English Premiership

Former ref has suicide fears

2013-09-16 17:00
Mark Halsey (File)

London - Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey fears officials could commit suicide as a result of the pressures related to the job.

Halsey wrote in his autobiography, which has been serialized by The Sun newspaper, that his former colleagues should receive more help to cope with the stress of the Premier League and increased media scrutiny.

"It will not be long before a referee has a nervous breakdown," said Halsey, who retired at the end of last season.

"I also believe that if we do not do something to help referees with mental health and stress issues, then we could see a suicide."

Halsey set out his argument by recalling the case of Bundesliga referee Babak Rafati, who had been found with his writs slit in the bath of an hotel room before he underwent treatment for depression,

Halsey added that because of the increased social and mass media attention, referees need to be mentally tough both on and off the field.

"With the referees coming through younger and younger, I do fear that they could suffer from burn-out," he said.

Halsey was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2009 but returned to refereeing in March 2010.

He was abused on Twitter by football fans last season after officiating a 2-1 win for Manchester United against Liverpool.

During that game, he sent off Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey and awarded United a late penalty converted by Robin van Persie.

The abusive tweets referred to his treatment for cancer.

Halsey said he received support from managers and colleagues at the time but felt the Professional Game Match Officials Limited, a group formed in 2001 to improve refereeing standards, could have been more helpful.

"I got little support from my bosses apart from a call from Mike Riley, the head of the PGMOL, and one from the Select Group manager Keren Barratt asking if I wanted to come off my next game at Southampton," Halsey said.

Read more on:    english premiership  |  mark halsey  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

22 October 2016
Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur, Vitality Stadium 13:30
Arsenal v Middlesbrough, Emirates Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 16:00
Swansea City v Watford, Liberty Stadium 16:00
West Ham United v Sunderland, Olympic Stadium 16:00
Hull City v Stoke City, The KC Stadium 16:00
Burnley v Everton, Turf Moor 16:00
Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion, Anfield 18:30
23 October 2016
Manchester City v Southampton, Etihad Stadium 14:30
Chelsea v Manchester United, Stamford Bridge 17:00
29 October 2016
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 13:30
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 16:00
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth, Riverside Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Hull City, Vicarage Road 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City, White Hart Lane 16:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 18:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Will Jose Mourinho lead Manchester United to the English Premiership title in 2016/17?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.