I read today that Mark Halsey has passed his fitness test and will return to the top flight as a Select Group Referee. This is excellent news and I for one am delighted to see Halsey return to what he does best.
His battle with cancer was well documented and to get back to full fitness in such a short time is impressive in itself. However I’m happy that he is returning not only for him but selfishly because he is one of the top officials in the country.
The way he referees is unlike most of the young up and coming referees. He lets a lot of things go, his attitude seems to be ‘it’s a man’s game’ and lets the players get on with it. He also understands the advantage rule better than most and the players seem to respect his style.
Halsey returning to the middle is great news for him but it is just as good news for fans of the beautiful game. If referees have done their job properly then most people won’t even know who has officiated that game. When Mark takes charge of a game you wouldn’t know it and that is the way it should be.
I wish Mark a successful season and look forward to seeing him referee again this season. Hopefully it can end with him leading out two teams at Wembley for the FA Cup, preferably Portsmouth but some things are a real long shot!
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