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EPL: Referee Mike Dean reveals two players that ‘scared’ him

Premier League referee, Mike Dean, has admitted he was “in awe” of some of the “big personality players” in the top flight when he began officiating but eventually overcame his fears.

Dean will retire from refereeing at the of the current season but will move into the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) role.

Fans have come to know him as a larger than life official, but he insists it was not always so when he first started.

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Dean specifically mentioned Arsenal legend, Patrick Vieira, and ex-Manchester United midfielder, Roy Keane, as players that made him nervous and scared.

“I got in the Premier League in 2000 when I was 31, 32, and had massive, big personality players like the Keanes, people like that, Vieira, they were all around then.

“For me to come from the Football League to the Premier League and refereeing those players… from reffing League 1 and League 2 and the odd Championship game to the Premier League… it was just a massive step, and I was probably in awe of them as well to be fair.

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“[I was] probably a bit nervous and a bit scared of making a decision,” Dean told BBC Sport.

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