials indulged themselves in a spot of singing to wave Dean off into the sunset.
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"I never play music in the referee's dressing room beforehand," Dean told the Daily Mail. "But before Chelsea-Watford, I played The Final Countdown on my phone. I figured, 'Why not?' The lads — assistants Ian Hussin and Darren Cann and fourth official John Busby — all joined in.
"We had a little sing and a hug, and it was only when we were walking out that I felt emotional. I knew it was the last time I'd be doing that, then I turned around and saw my wife and my family."
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Dean also revealed that some of the Chelsea and Watford players came over to speak to him as the reality of the occasion hit home. "A few of the players twigged that I wasn't too good. Some of them came over to ask if I was OK, which was nice," he added.
While the Wirral whistler might have refereed his final game in the Premier League, he'll still be involved in the top-flight this season as a dedicated VAR official.
He will become the second permanent VAR official appointed by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), following in the footsteps of colleague Lee Mason.
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