Mike Dean got himself locked in a dressing room before the game had even started

Premier League icon Mike Dean once managed to lock himself in the changing room before the game had even kicked off.

As a youngster, Dean decided to take up officiating as a way to shed some weight. And as a 17-year-old, Dean picked up the whistle for the first time for a clash in the Eastham & District junior league in 1985.

However, Dean wasn't on time for kick-off, as he was accidentally locked in the dressing room. Speaking to The Atheltic, Dean revealed: "Heswall Under-11s against Alex Imps.

"I got myself locked in the dressing room before kick-off. The kids had gone out, the mums and dads had followed them, someone locked the door and I was still inside."

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Dean has since retired from referring, but he looks back at his time in the Premier League with fond memories – even joking he used to love the grief he was given.

“I used to love the grief. It made me stick my chest out. I’ve given corners before and looked at the crowd, watching them giving me grief, and I’d just smile at them. It winds them up even more.”

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Dean has since stood down from his position as a dedicated VAR referee this summer.

A statement from the PGMOL read: "PGMOL would like to place on record its recognition of Mike’s achievements as well as his immense contribution to refereeing and the game as a whole.

"We thank him for his dedication to the organisation over a sustained period of time and wish him every success for the future. "

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