Mark Halsey of Bolton will referee our home Premiership match against Southampton on Tuesday afternoon.
The 43-year old has been blowing his whistle in the Premiership since 1999 after only 10 years of learning the trade in the lower leagues. The first major appointment of his professional career was the Second Division play-off Final between Manchester City and Gillingham in 1999. He has since gone on to referee in the FIFA World Disabled Cup in Japan 2002 after being the 4th official for the FA Cup Final the previous month. He has been a FIFA registered official since 2000 and has figured in quite a few UEFA Cup matches and friendly international games.
This will be West Brom’s and our own second time with Halsey this season, with both games being against Aston Villa with the score ending 1-1 each time. Back in August he was at The Hawthorns as the Baggies came back from a goal behind to claim the draw. Then just three weeks ago he was at Villa Park as Noberto Solano’s free-kick cancelled out Harry Kewell’s header.
Mark is one of those referees who prefers to talk to players first rather than go straight for the cards. He has only cautioned 20 players in his 11 Premiership games so far this season. He has also gone over 16 months since he flashed his red card in a Premiership match. And he has not dismissed a player in all competitions since February when scouser Tony Crane of Grimsby Town and Craig Ireland of Barnsley both saw red in a Second Division game at Blundell Park.
His assistants for this game will be Graeme Atkins and Mike Cairns with Phil Dowd as the fourth official.
A few memorable matches involving Liverpool and Mark Halsey.
6th January 2001 ? Igor Bišcan sees red as we defeat Rotherham United 3-0 in a FA Cup 3rd round tie at Anfield.
5th May 2001 ? Michael Owen scores all three goals as Newcastle United leave Anfield empty-handed.
20th October 2001 ? Robbie Fowlers scores his last Liverpool goals as he bags a hat-trick in a 4-1 win at Filbert Street.
9th November 2002 ? A late Gareth Southgate goal at Middlesbrough ends Liverpool’s unbeaten run to the season, and we would then go 10 Premiership games without winning.
15th February 2004 ? Substitute Matthew Taylor scores an equaliser for Portsmouth 7 minutes after coming on to earn Pompey a draw in the FA Cup 5th round.