Mark Halsey of Bolton will kick-off our Premiership season at The Riverside against Middlesbrough this Saturday evening.
By a strange quirk of fate, Mark was down to referee our opening game of last season at Tottenham Hotspur only to be replaced by Dermot Gallagher a few days before the kick-off.
The 44-year old has been blowing his whistle in the Premiership since 1999 after only 10 years of learning the trade in the lower leagues. His first major appointment of professional career was the second division play-off final between Manchester City and Gillingham in 1999. He has since gone on to referee in 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. His first international match as a referee was in February last year as France beat Belgium 2-0 in a friendly in Brussels.
Mark refereed only 32 games last season and had one the lowest averages of cautions of all the referees in the top flight. He showed his yellow card 62 times and only dismissed two players.
This will be his second Middlesbrough v Liverpool match at The Riverside, back in November 2002 he was in the middle as a late Gareth Southgate goal ended our unbeaten run at the start of the season.
On Saturday his officials will be Nigel Bannister and Paul Canadine. Andy Hall will be the fourth official.
Some memorable matches involving Liverpool and Mark Halsey.
5th May 2001- Hat-trick at Anfield for Michael Owen as we beat Newcastle United 3-0.
20th October 2001 ? Another hat-trick, this time for Robbie Fowler as we beat Leicester City 4-1 at Filbert Street. These were to be the last goals Robbie scored for Liverpool.
5th January 2002 ? Nicolas Anelka scores his first Liverpool goal in a 3-0 FA Cup win over Birmingham City at Anfield.
4th December 2004 ? Antonio Nunez plays in his first full Premiership game as we draw 1-1 at Aston Villa.