Retired professional football referee Mark Halsey is no stranger to a fast-paced industry. Beginning his sports career playing non-league football for 12 years, Mark has experienced both playing and being on the sidelines of the sport.
Mark played for Cambridge City and Hertford Town in his non-league football career, before progressing to refereeing in 1989. Mark held the title of a National List referee, which he held from the mid-1990s to 1999. Whilst in this profession, Mark refereed in the Second Division play-off final in 1999, where Manchester City played Gillingham.
1999 saw the start of Halsey’s Premier League refereeing career. His first refereeing job came in the game between Wimbledon and Coventry City. 2000 saw Mark be added to the FIFA list of referees, a title under which he officiated the Toulon Tournament. Mark has also been a referee at official events. In 2001 he acted as the referee at the World Student Games in Beijing, and a year later in 2002 at the FIFA World Disabled Championships in Japan.
Marks first major FIFA job was in 2004 when he refereed a match between France and Belgium. Later in 2007, Mark took charge of the match between Manchester United and Chelsea, an FA Community Shield match.
Unfortunately, in 2009 Mark was diagnosed with cancer and had to put his refereeing on hold for the meantime. In 2010 after recovering from the illness, Mark took a referee fitness test which he passed and so was able to return to his passion. The first game that he refereed after his illness was the match between Leicester City and Scunthorpe United.
Mark announced in 2013 that he would be retiring from refereeing, with the 2012-13 season being his last. The last time Mark took to the field was the Machester City versus Norwich City match.
Mark longs to inspire sufferers of cancer, inspiring others to not give up on the things that you love. After his retirement from sport, Mark joined BT as part of the pundit crew that provide analysis of refereeing decisions during football matches.