Mark Halsey will be the referee at St. James’ Park this Saturday when the lads take on Wigan Athletic.
Mark Halsey – has shown tremendous courage in last year
And while it’s not often that we profile a referee, Mark has shown he is a really special guy, with his fantastic and courageous fight against throat cancer over the last year.
The 49 year-old Welwyn Garden City born official, who is based in Herfordshire, was diagnosed with lymphoma of the glands in August of last year, and he underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumour in his throat.
He was missing from the refereeing list as he recovered, and lost some hair with the radiation therapy, but he was able to finally return to refereeing towards the end of last season, and Mark is now back on the Premier League list of referees for this season.
Mark was profiled on Sky Sports a month or so ago, and came over as a courageous and gutsy guy, and we were highly impressed with the things he said, and the way he has overcome his life-threatening cancer.
We are pleased to see Mark back refereeing again, and he seems to be as good as ever on the pitch.
And it’s interesting that he is yet to send anybody off this season, and has given out 13 yellows in the six games he has officiated so far this season. Halsey was last at St. James’ in March 2009, when Newcastle were beaten 3-1 by Arsenal, and was also the referee in the 1-0 defeat at Spurs a month later.
There were quite a few defeats there in our relegation season of course.
We have to hope Mark has a good game, when Newcastle beat Wigan on Saturday.