The undisputed star of the ‘celebrity refs’ gave another vintage display this weekend. But is he the Premier League’s greatest ever performer? Name: Mike Dean.Age: 50. Continue reading...

Why referee Mike Dean is football’s king of the bants

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  • 2019-02-12 00:15:08 2 months ago
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Name: Mike Dean.

Age: 50.

Appearance: Half Dan Castellaneta, half Paul Daniels.

I don’t know who this man is. He’s a football referee.

He does not sound worthy of discussion. Wait! He’s a total character. The BBC just called him “the most entertaining person in the Premier League”.

Really? What did he do? Acrobatics? Magic tricks? An impromptu poetry reading? He hid a ball up his shirt.

Oh. No wait, it was really funny. He was officiating the 6-0 match between Manchester City and Chelsea, and City’s Sergio Agüero scored a hat-trick, and wanted to keep the match ball as a memento. But he couldn’t, because …

Because Dean had hidden it up his top. Yes! Amazing, right? What a banter lord! What an absolute king of the bants!

How long did he hide it up there? Is it still there now? Because that would be an impressive prank. No, he hid it for only six seconds. But those six seconds were hilarious! What an absolute banterific legend!

Does he do this sort of thing a lot? Does he?! He is also famous for his elaborate pointing technique, for looking disgusted whenever players try to touch him, for giving out a ton of red cards and – at least once – for celebrating goals like he was the one who scored them. Mike. Dean. Is. A. Banter. Legend.

Aren’t referees supposed to be objects of impartial authority? Yes. Yes they are.

But this all sounds pally-pally, as if Dean secretly wishes he was a footballer. Fine, OK, there is possibly an element of that. Dean is the football equivalent of a dad who turns up to the school disco in a backwards baseball cap and starts rapping Do the Bartman at everyone. But ask yourself this: is it a crime to enjoy your job?

I suppose not. Well, then, leave Dean alone. He is just a man who clearly revels in the attention afforded to him by his profession. He has given out 99 red cards, you know.

When will he give out his 100th? That is the subject of much speculation. Football fans are waiting with bated breath. When he does, though, it will be celebrated in the streets.

Because a man held a bit of card in the air an arbitrary number of times? You are no fun, sunshine. No fun at all. You’re certainly no Dean.

Is this the future of football, then? Novelty referees? If Dean is any example, yes. Maybe his successor will drive around in a little clown car or something, like a bant king. Like a bantnado. Like a bantarantula.

Do say: “He’s only doing his job.”

Don’t say: “… so long as that job is angling for a spot on Celebrity Come Dine With Me.”

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Why referee Mike Dean is football’s king of the bants
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