Mike Dean from the Wirral will take charge of this weekend’s crucial six-pointer between Queens Park Rangers and Blackburn Rovers.
The official set off on his path in 1985 before progressing to the National List of Referees in 1997. Three years later he joined the Select List where he has resided since.
He has taken charge of both the FA Cup Final (2008) and League Cup Final (2011) and remains one of the most experienced officials on the list.
This weekend he will be assisted by Stuart Burt and Dave Richardson, with the fourth official Geoff Eltringham.
Thus far this season Dean has taken charge of 27 games dishing out 87 yellow cards and a solitary red – giving him a card average 3.26 cards per game.
Dean first took charge of QPR as the R’s travelled to Swindon Town in 1998. Despite Mike Sheron giving Rangers the advantage, Mark Walters levelled before half time with a spot kick, before Iffy Onoura turned the game on its head – Walters then netted the clincher at the death with Paul Murray also seeing red.
In 1999 that 3-1 scoreline was in Rangers’ favour as defender Jermaine Darlington handed QPR a lead, added to by a Chris Kiwomya strike. Clyde Wijnhard halved the arrears before Gavin Peacock clinched the opening day win for the R’s.
Fast forward to 2006 – where Dean’s Select List exploits kept him away from Rangers. His return to presiding over QPR didn’t go down well as Crystal Palace mauled Rangers. Former youth product Dougie Freedman netted along with strikes from Shefki Kuqi and the enigmatic Clinton Morrison.
The official took charge of Queens Park Rangers first trip to Chelsea in a number of years when a Lee Camp own goal separated the two sides in a lifeless fixture at Stamford Bridge. Claudio Pizarro’s strike cannoning back off the upright, into the back of Camp and drifted into the net.
Dean refereed Rangers against Coventry City in 2008. A drab goalless draw, rather typical of both teams at the time as both were firmly locked in Championship mid-table mediocrity. Fast forward to 2012 and it was Chelsea again for Dean and QPR.
The FA Cup once more as the wounded Blues came back to W12 following the furore of a defeat earlier in the Premier League campaign. Dean handed the visitors a very generous spot kick, owing much to the theatrics of Daniel Sturridge, before Juan Mata dispatched from the spot.
Mr Dean & Queens Park Rangers
Swindon Town 3-1 QPR – 31/10/1998
Goals: Mark Walters 45pen, 90, Iffy Onoura 79; Mike Sheron 10
Yellow: Iffy Onoura, Darren Bullock; Karl Ready
Red: Paul Murray
QPR 3-1 Huddersfield Town – 07/08/1999
Goals: Jermaine Darlington 16, Chris Kiwomya 38, Gavin Peacock 79; Clyde Wijnhard 65
Yellow: Tim Breaker, Gavin Peacock, Chris Kiwomya; Steve Baker, Chris Lucketti, Jamie Vincent
Crystal Palace 3-0 QPR – 02/12/2006
Goals: Dougie Freedman 30, Shefki Kuqi 32, Clinton Morrison 86
Yellow: Zesh Rehman, Kevin Gallen
Chelsea 1-0 QPR – 05/01/2008
Goals: Lee Camp 28og
Yellow: Fitz Hall
Coventry City 0-0 QPR – 05/03/2008
Yellow: Leon Best; Matt Connolly, Ákos Buzsáky
QPR 0-1 Chelsea – 28/01/2012
Goals: Juan Mata 62pen
Yellow: Fitz Hall, Shaun Wright-Phillips; Ashley Cole, Oriol Romeu