The Manchester United Vs Wigan Athletic derby on Wednesday will be refereed by local (Bolton) lad Lee Mason who began his career in the Northwest Counties League 17 years ago and progressed to the Premier League in 2006.
37 year old Mason is one of the Premier League`s up and coming ref`s and he is getting quite a few top flight games this season, he refereed our win at Turf Moor against Burnley earlier in the season, maybe that is a good omen.
Lee isn`t what you`d call the most charismatic referee, mind you he is from Bolton, here is a recent interview given by the former Liverpool University student to refworld.com, riveting.
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.
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