The Wigan Athletic v Arsenal Premier League game at the DW Stadium on Sunday will be officiated by Bolton boy Lee Mason.
Charismatic Lee (yep) says that he was introduced to refereeing by an old sports teacher of his that wanted to keep him as far away from actually playing the game as possible and he also states that his wife Debbie has been the biggest influence on his career to date.
I hope she doesn`t card him for you know what, strange breed these ref`s.
Lee started refereeing in the Northwest Counties League in 1992 and he had progressed through to the Premier League by 2006.
This will be the fourth time this season he has taken charge of a Latics game but his first visit to the DW Stadium, the win against Burnley at Turf Moor and the losses to Manchester United at Old Trafford and Blackburn at Ewood were the others.
Below is a recent interview Lee Mason gave to refworld.com:
How did you get introduced into refereeing?
I was introduced to refereeing by my sports teacher at school
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
The highlight of my career was being awarded a full time professional contract
What is the best game you have officiated and why?
The best game I have refereed was the League 1 play off final between Swansea and Barnsley played at the millennium stadium, Cardiff. The importance of the game for the teams and supporters meant that the game carried more responsibility and greater pressure than a normal league game/cup tie
What are your aims as a Select Group Referee?
My aims as a select group referee are to be considered the best referee for the big games within the respective competitions and to therefore receive the appropriate appointments that come with this consideration
What skills do you think you need to become a professional referee?
The most important skills you require as a professional referee are your man management ones and also to have supreme awareness of everything that is going on around you on the field.
Who has been the biggest influence in your career and why?
The biggest influence on my refereeing career is my wife Debbie. We have been together for 14 years and without her I wouldn’t be refereeing today because she is my biggest fan, critic, motivator and calming influence all rolled into one.
In your opinion who is/was the best referee?
This is a difficult question because the game has changed so much. For me, Ken Dagnall who refereed the 1966 world cup semi final is still universally respected and well known throughout the game despite having passed away over 12 years ago as is Jack Taylor who was Ken’s predecessor and went onto to referee the 1974 final and is held in similar esteem through the refereeing world.
Lee Mason has taken charge of 33 games issuing 100 yellow cards and 5 reds.
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