Halsey Receives Death Threats – Considers Retiring

It seems that 51 year-old Mark Halsey is now considering retiring, after he has received threats after his performance in the Wigan vs Newcastle game when he failed to give McManaman even a yellow card or award a foul, for his horror tackle on Haidara, and then he allowed Wigan’s winning goal after 90 minutes, even though there was a clear hand ball before the goal.

mark halesy cancer

Mark Halsey when he was fighting cancer in 2010

And comments made by former referee Graham Poll have not helped matters – but he has received support from former referee Alan Wiley.

The FA is reviewing footage of the tackle, and Mark has told therm he did not see the tackle, so things are opened for the FA to give McManaman a retroactive ban – probably of three games – but it’s not clear what the FA will do. It’s never clear what the FA will do in any one situation.

The Sun is reporting that Mark, who successfully fought cancer a few years ago, is considering retirement.

And this is what one of his friends told The Sun:

“Mark was made aware of one particularly vile message asking for his address and claiming he deserved a death threat.” “Mark loves refereeing and is consistently one of the best in the game but after something like this he is left wondering whether it is all worth it. He didn’t even sleep on Sunday. Everyone can see that his view of the incident was blocked.”

And Halsey is disgusted by comments made by former referee Graham Poll, who has always been a bit outspoken in his career – this is what Graham Poll said yesterday:

“I watch games and I see some referees who try their very hardest to run around as best as they possibly can and I get very disappointed when I see someone who doesn’t do that. ” “Mark used to be one of the fittest referees in the Premier League. He was incredible. I did fitness tests with him again and again. He was a very, very good referee.”

“People asked me why I stopped when I was 42. I’d rather stop refereeing and people say you should have done another couple of years than go on too long. That’s why I’m fearing for Mark.” “He’s been through a tough time in his life and no one wishes that on anyone.”

“I just hope Mark looks at it and thinks: ‘Is it time? Is this a signal to go? Let’s bow out with some grace and dignity and go. It’s time for me to call it a day.'”

Mark Halsey successfully fought cancer four years ago ,and took some time off from refereeing in 2009 to undergo chemotherapy to treat a cancerous tumour in his throat, and he returned to refereeing the next year.

Graham Poll’s remarks above are basically suggesting Mark is now too too old to referee.

It’s not good that Mark has received death threats, and from what we know of him, he is a good man, a courageous man, who had an off day at the office on Sunday.

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42 comments so far

  • Rainrix

    Mar 19, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #1

    That quote says he got a message saying he deserved a death threat, so he hasn’t actually received a death threat? I imagine he’s gotten a torrent of abuse by some but i doubt i’d go that far.

  • terencelim

    Mar 19, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #2

    After his Liverpool vs Manure game he actually deserves sacking. It’s time for him to go.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Mar 19, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #3

    He missed the foul and the second goal
    But the people sending the death threats are utter MORONS that are/going to give NEWCASTLE UNITED my CLUB a bad name.
    F**in arseholes.
    We all make mistakes in our lives – don’t we

  • TorqToon

    Mar 19, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #4

    MASSIVE congrats to Stevie T on a very overdue England call up!!

    About bloody time! HWTL

  • ajcrawfs

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #5

    Hope Taylor gets a game and isn’t just a sub! he is literally a living legend to me!

  • Transfer Sage

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #6


    I said the very same thing on sunday and yesterday. He missed the incident, that’s all there is to it.

    I can’t understand the torrent of abuse directed to people involved. It achieves nothing other than getting yourself arrested….police really are cracking down on abuse on sites like this, twitter, facebook etc.

    If people feel that strongly do something positive. Abusing wigan or the ref achieves nothing, instead use your time coaching youngsters and teaching them how dangerous tackling like this is, give talks on fair play in sport and get involved with the FA to improve the standard of referee’s.

    There is plenty that can be done to make a change but death threats do nothing other than cause upset and get you in trouble.

  • lesh

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #7

    Death threats? What the hell’s going on? Halsey does not deserve that. Disgusting and I hope the perpatrator’s traced and taken to task as out reflects very badly on our fans.

  • lesh

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #8

    • taken to task as it reflects very badly on our fans.

  • Rainrix

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #9

    Tbh this looks like one isolated incident. Plus this is the sun reporting one of the most trustworthy sources of journalism available *cough* cough*

  • Bruva_muz

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #10

    Anyone got a link to the news on Saylor?

  • Toon-Prodigy

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #11

    I’v commented on this topic this morning, I actually feel a tad sorry for the bloke. I can only really blame the full team of officials. They all failed on sunday.

  • terencelim

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #12

    Well done Halsey, your lie has earned you some mercy.

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #13

    Congrats stevie!!

    On halsey, can’t say i agree with the death threats or threats of violence, but fully agree with graham poll, when your done your done, yes he’s missed the incident, but as a ref he and his officials should be making sure they have an a clear view of the game, it’s what there paid for

  • Best9

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #14

    if he has received death threats….thats absolutely disgusting and will give the club a bad name!

    Aye he was terrible….and effectively handed the game to Wigan….but to say he deserves death threats…..disgustnig.

  • toonluvva

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #15

    Halsey was clearly unsighted for the horrific tackle on Haidera, and it was the assistant ref who should have spotted the handball for the second Wigan goal.

    The ref can’t just send off a player unless either he or another official has clearly seen the incident. As far the penalty is concerned, I am wondering just how the assistant failed to see that the Wigan play who went up for the ball with his hand in the air had actually punched it.

    All in all, we should have been home and dry by the end of the match against Wigan. We must turn our attention onto why we left ourselves in a position where a team looking likely to be relegated could beat us.

  • Transfer Sage

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #17


    He was in a good position though, close enough to the play but far enough away not to interfere…just chance our lad runs across his path.

    Not sure on his view for handball but he must have seen it, our whole team did.

    The linesmen were the biggest at fault as both had a clear view of the incidents in the game and did nothing to help the ref.

  • Toon-Prodigy

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #18

    Death threats is a disgrace mind.

    Mindless acts

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #19

    Said on Sunday I find it Completely wrong that NUFC will be punished for carver, possibly pardew for his comments against the officials but yet the officials as a team will have no punishment on them for a gross display of incompetence

  • Oldgit1

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #20

    Hope this is just a smokescreen, hate it if death threats have been made by nufc fans, really disappointed if true in my fellow supporters. No need. Illness or no illness he is a human being, and a longtime respected ref. respect my friend. Mistakes happen in life. Hope the results of the young player injured, comes back ok thinking of you at this time.

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #21

    I thought it was a p1ss poor performance from the whole officiating team and thought Halsey had a poor game for the whole 90 not just the tackle missed lots of little tackles etc that should of been called and tbh if you look back at the season, he’s had a shocker, just saying I think poll is spot on, like footballers ref’s should call it day and bow out with some dignity

  • Toon-Prodigy

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #22


    In regards to Carver, he was infuriated. I dont think he will be too happy with his behaviour looking back, but it is more than understandable why he did what he did. He knows all about injuries wrecking careers. His own playing career was ended through one.

    Im hoping he didn’t throw any punches in the tunnel, he went mad.

  • Owldman

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #23

    Graham Polls comments appear to have been taken out of context, he made no reference to Halsey, s performance on Sunday perhaps it did prompt him to urge him to retire, he pointed out that he is 51 and is refereeing in a fast sport , in a game where many of the players are half his age .He was badly let down by his lonesmen

  • Joe Blog

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #24

    Transfer Sage

    You quixotic, soft, leftie crusader.

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #25

    I was in a packed pub on St Patrick Day watching it. The tacxkle looked shocking but i have only seen it once. Both the idiot wigan chariman and his sweetpea manager have said he got the ball but I assume that was incidental as he was busy dismembering him? Comments?

  • martoon

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #26

    Judging by some of the comments on here from certain idiots yesterday it doesn’t surprise me. Yes it was very upsetting and gauling but people need to be able to seperate what happens in a game from real life!
    Pleased for Psycho Taylor but preying he doesn’t get injured.

  • Joe Blog

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #27

    Why wasn’t he in a position to see it? Incompetence – that’s the long and short of it.

    These refs waddle around with their podges, in a game that’s simply way beyond them in terms of speed, agility and have been protected far too much, time to hang one out to dry, maybe he others will then shape up.

  • Owldman

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #28

    Above should read by his linesmen & 4th official, theses officials should also be asked questions by the FA their after all their performance did directly alter the result of the game, dread to think what international sports jounalist think about the Enblish game now.Another point I am sure that any genuine WIGAN supporter is probably just as disgusted at the tackle & the comments of David Whelan.

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #29

    Whelan is a complete pr1ck. The incident took place so close to the touchline that the linesman should have been all over it.

  • Toon-Prodigy

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #30


    Thats harsh. All the officials failed. And what happened with being blind sighted would maybe happen one in a hundred? Purely down to chance.

    That said though, if he feels he is not capable then he should retire. Retiring over death threats is ridiculous and completely uncalled for.

  • jrb

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #31

    I know a few people who have tried refereeing. Personally I’d rather shoot myself than give the whole world permission to have a shot at me as referees have to. I’m a Newcastle fan and what happened was an absolute disgrace, but with all the available technology and cash I can’t believe that the football authorities are still putting their heads in the sand when it comes to replays of events making decisions easy for the ref. Watch rugby, the officials don’t have to live in fear. All the best to Mark Halsey, whatever his decision.

  • ash1001

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #32

    ToMark Halsey
    Apologies from true supporting Toon fans if you have received threats of any kind, yeh you missed the tackle and have said so – fair enough, its now up to the FA to decide what happens next, hopefully they will not shy away from there responsibilities as the governing body.
    Its 4 officials against 22 players so there is always something going on, Sunday was bad, very bad, but it happens.
    As for Graham Poll, remember he made loads of mistakes including not been able to count.
    Ref at SAFC on Sunday also got 3 majors wrong.
    Its a great pity, the result may have been different if it had of been spotted, but its still not going to take away the pain that Massadio Haidara is suffering.

  • estechco

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #33

    As Rainrix points out @1, it doesn’t actually say he HAS received death threats, only that the vile comment he received said he deserved to. Whilst I wouldn’t condone either it does strike me as even more creative journalism.

    Don’t blame Halsey for missing the point of contact in the challenge, but the refereeing standard generally didn’t seem brilliant (but how often are we left saying that).

    Very few including Whelan – who I previously thought quite highly off, seem to me mentioning the fact McNumpty’s studs are showing. Thought that was more or less a guaranteed red, regardless of what happens in the challenge?

    For me, this one is definitely for the FA to sort out. In my experience, however, they seem to bend over backwards to get our players banned and do completely the opposite for situations where our players are the victims – F**kwits!!

  • wynsleap

    Mar 19, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #34

    Not that I condone a death threat in any way, shape or form as it is an absolutely disgraceful and cowardly thing to do, but I think we shouldn’t automatically jump to conclusions that it is a Toon supporter.
    There are many idiotic mischief making fans in this country at all clubs (and some not too far away) who could have done it to give the club a bad name.
    As for Whelan, his insistence on calling the tackle an ‘accident’ and one of those ‘things that happen in a game’ plus his reluctance to apologise to the club and player because of it, should result in him being charged for ‘bringing the game into disrepute’.
    We don’t need this kind of crap going on in our game.

  • geordiesteve520

    Mar 19, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #35

    I’ve not posted in a few days mainly because I was a bit miffed about Sunday – but to go as far as to threaten the life of someone who for all intents and purposes was blocked by the unit that is James Perch (he won’t be the last) is not on. Yes he royally buggered up on a couple of occasions and perhaps it is time for him to stop reffing but some people really need a reality check; if they have this much time on their hands then something is not quite right.

  • stuart no9

    Mar 19, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #36

    all we ask , is for refs to be honest about the decisions they make in a game, to say sorry if they make a mistake,. they should all be big enough to do that. i believe his view was blocked for the tackle- he cant give a foul. the hand ball was quick and also out of view. he told pards he missed it and said sorry. the problem the ref had was his 2 little helpers on each side of the pitch who must have seen the hand ball and the foul- they are the problem – they are the ones who should be brought to task. Halsey needs to get back reffing. we have so many incompetant refs , he is one of the better ones. his 2 linesmen need better training they need to drop down many divisions and start again. well done to the sun newspaper today for showing wigan for what they really are.

  • mattoutremont

    Mar 19, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #37

    it’s not fair enough he missed it. he’s a disgrace.

    i feel a shred of sympathy towards his death threats. macmanaman deserves those far more.

  • davis_toons

    Mar 19, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #38

    IS LIverPOOL fans that have been reported to link Death THreat to him.

    There’s news reports to back these statement.

  • davis_toons

    Mar 19, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Comment #39

    ON Carver

    He was on his COOL HEAD. I was a GUY from Wigan ( 1st coach) that have PUSH HIM ON HIS CHEST/SHOULDER with BOTH HIS HANDS.

    This started the commotion.
    Carver was a good guy for this one incident, FOR SURE!
    Go and watch the video and see how many wigan staff was there and the security was holding on to Carver.

    Only GGFRAN and Pearch was there to help Carver from being surround by those tall guys. HE was the Shortest guys among all of them…btw

    HE was NOT the aggressive one. HE DID NOT USE HIS HANDS 1st!!!

  • davis_toons

    Mar 19, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #40

    * I = IT was


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