Referee Mark Halsey set for Premier League return
Referee Mark Halsey will return to Premier League action this weekend when he takes charge of Wigan versus Blackpool - his first top flight match since being give the all-clear from throat cancer.
The Bolton-born 49-year-old refereed five Football League matches during April and May, but Saturday’s clash is his first Premier League fixture since last season’s opening day.
“It’s been very challenging to get my fitness back up after my treatment of chemotherapy and radiotherapy,” Halsey said in a Professional Game Match Officials statement.
“But I have been working very hard over the summer to enable me to pass the fitness test and target a return to the Barclays Premier League and refereeing at the highest level.
“That I’m back to full fitness is testament to the medical care I’ve had at Christie’s Hospital in Manchester, as well as the support from the staff and my refereeing colleagues at PGMO, and of course my family.
“I’m also extremely grateful for the many messages of encouragement I’ve had from within football and from the general public.
“I’m delighted the disease is behind me now and when I blow that whistle at Wigan on Saturday at 3pm it’s a new start. I’m looking forward to being Mark Halsey the professional referee rather than Mark Halsey the cancer sufferer.”