Top class Premier League referee Mike Dean takes charge of Saturday’s big home derby clash with Blackburn Rovers.
The international official, who hails from the Wirral, will take charge of his 13th game of the season – 11 of his previous matches being top Premier League games – the last being Manchester United’s 2-0 home win over West Brom a fortnight ago.
He has so far issued 42 cautions and sent off three players – two coming in the same game at Stamford Bridge when Arsenal finished with nine men after Gabriel and Santi Carzorla saw red.
His record officiating North End is a memorable one for Lilywhites fans. His first game was back in December 1997 when we overcame Darlington in the Football League Trophy; the following year he took charge at Saltergate as a Sean Gregan goal was enough to beat Chesterfield.
As the new Millennium started he refereed a 3-2 home with over Wycombe before being in charge as Jon Macken scored one of the most modern memorable Deepdale goals, the half-way line strike in the 2-1 win over Kevin Keegan’s Manchester City in 2001 on ITV.
In December 2003 North End thrashed rivals Burnley 5-3 at Deepdale thanks to Ricardo Fuller’s wonderful hat-trick and again Dean was the ref, as he was at Bloomfield Road in 2008 when Neil Mellor and Chris Brown brushed aside the Seasiders in North End’s 3-1 win.
His last game in charge of PNE was also on the telly, back in January 2010 when in Darren Ferguson’s first home game in charge the Lilywhites were sadly beaten 2-0 by Chelsea in the FA Cup, however, all great games whenever Mike Dean has been in charge.