Legendary Premier League referee Mike Dean is to retire as an on-field official at the end of the season.

Dean, 53, started refereeing in 1985 and will bring to an end a 37-year-long career of officiating.

He’s been part of the Premier League refereeing team since the turn of the millennium.

Dean was supposed to call time on his career at the end of last season but was convinced to stay on by PGMOL’s Mike Riley.

He’s taken charge of 553 Premier League games as of March 21, 2022.

His tenure has been filled with controversy, as he has issued more red cards than any other top-flight official since he started – a total of 114.

He even received death threats on social media last year following the double-dismissal of West Ham’s Tomas Soucek and Southampton’s Jan Bednarek.

Over the course of his career, Dean refereed two FA Cup finals, in 2008 and 2011.

He never became a top referee in the eyes of FIFA or UEFA, despite refereeing games in the Champions League.

Mike Dean: Tranmere fan

A notorious Tranmere fan, Dean has not been shy to show his allegiance to the Wirral-based club over the years.

He was famously pictured celebrating the side’s win over Forest Green Rovers in the League Two playoffs in 2019.

He told Sky Sports at the time: “I got a little bit carried away at Forest Green.

“I think it was just a long, long season and luckily we got over the line in the end in the final.

“I felt a bit stupid to be fair, but it’s just the passion.”

Dean will still be present in the refereeing teams in the Premier League. He intends to stay on as a full-time video assistant.

(Featured image Photo credit: Brian Minkoff-London Pixels – Wikicommons Creative Commons Licence)