Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Tuesday March 20 2012
Wigan Athletic travel 17 miles down the East Lancs Road this Saturday to face Liverpool at Anfield, more likely than not travelling along with the Latics in their sharabang will be Bolton official Lee Mason who will be in charge of the game
This will be the first time this season that the 40 year old whistle blower has been the man in the middle of a Latics game
Lee started refereeing in the Northwest Counties League in 1992 and he had progressed through to the Premier League by 2006.
In a recent interview charismatic Lee says that he was introduced to refereeing by an old sports teacher of his that wanted to keep him as far away from actually playing the game as possible, he also states that his wife Debbie has been the biggest influence on his career to date.
Here is an excerpt from that interview:
How did you get introduced into refereeing?
I was introduced to refereeing by my sports teacher at school
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
The highlight of my career was being awarded a full time professional contract
What is the best game you have officiated and why?
The best game I have refereed was the League 1 play off final between Swansea and Barnsley played at the millennium stadium, Cardiff. The importance of the game for the teams and supporters meant that the game carried more responsibility and greater pressure than a normal league game/cup tie
What are your aims as a Select Group Referee?
My aims as a select group referee are to be considered the best referee for the big games within the respective competitions and to therefore receive the appropriate appointments that come with this consideration
What skills do you think you need to become a professional referee?
The most important skills you require as a professional referee are your man management ones and also to have supreme awareness of everything that is going on around you on the field.
Who has been the biggest influence in your career and why?
The biggest influence on my refereeing career is my wife Debbie. We have been together for 14 years and without her I wouldn't be refereeing today because she is my biggest fan, critic, motivator and calming influence all rolled into one.
In your opinion who is/was the best referee?
This is a difficult question because the game has changed so much. For me, Ken Dagnall who refereed the 1966 world cup semi final is still universally respected and well known throughout the game despite having passed away over 12 years ago as is Jack Taylor who was Ken's predecessor and went onto to referee the 1974 final and is held in similar esteem through the refereeing world.
Lee Mason Card Watch 2011/12
Games - 33
Yellows - 135
Reds - 5
Liverpool v Wigan Athletic
Referee: L Mason
Assistants: J Flynn, A Garratt
Fourth Official: G Salisbury
Match Delegate: R Jobson
PGMO: R Hart
Latics and Proud
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Date:Tuesday March 20 2012
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