Mike Dean weighed more than Tyson Fury after ballooning to 19 stone after school
Mike Dean weighed more than heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury after ballooning to 19 stone after leaving school.
The iconic Premier League referee retired from officiating following the conclusion of the season, taking charge of his final match in the league on Sunday. Earlier in the season, Dean had revealed how he piled on the pounds after leaving school, before he started refereeing matches back in the mid-1980s.
Speaking to BBC Sport, Dean revealed: "I started [refereeing] in 1985 when I finished school and put on loads of weight and didn't have a job for six months. I thought about what I could do to keep fit.
"I like football. I was a goalkeeper, not the most mobile of people. I was 18 or 19 stone when I left school. I sorted myself out fitness-wise and did a bit of refereeing, went from there to the local leagues and was then lucky enough to get to the Football League in 1995."
19 stone is equivalent to just over 120.5kg and just more than Fury weighed for his most recent bout. The Gypsy King weighed in at 120kg for his fight with Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium last month.
Prior to becoming one of the Premier League's most iconic officials, Dean also worked in a chicken factory, balancing his work with his refereeing duties.
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"I was up at half four and in work [at the chicken factory] for 5am," added the 53-year-old. "I finished my shift at 2pm and then I'd get in the car, maybe drive to Carlisle to referee, then get home for 3am and then be back up at 5am for work. It was tough but I wouldn't change it. I've just loved football from forever.”
Dean took charge of his last match as a referee on the final day of the Premier League season, overseeing Chelsea's 2-1 victory over Watford at Stamford Bridge.
He brought the curtain down on his career after 560 top-flight matches, which saw him brandish 2060 yellow cards, 112 red cards and award 183 penalties.
As well as Dean, fellow Premier League officials Martin Atkinson and Jonathan Moss have also ended their officiating careers following the end of the season.
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