Referee Mike Dean reveals two players that ‘scared’ him
Mike Dean, a Premier League referee, confessed he was “in awe” of some of the “big personality players” in the top tier when he first started refereeing but overcame his worries.
Dean will retire as a referee at the end of the current season, but will take up the position of Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
Fans have grown to know him as a larger-than-life official, but he claims that was not always the case.
Dean singled out Arsenal veteran Patrick Vieira and ex-Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane as players who made him nervous and afraid.
“I got in the Premier League in 2000 when I was 31, 32, and you had massive, big personality players like the Keanes, people like that, Vieira, they were all around then.
“For me to come from the Football League to the Premier League and refereeing those players… from reffing League 1 and League 2 and the odd Championship game to the Premier League… it was just a massive step, and I was probably in awe of them as well to be fair.
“[I was] probably a bit nervous and a bit scared of making a decision,” Dean told BBC Sport.
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