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The Referee

Ian Ridley, Mark Halsey

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Ball games

Lifting the lid on the world of refereeing, a candid and gripping account of life as a football official.

The Referee is the ultimate book on the joy and pain, the highs and lows of refereeing football matches at the highest level. Mark Halsey has been officiating games for more than a dozen years and in that time has witnessed just about everything there is to witness on a professional football pitch. This intriguing new book details the pressures exerted on a modern official from the moment he leaves his home or hotel in the morning, through the confrontations with managers and players on the field of play and in tunnels and dressing rooms, to the journey home to watch his mistakes beamed into the living rooms of millions of fans. It also chronicles Halsey's courageous personal battle against cancer and his heart-warming return to the professional ranks. The Referee is full of unique insights into the daily existence of 'the man in the middle', tales of rows and controversies with players and managers, and the story of one of football's unlikeliest friendships with a certain Jose Mourinho, who described Halsey as the only referee he likes.

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