Ex-Premier League ref Mark Halsey’s suicide fears

PUBLISHED: 17:53 16 September 2013 | UPDATED: 17:53 16 September 2013

Mark Halsey

Mark Halsey

Archant

EX-PREMIER League referee Mark Halsey fears an official might commit suicide if they do not get more help to deal with the pressures of the job.

Former Welwyn Garden City resident Mr Halsey, 52, retired at the end of last season, and made the explosive claim in his book, which is being serialised in The Sun newspaper.

“It will not be long before a referee has a nervous breakdown,” he said.

“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.”

In the serialisation, former Hatfield Hyde, Welwyn Garden City cricketer Mr Halsey highlighted the case of Bundesliga referee Babak Rafati, who he said was found in a bath with his wrists slit before undergoing treatment for depression.

When he was a referee Mr Halsey called in the police after suffering sick taunts on Twitter last season after officiating 2-1 win for Manchester United against Liverpool.

In the highly-charged fixture he sent off Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey and awarded United a late penalty, from which Robin van Persie scored the winner.

The tweets referred to his treatment for throat cancer in 2009.


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