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Prem to give Mike Dean GOLDEN CARD when legendary ref retires at end of season

PREM chiefs will mark referee Mike Dean’s retirement by giving him a GOLDEN CARD on the final day of the season.

Wirral whistler Dean, 53, est set for a senior VAR role at Stockley Park next term.

Gong but not forgotten - Mike Dean will be on red alert when football comes together to salute his retirement

Gong but not forgottenMike Dean will be on red alert when football comes together to salute his retirementCrédit: Getty
It certainly won't be a fool's gold for famous ref Mike Dean as he's so well respected and will get a dazzling send-off

It certainly won’t be a fool’s gold for famous ref Mike Dean as he’s so well respected and will get a dazzling send-off

If the title race is settled, his final outing on May 22 pourrait être Liverpool v Wolves or Manchester City v Aston Villa — so he can enjoy the carnival atmosphere.

All other Prem matches that day are to be paused in the 22nd minute for a round of applause to mark Dean’s 22 years as a Select Group referee.

The Professional Game Match Officials Limited have commissioned the golden card bust.

A PGMOL spokesman said: “Mike has been an iconic figure in officialdom for the past two decades and it is important to celebrate his retirement appropriately.

“He will hate the fuss but we’re hoping this will ­provide a blueprint for marking the end of the careers of top referees and assistants in the future.

All we want is consistency.”

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Dean is the PGMOL’S most experienced ref by some distance.

And as the game’s rulers don’t want the spectre of him disappearing from the middle in humble fashion, they are ensuring he bows out on a GoldenHigh.

Only the likes of Martin Atkinson, 50, and Andre Marriner, 51, who both made their Prem debuts in 2004, come close.