Every Mike Dean Premier League Red Card in Chronological Order
Soccer

Every Mike Dean Premier League Red Card in Chronological Order

The news that Mike Dean is retiring at the end of this season is major. Dean is inarguably the most iconic official in the league’s 30-year history and the only referee to show more than 100 red cards. Whether you love him or fear him, you cannot ignore the Wirral-based icon, and never more so than when he’s raising that crimson rectangle high into the Our League sky. Here then, is an account of every single Mike Dean sending off in Premier League history, in chronological order.


1) Nolberto Solano, Newcastle (vs. Ipswich, April 14, 2001)

Every epic tale starts somewhere, and Dean’s first red card was shown on Easter Saturday 2001 in Suffolk after a deliberate handball from Newcastle’s Nolberto Solano. It was the day before Manchester United won the league title for the third season in a row and people were worried that Alex Ferguson’s side would utterly dominate English football forever. But the globally loved low-scoring field invasion game we call football thrives when random noise joins the scene. Enter Dean. Exit predictability.

2) & 3) Steve Brown & Junior Lewis (Charlton vs. Leicester, September 29, 2001)

The first Pure Dean experience of the Premier League era. First Charlton’s Steve Brown was sent off for a deliberate handball even though it occurred because he had raised his arm to signal he was injured. After a lengthy treatment he was red carded by Dean to howls of protest from the home fans. Numbers were soon evened up when Junior Lewis was sent off for a tackle only the assistant referee witnessed. With both clubs furious at the decision, we see an early request for some sort of common sense/consistency VAR machine, with Charlton manager Alan Curbishley saying “I just wonder if it’s time there was someone sitting up in the stand who can officiate on those occasions, because television evidence will be put forward and the ref gets hammered for it.”

4) Michael Svensson, Southampton (vs. Tottenham Hotspur, August 31, 2002)

In what we should probably call Mike Dean’s Early Deliberate Handball Period, this time it was Swedish defender Michael Svensson ordered off at White Hart Lane for using his arms. Another appeal? You bet. This gap of 336 days between Dean’s third and fourth red cards is the biggest he recorded in the Premier League. Things were about to ramp up significantly.

5) Danny Tiatto, Manchester City (vs. Blackburn Rovers, September 15, 2002)

Some red cards get appealed, some definitely do not, and this one from noted turn-of-the-century leg aggressor Danny Tiatto was in no doubt at all. A crazed lunge just moments after coming on as a sub. Mike Dean had no choice. None of us did.

6) Celestine Babayaro, Chelsea (vs. Bolton Wanderers, November 23, 2002)

In November 2002 the UK was alive to the sound of people debating whether Celestine Babayaro had elbowed Youri Djorkaeff or not. Mike Dean adjudged that he had, Chelsea insisted not, with Marcel Desailly sensationally saying “Djorkaeff, I think, has been over-exaggerating the action and that gives me pain” about his French international team-mate. On appeal, though, the suspension stood.

7) Steve Staunton, Aston Villa (vs. West Bromwich Albion, December 14, 2002)

Steve Staunton sent off for swinging an arm at Danny Dichio [aka DJ Mellow D]. Name a more 2002 event than that.

8) Steve Lomas, West Ham United (vs. Arsenal, January 19, 2003)

The magnificent simplistic beauty of a red card for a professional foul. Robert Pires is through on goal, Steve Lomas brings him down, Thierry Henry tucks home the penalty. That’s the sight of Mike Dean hitting his stride.

9) Mark Fish, Charlton Athletic (vs. Manchester City, August 17, 2003)

New season, classic Dean; the referee ordering Mark Fish from the Valley turf for the crime of pulling down Robbie Fowler. Fish or Fowl-er? We just said, Fish.

10) Maik Taylor, Birmingham City (vs. Manchester United, October 4, 2003)

Red card No. 10 and the first Dean dismissal for a goalkeeper, Birmingham’s Maik Taylor, sent off for bringing down Paul Scholes in the box, in the era when double jeopardy was very much alive. It led to an amusingly precise theoretical figure from Birmingham boss Steve Bruce, who complained “The referee couldn’t have showed common sense otherwise he would have been marked down by the referees’ assessors and wouldn’t have refereed next week – and that could have cost him £785 or however much they earn.”


11) Mark Viduka, Leeds United (vs. Leicester City, April 5, 2004)

Completing the Mark-Maik-Mark treble, the only Leeds player Dean has sent off to date in the Premier League is Mark Viduka, but that’s largely because this was United’s penultimate win in the competition until they returned in 2020. Viduka went from hero to zero after scoring Leeds’ second before picking up a second booking for kicking the ball away. You simply don’t do that in front of Mike Dean.

12), 13) & 14) Papa Bouba Diop, Andrew Cole & Neil Clement (West Bromwich Albion vs. Fulham, September 18, 2004)

Not one, not two but three Dean-endorsed red cards in a violent battle of a game at England’s highest league ground. First the late Papa Bouba Diop was sent off for shoving Neil Clement midway through the second half. Then Clement himself was ordered off for tripping up Luis Boa Morte when he was through on goal, before Andy Cole waded in and was shown red for punching Clement. Dean at his decisive best, despite the extreme altitude.

15) Frederic Kanoute, Tottenham Hotspur, (vs. Bolton Wanderers, February 1, 2005)

Away trips to the Reebok Stadium in the high Allardyce era were a terrifying prospect for teams like Spurs and they lost this one late on, having seen Kanoute get sent off just two minutes after Jermain Defoe had equalised. This was aggressive football for aggressive men, carefully monitored by experts like Mike Dean.

16) Andrew Cole, Manchester City (vs. West Bromwich Albion, December 10, 2005)

Déjà-vu for Cole as he was sent off by Dean against West Bromwich Albion again, in an encounter that also contained Ben Thatcher, Joey Barton and Ronnie Wallwork. A red card was surely inevitable and it went to Cole for a pair of bookings late on.

17) & 18) Duncan Ferguson & Jason Roberts (Wigan Athletic vs. Everton, January 31, 2006)

Is a referee’s career worth reflecting on if he didn’t send off one of the giants of the scene? Dean’s CV is pretty much complete and this was his Duncan Ferguson moment, capped off by the reaction of Jimmy Bullard which turned this into one of the final pre-social media viral clips that subsequently became unavoidable on social media. Soon we’d all be sharing this sort of stuff on our phones. Jason Roberts’ red card in the same game? Less well-remembered. Please RT. It’ll boost my Favstar.

19) Nigel Quashie, West Bromwich Albion (vs. Middlesbrough, February 26, 2006)

Famously (to me, maybe you) the only player to play for 6+ Premier League clubs despite making fewer than 100 appearances in the competition, Quashie was at West Brom when Dean sent him off for kicking out at George Boateng. It led to a bumper five-game ban, four as it was his second red of the season and an additional match for abusing the fourth official. It’s one way to stay under 100 games, I suppose.

20) William Gallas, Chelsea (vs. Fulham, March 19, 2006)

The era of the hotly contested west London derby between Fulham and Chelsea, this one had it all. Dean reached the 20-red card mark when he dismissed William Gallas for stamping on Heidar Helguson but he also awarded a penalty after being “buzzed” about it by his linesman, using some new cool electronic tech. “It’s good that we have got technology on our arm and I think we should get a bit of credit,” Dean mused.


21) Michael Dawson, Tottenham Hotspur (vs. Newcastle United, April 1, 2006)

An April Fool’s red card from Dean but this decision was deadly serious. Dawson was ordered off with half an hour to go after receiving a second yellow for holding Alan Shearer back. Shearer scored his 257th Premier League goal in this game; his glorious Premier League career was almost over yet Mike Dean’s had barely just begun.

22) & 23) Kevin Davies & Hermann Hreidarsson (Charlton Athletic vs. Bolton Wanderers, August 28, 2006)

An early season carte rouge double from Dean down at The Valley with both Hreidarsson and then Davies sent off for elbowing opponents. Charlton’s Iain Dowie thought his man was innocent and Davies malicious, Sam Allardyce thought the reverse was true. This is the way.

24) Kevin Nolan, Bolton Wanderers (vs. Blackburn Rovers, October 22, 2006)

Another Bolton-related red card, this time a highly rare bad language double, with Nolan booked for dissent before picking up a second yellow for foul and abusive language in a heated derby. “We’re in danger at this moment that, if he hears a swear word or something wrong, the referee is just going to give you a straight red. That’s where we’re going,” Nolan complained the following month, sadly failing to add “these days you’ll be arrested” to his theory.

25) Sam Sodje, Reading (vs. Manchester United, December 30, 2006)

Two bookings in just 10 minutes for substitute Sodje at Old Trafford brought up a quarter of a century for Dean in a game we should probably point out saw both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Cristiano Ronaldo (2) score for Manchester United. What ever happened to them?

26) Heidar Helguson, Fulham (vs. Tottenham Hotspur, January 20, 2007)

A second yellow for Helguson for a challenge on Huddlestone has a nice rhythm to it, and came in a game that contained one of Vincenzo Montella’s two Premier League goals as well as Helguson’s only red. Pure unadulterated 2007.

27) Ben Thatcher, Charlton Athletic (vs. Blackburn Rovers, April 28, 2007)

As a referee still making his bones in the top division it’s noticeable that at this stage of his career Dean is still being allocated mid-ranking fixtures. But these can often contain the cream of the red-card scene, such as the always competitive Ben Thatcher. This was Thatcher’s fourth and final red card in the Premier League in what was the penultimate game he ever played in the competition.

Ben Thatcher red card
Out & almost over for Thatcher.

28) Lee McCulloch, Wigan Athletic (vs. Sheffield United, May 13 2007)

One of the most tense relegation-haunted games in Premier League history, Dean was the right choice to take charge of this winner takes it all survival game at Sean Bean’s Bramall Lane. Wigan (and West Ham) were the teams that stayed up at Sheffield United’s expense, despite the Latics playing the final 15 minutes with 10 men, after Dean had stylishly flashed two yellows and a red at Lee McCulloch.

29) Kalifa Cissé, Reading (vs. Chelsea, August 15, 2007)

A debut red card handed out by Mike Dean with an angry Jose Mourinho looking on. Welcome to the Premier League Kalifa Cissé.


30) & 31) Richard Dunne & Tugay (Blackburn Rovers vs. Manchester City, September 2, 2007)

Only three men have collected eight red cards in the Premier League. Two of them, Duncan Ferguson and Richard Dunne got the honour of being ordered from the field of play at least once by the Jedi of Justice Mike Dean. Dunne’s first (of two from Dean) came in this early season encounter between his Manchester City side and Tugay’s Blackburn. Both men collected two yellows; it was nothing nasty, but they all count.

32) John Obi Mikel, Chelsea (vs. Manchester United, September 23, 2007)

We reach the Glamour Dean era. Here he is taking charge of Manchester United’s home game with Chelsea, the visitors’ first game since Jose Mourinho had been sacked, replaced by Avram Grant. Grant’s introduction to English top-flight football management was to see Dean dismiss John Obi Mikel in the first half for a tackle on Patrice Evra that most people thought was worthy of only a booking. Chelsea appealed, but the suspension stood.

33) Ibrahima Sonko, Reading (vs. Portsmouth, October 1, 2008)

One of Dean’s earliest in-game brandishings, Sonko was dismissed in the fourth minute and for once the manager who suffered the narrative – Steve Coppell in this example – had no complaints. “There is no point moaning about the sending-off we just have to deal with it,” Coppell admitted, with the sort of neutral logic that delights referees but gets you kicked out of football manager red wine discussion WhatsApp groups.

34) Martin Taylor, Birmingham City (vs. Arsenal, February 23, 2008)

2007-08 feels like the season when Mike Dean went from just another referee to a big name. Incidents like this horror challenge from Martin Taylor on Eduardo help to explain that. There were no complaints about Dean’s red card, just about the severity of the injury and the intent behind it. Arsenal were top of the Premier League heading into this game and looked set to win their first Premier league title in four years. They are still waiting.

35) & 36) Chris Samba & Wilson Palacios (Blackburn Rovers vs. Wigan Athletic, March 22, 2008)

The 2000s-era obsession with double jeopardy penalties and red cards raised its head in this one, with Blackburn’s Samba sent off early in the game for an incident that led to a penalty which Marlon King rolled home. Dean evened things up in the second half but not before Roque Santa Cruz had scored his fourth and fifth goals against Wigan that season, part of of a grandiose total of 19 he bagged in one of the most misleading seasons European football has ever seen (he didn’t reach double figures in any other campaign with any of his clubs).

37) Damien Johnson, Birmingham City (vs. Wigan Athletic, April 5, 2008)

Following on from the Martin Taylor incident a few weeks earlier, English football was engaged in something of a moral panic about tackling, and Dean was well within his rights here to order Damien Johnson from the pitch in the first half, after he flew in at Kevin Kilbane. Not all managers agreed, though, with Birmingham’s Alex McLeish citing the age old concept of contact. “When you lunge and you bare your teeth, i.e. show the studs, it can be difficult for the referee not to give a red card. Damien, I don’t think touched the guy. Kilbane got up very quickly,” he protested, batting away criticism for using “i.e” in a sentence.

38) Amdy Faye, Stoke City (vs. Middlesbrough, August 30, 2008)

If people had hoped that the conclusion of the 2007-08 season would end the national obsession with two-footed challenges, then Premier League newcomers Stoke City showed that the manoeuvre was still lurking. Their first ever Premier League red card was shown by Mike Dean and it was awarded to Amdy Faye for an anti-gravity lunge at Mohamed Shawky. For once, the manager whose team had been reduced to 10 had few complaints. “Mike Dean was closer than anyone else and he’s made a good decision. You can’t jump into tackles and that’s what he has done,” Tony Pulis confessed.

39) Lassana Diarra, Portsmouth (vs. Tottenham Hotspur, September 28, 2008)

Some red cards have a backstory, some are just two yellow cards and a note on a page.


40) 41) & 42) Richard Dunne, Gelson Fernandes & Benoit Assou-Ekotto (Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur, November 9, 2008)

If you want a clue as to how the aggression in English football has waned in recent seasons, then Mike Dean’s second and, as it stands, most recent instance of doling out three red cards in a single game came in 2008. It was the 15th time a Premier League game has been reduced by three players, and it has only happened twice since this game between Manchester City and Spurs, and not at all since 2013. The game has cleaned up, but Mike Dean has remained, watching, observing, controlling.

43) Sebastien Bassong, Newcastle United (vs. Wigan Athletic, December 26, 2008)

In a game that pitched Emile Heskey against former Liverpool colleague Michael Owen, it was Heskey who provoked a red card, clashing with Bassong in the box and waiting until Dean made a Christmas delivery: an early bath for the Newcastle man. Finishing with 11 red cards in 2008, this was Dean’s most prolific year to date. It will be remembered forever. The Year of Justice.

44) Ashley Young, Aston Villa (vs. Sunderland, January 17, 2009)

Two-Feet Watch latest: “I have no complaint about Ashley’s challenge, if you go in two-footed off the ground it is my belief it is a red card.” Martin O’Neill, Jan 2009.

45) Emmanuel Eboué, Arsenal (vs. Tottenham Hotspur, February 8, 2009)

The first of six red cards shown to Arsenal players by Dean, this one came in that most heated of fixtures, the north London derby. Dean had already disallowed an apparently legal goal by Eboue by the time he was sent off (justifiably) for kicking Luka Modric. The Arsenal vs. Mike Dean era was go.

Eboue red vs Spurs
Dean remains unimpressed with the ‘arms out’ gesture.

46) Barry Ferguson, Birmingham City (vs. Manchester City, November 1, 2009)

A second yellow card for deliberate handball, this incident ensured Ferguson would end his Premier League career with as many red cards as assists. Unless he went on to assist more goals, which, to be fair, he didn’t.

47) Abdoulaye Faye, Stoke City (vs. Hull City, November 8, 2009)

Kicking off a residency in which Dean’s next five red cards would be shown to either Stoke or Chelsea players, this one was a double booking in a game notable for a goal from Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, whose name you imagine Dean abbreviated when he wrote it down in his referee’s notepad. JVoH perhaps.

48) Andy Wilkinson, Stoke City (vs. Portsmouth, February 20, 2010)

Welcome to the 2010s, the second decade of Dean. Andy Wilkinson was widely described as “unlucky” after getting two bookings for two fouls on Aruna Dindane in this game but it was Portsmouth who most people were feeling sorry for, with a nine-point deduction in the offing and relegation in the post. The sort of punishment not even Mike Dean can hand out.

49) & 50) Juliano Belletti & Michael Ballack, Chelsea (vs. Manchester City, February 27, 2010)

Some game this for Mike Dean to bring up his half century of red cards in. It began with Wayne Bridge refusing to shake John Terry’s hand due to reasons, featured a straight red professional foul from Belletti, a double yellow from Michael Ballack and ended with nascent City winning 4-2. One of the classic games in Premier League history, officiated by a classic referee making some classic decisions.


51) Dean Whitehead, Stoke City (vs. Tottenham Hotspur, March 20, 2010)

Remember magnanimous Tony Pulis from red card No. 38? Not so much now. “I rang Mike Riley on Wednesday and told him my concerns about Mike Dean. I was just seeing if we could change the referee because we weren’t happy. I just thought it was a very, very poor decision. We’ve had him earlier in the season and he’s made poor decisions and we compiled stats on him.”

52) Laurent Koscielny, Arsenal (vs. Newcastle United, November 7, 2011)

The Premier League’s only red card for holding back Nile Ranger. It happens.

53) Rafael, Manchester United (vs. Tottenham Hotspur, January 16, 2011)

This one, a second yellow for Rafael for an accidental running-at-pace trip, was deemed harsh not only by Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson but also Spurs boss Harry Redknapp, who delighted athletics fans by saying “It was like Mary Decker and Zola Budd.”

54) Fernando Torres, Chelsea (vs. Swansea City, September 24, 2011)

Another huge name caught in Dean’s net of justice, Fernando Torres became the seventh and most recent Chelsea player to score and get sent off in the same Premier League game. The only one of them to suffer that fate under Mike Dean, though, and that’s what’s important.

Torres vs Dean
El red cards did flow.

55) Scott Parker, Tottenham Hotspur (vs. Arsenal, February 26, 2012)

Scott Parker played for a record five different London clubs in the Premier League so it was fitting that he he was Mike Dean’s first red card of 2012, the year the city hosted the overly-remembered Olympics. This Parker red came in the white of Tottenham, and in a match in which Spurs lost 5-2 after leading 2-0. For once, Dean’s dispensation of justice was just a footnote. He and Dean had plenty of interactions, by the way. Only Branislav Ivanovic (14) was shown more yellows by Dean than Parker (13) in the Premier League.

56) & 57) Stephane Sessegnon & Lee Cattermole, Sunderland (vs. Newcastle United, March 4, 2012)

Dean’s refereeing career would not have been complete without a Lee Cattermole in his collection and it duly came as part of a fiery Tyne-Wear derby double with team-mate Stephane Sessegnon. Cattermole’s pair of yellows were wildly distant, with the first coming for a foul in the opening minute and the second coming after the final whistle when he unleashed some foul and abusive language at none other than the protagonist Mike Dean. Dean responded as only he knows: with a trademark raised red and a disappointed face. With nine additional yellows in this game, it remains the most card-laden Mike Dean game in Premier League history.

58) Joey Barton, QPR (vs. Manchester City, May 13, 2012)

The hits just keep on coming. A seminal Premier League game that contains the most iconic moment in the competition’s history, this game also had myriad subplots to go along with Sergio Aguero’s late winner. Joey Barton’s inevitable red card was carried out by the book by Dean, but the QPR player’s refusal to go quietly saw him hit with a 12-game ban, a Mike Dean career record, with Barton accused by the FA regulatory commission of tarnishing the image of football. Tarnishing the quiet authority of Mike Dean, more like.

59) Jack Wilshere, Arsenal (vs. Manchester United, November 3, 2012)

Dean is now in his imperial period, regularly appointed to the Premier League’s biggest games and creating red-card memories at will. Jack Wilshere was sent off at Old Trafford in a game notable for the travelling Arsenal fans booing United new boy Robin van Persie’s every move. At the time it seemed as if the combative Wilshere might pick up considerably more red cards in his Premier League career, but this was his second and final one. Wayne Rooney missed a penalty in this game, by the way; Dean has awarded United more penalties (18) than any other team in his Premier League career, but he was never allowed to advise which player should take one, based on historic conversion rates.


60) & 61) Laurent Koscielny & Vincent Kompany (Arsenal vs. Manchester City, January 13, 2013)

Manchester City might win away from home at will these days but this was their first league away win at Arsenal in 37 years. They were helped when Mike Dean reduced Arsenal to 10 men after only 10 minutes but he evened it up with a late one for Vincent Kompany.

62) Fernando Torres, Chelsea (vs. Tottenham Hotspur, September 28, 2013)

Torres again, this time for a debatable second yellow, after a first yellow which could have been a red. The Dean tightrope. Life’s Rich Pageant.

63) Michel Vorm, Swansea City (vs. Cardiff City, November 3, 2013)

The One When Angel Rangel Had To Go In Goal And Then Made A Save

Vorm & Dean
Vorm is temporary, class (Dean) is permanent

64) Leroy Fer, Norwich City (vs. Crystal Palace, January 1, 2014)

A pair of bookings in a game conducted in high winds. Led to Tony Pulis perhaps giving Dean slightly too much credit for making a yes/no binary decision, the Palace boss saying “I think Mike Dean did really well to get the game on. I have played in worse conditions, but they were difficult today.”

65) Chico Flores, Swansea City (vs. Crystal Palace, March 2, 2014)

Extreme double-possibly-treble jeopardy in this one as Flores was sent off for a professional foul and a penalty awarded even though it looked like the incident was outside the box.

66) Allan McGregor, Hull City (vs. West Ham United, March 26, 2014)

One of the more storied red cards this one. Hull’s ‘keeper was sent off by Dean for a challenge on Mohamed Diame that gave West Ham a penalty. All pretty standard fare so far. But the suspension (not the red card, you know this) was overturned on appeal and the incident actually saw McGregor suffer a kidney injury (one of the rarer knocks in the game) that ruled him out for nearly two months. Big stakes, bad kidneys.

67) Mike Williamson, Newcastle United (vs. Aston Villa, August 23, 2014)

A red card on Siem de Jong’s debut for Newcastle. What was Mike thinking?

68) Pablo Zabaleta, Manchester City (vs. Chelsea, September 21, 2014)

Another classic Premier League game which was only improved by Dean. This was the one that saw Frank Lampard score against Chelsea, having joined Manchester City on loan from New York City FC. Pablo Zabaleta was sent off for scuffling with Diego Costa but he looked less unhappy about being shown red than Lampard did at scoring against his bae.

69) Moussa Sissoko, Newcastle United (vs. West Ham United, November 29, 2014)

A rapid pair of bookings, one for kicking the ball away and then one moments later for a stamp on former Toon idol ‘Big’ Andy Carroll. Newcastle boss Alan Pardew’s response was to call him the best player in the North East in the last year and to make a donation to charity, which was nice.


70) Kieran Richardson, Aston Villa (vs. West Bromwich Albion, December 13, 2014)

Dean was forced to unveil his red card after a “heavy touch” from Richardson saw him careen into Stephane Sessegnon (see red card No. 57). Villa manager Paul Lambert said “I don’t think there was any malice in it from Kieran but I can understand why the ref’s sent him off,” which is absolute manager speak for “yeah ok, fair enough.”

71) Glenn Murray, Crystal Palace (vs. West Ham United, February 28, 2015)

This is the most recent instance in Premier League history of a player scoring two goals and getting sent off. It had been coming, with Murray making four fouls overall. West Ham manager Sam Allardyce was not amused. “I think Glenn Murray could have been sent off in the first half for the number of fouls he committed. He was lucky to stay on for that long,” brooded the former England manager.

72) & 73) Mike Williamson & Daryl Janmaat, Newcastle United (vs. Leicester City, May 5, 2015)

A game with one of the most extraordinary post-game reactions in Premier League history. Newcastle ended the game with nine men, and there were few complaints about Dean’s decision making, more about the choices made by the United players. Temporary head coach John Carver accused Mike Williamson – Dean’s first red of the season back in August – of getting sent off deliberately, after he fouled Jamie Vardy when the ball was already off the pitch. “I thought he’d done that on purpose – it looks like he did,” Carver raged, before undermining all accepted scoring systems by adding “on a scale of one to 10, it is a minus 10.”

74) & 75) Gabriel Paulista & Santi Cazorla, Arsenal (vs. Chelsea, September 19, 2015)

Dean ended 2014-15 with a double red and started 2015-16 with another, this time for Arsenal pair Gabriel and Santi Cazorla. It was a game in which dark arts master Diego Costa was able to expertly torment and wind up the Arsenal players without conceding a single foul in the process. Gabriel went for kicking out at Costa, while Cazorla got a second booking for fouling Cesc Fabregas, another player guaranteed to infuriate Arsenal in this era. And in a sensational epilogue, Gabriel’s three-game ban was overturned, while Costa was handed retrospective ban for clashing with Laurent Koscielny. “In diem vivere in lege sunt detestabilis,” shouted Arsenal fans in Latin, unexpectedly.

76) Gareth McAuley, West Bromwich Albion (vs. Manchester United, November 7, 2015)

A common-or-garden late red card for a challenge that led to a penalty scored by Juan Mata, back in the days when the midfielder would regularly feature for the whole game.

77) Ryan Shawcross, Stoke City (vs. Sunderland, November 28, 2015)

Big Sam vs. Mark Hughes and a Mike Dean red card for Ryan Shawcross that Hughes disputed. Just incredibly 2015 really.

78) & 79) James McClean & Solomon Rondon, West Bromwich Albion (vs. Bournemouth, December 19, 2015)

A trademark double from Dean, comprising of a dirty tackle from someone with Clean in their name and a late red for a thrusting head from one of only two men in Premier League history to score a headed hat-trick.


80) Juan Mata, Manchester United (vs. West Bromwich Albion, March 6, 2016)

The smiling beneficiary of Mike Dean red No. 76, just four red cards later and Juan Mata was on the receiving end after a pair of quick yellows in the first half at the Hawthorns. Like seeing the best-behaved kid at school finally get a detention it was a stunner from Dean. “The truth is this is a new and strange situation for me, not easy to assimilate, but we learn from everything,” Mata wrote on Kicca.com, that bastion of the mid-2010s.

Dean v Mata
No laughing, Mata

81) Thibaut Courtois, Chelsea (vs. Manchester City, April 16, 2016)

It’s easy to forget just how bizarre the 2015-16 season was. Here we were in April, with reigning champions Chelsea stuck in mid-table, and Manchester City battling to get into the 2016-17 Champions League as a gift for incoming manager Pep Guardiola. Leicester, meanwhile were seven points clear at the top. In such confusing, unsettling times people grasp for familiarity and there was nothing more normal than a Mike Dean red card, this one handed to Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for fouling Fernandinho and giving away a penalty.

82) Nordin Amrabat, Watford (vs. West Ham United, April 20, 2016)

A midweek injury-time red that ruled Amrabat out of an FA Cup semi-final; Mike Dean does things by the letter of the law, not by the football calendar. Even so, a red card just four days after his previous one remains a joint-record for Dean in the top-flight. Incredible consistency.

83) Adnan Januzaj, Sunderland (vs. Tottenham Hotspur, September 18, 2016)

Januzaj, the former future saviour of Manchester United, had already come into contact with Dean earlier in 2016 when the referee, functioning as a fourth official at Old Trafford, had patted his bottom as he prepared to come on. Seven months later and it was a much more brutal interaction, with Dean correctly ordering the Belgian from the field for a muscular challenge on Ben Davies.

84) Steven Pienaar, Sunderland (vs. Bournemouth, November 5, 2016)

Fireworks on Bonfire Night? Not really. Has there ever been a milder player to collect four Premier League red cards than Steven Pienaar? It’s the same number as Ben Thatcher, for instance, and this one almost cost David Moyes his first Premier League win for 945 days. He showed the magnanimity of the victorious manager towards Dean too. “At the time I thought there was nothing in the tackle, I thought he got the ball, but now I can see why it can be given,” admitted Moyes, cock-a-hoop at claiming three points.

85) Winston Reid, West Ham United (vs. Tottenham Hotspur, November 19, 2016)

Sometimes football games can end badly, even ones being overseen by Mike Dean. In this one West Ham managed to turn a 2-1 lead in the 88th minute into a 3-2 defeat and with their captain Reid sent off in injury time for an aerial clash with Harry Kane. A rare instance of a defender assisting and getting sent off in the same game, the two goals West Ham scored represented 8% of the goals Spurs let in that season. The best attack and the best defence and… Chelsea won the title. That’s the sort of injustice Mike Dean simply wouldn’t stand for.

86) Nathan Redmond, Southampton (vs. Tottenham Hotspur, December 28, 2016)

Tottenham the beneficiaries for the third time in the last four red cards, this time the team being punished were Claude Puel’s Southampton, not one of the most uplifting eras for the south coast side. Nathan Redmond duly became the second of two players shown Mike Dean red cards who have the word ‘red’ somewhere in their name, after Frederic Kanoute (red No. 15).

87) Sofiane Feghouli, West Ham United (vs. Manchester United, January 2, 2017)

Sent off for fouling Phil Jones but the suspension was overturned. Feghouli not one of the most celebrated players in Premier League history but three goals, three assists and a rescinded ban is a decent haul for a single season in Our League.

88) Raheem Sterling, Manchester City (vs. Bournemouth, August 26, 2017)

Sad but true: Dean as party-pooper. Raheem Sterling’s injury time down at Dean Court was eventful to say the least. Booked for a foul in the 91st minute, a winning goal in the 97th minute and then a second yellow for overly enthusiastic celebrations with the travelling City fans. By the letter of the law Mike Dean was spot on, but can you legislate against joy? Pep Guardiola didn’t think so, saying “If you cannot celebrate with the fans the best solution is not to invite the fans.” Well, no-one knew what was coming but two and a half years later Premier League football was being played in front of empty seats and Mike Dean had a beard.

89) Tiemoué Bakayoko, Chelsea (vs. Watford, February 5 2018)

A player who never settled in the Premier League, Bakayoko’s performance at Vicarage Road has gone down amongst Chelsea fans as one of the worst in the club’s modern history. Two bookable fouls in the space of five first half minutes gave Mike Dean no choice. Bakayoko would make only five more Premier League appearances for the club, although in typical Chelsea style, they do still own him.


90) Marc Albrighton, Leicester City (vs. Crystal Palace, April 28, 2018)

Into the nervous nineties for Dean and he kicked them off with an expulsion of Marc Albrighton, whose reaction to the decision, and to Dean, was so bad that his one-game suspension was extended to three games and ended his season. Disagree with Dean all you like, but don’t get blue.

91) Jamie Vardy, Leicester City (vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers, August 18, 2018)

A big name for Dean’s bulging net. Jamie Vardy dismissed for a naughty challenge on Matt Doherty. Exquisite card-from-pocket removal technique and display from Dean as always. An evergreen stylist, even as we entered 2018-19.

Dean vs Vardy
91 reds deep

92) Nemanja Matic, Manchester United (vs. Watford, September 15, 2018)

Sometimes you mistime a tackle on Will Hughes and Mike Dean isn’t there to see it. Sometimes you mistime a tackle on Will Hughes and he is.

93) Joe Ralls, Cardiff City (vs. Tottenham Hotspur, October 6, 2018)

Some people might not even remember Joe Ralls, but Lucas Moura does, scythed down at pace by the Cardiff man. No hesitation from Mike Dean but some expected consternation (xC) from Bluebirds boss Neil Warnock. “I thought Mike Dean, an experienced referee, was going to give a yellow card from the start,” Warnock theorised, deploying the experienced referee gambit.

94) Jan Vertonghen, Tottenham Hotspur (vs. Arsenal, December 2, 2018)

A penalty conceded and a red card in an away game at Arsenal is not top of many Tottenham players’ ambitions but that’s what Jan Vertonghen had to endure, as well as being the first Spurs player to be dismissed by Dean since Scott Parker (Dean red No. 55)

95) DeAndre Yedlin, Newcastle United (vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers, December 9, 2018)

Say “Mike Dean” in America and most people will think of the award-winning hip hop producer rather than the Wirral-based football referee. But a momentous red card situation in December 2018 saw the English Dean make up some of that reputational gap when he sent off Newcastle’s American DeAndre Yedlin for pulling down Diogo Jota. Why momentous? Because United boss Rafa Benitez was not happy with the decision. “I saw the replay and we need VAR, right now,” Benitez said. The following season he would get his wish.

96) Lewis Dunk, Brighton & Hove Albion (vs. Bournemouth, December 22, 2018)

The ‘off you pop’ red. The magnum opus. Full Dean.

97) Fabian Delph, Manchester City (vs. Leicester City, December 26, 2018)

Dean’s second and – after the recent news – final Boxing Day red card (after Bassong No. 43) was shown to Fabian Delph after he caught Ricardo Pereira’s knee. Great refereeing. Merry Christmas.

98) & 99) Christopher Schindler & Robbie Brady, Huddersfield Town vs. Burnley (January 2, 2019)

One way to reach 100 red cards more quickly is to get numbers 98 and 99 done in a single game, and that is what Mike Dean did early in 2019. Schindler went before half-time for two bookings, while Brady went for a two-footed challenge late on. A nation sat up and waited for the century. Who was it going to be?


100) Ashley Young, Manchester United (vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers, April 2, 2019)

Three long, endless months separated number 99 from 100 but when it came it went to a big name, as it should have done. The offence: studs up on Diogo Jota. The culprit: Ashley Young. The referee: Mike. Dean.

101) Kevin Danso, Southampton (vs. Manchester United, August 31, 2019)

Into the second century of Mike Dean red cards and they start with Southampton’s Kevin Danso, sent off for two bookable offences against Manchester United. Danso was born in September 1998, back when Dean was learning his trade in the English lower leagues.

102) Arthur Masuaku, West Ham United (vs. Aston Villa, September 16, 2019)

Masuaku’s red card is the reason this game is in the list but it also featured some supremely calm refereeing from Dean when Aston Villa team-mates Anwar El Ghazi and Tyrone Mings fell out in the first half and got into a semi-physical stramash. Dean simply handed out a lecture rather than any sort of card. Sometimes it’s just the right thing to do.

103) Oleksandr Zinchenko, Manchester City (vs. Tottenham Hotspur, February 2, 2020)

02/02/2020 was the date and Zinchenko was shown precisely 02 yellow cards in the game, the second coming after he mistimed a tackle due to an unexpected burst of pace from Harry Winks. I’m sure it was of no consolation to the City player at the time, but becoming the first red card of Dean’s third decade in the Premier League is some honour.

104) Hamza Choudhury, Leicester City (vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers, February 14, 2020)

Have you ever sent a Valentine’s card? Oh you have. Yeah but have you ever handed out a Premier League red card on Valentine’s Day? No, you haven’t, but wait until you hear about this man I know who has.

105) Kieran Gibbs, West Bromwich Albion (vs. Everton, September 19, 2020)

There were 218 days between the Choudhury red and this one for Kieran Gibbs but it had been an extraordinary period. Covid-19 had shut down football for months, and when the 2019-20 season returned to be completed in the summer, Mike Dean returned sporting a lockdown beard. Interestingly, he didn’t show a single red card during Project Restart, the hirsute Dean more of a thinker than a whistler. But by the time 2020-21 kicked off the beard had gone and not only was Kieran Gibbs sent off in this game but WBA manager Slaven Bilic as well. The former for shoving glamour new boy James Rodriguez and the latter for remonstrating with Dean and his crew. Beard’s gone, football’s back.

Dean Beard
Summer Dean, happened so fast.

106) & 107) Joao Moutinho & Douglas Luiz (Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Aston Villa, December 12, 2020)

A West Midlands Dean maelstrom, with a monstrous total of 11 yellow cards, four of which were converted into reds for Moutinho and Luiz. Rough justice? No, rough & then justice.

 108) & 109) Alexandre Jankewitz & Jan Bednarek, Southampton (vs. Manchester United, February 2, 2021)

Another Dean double, with Jankewitz going in the second minute and Bednarek in the 86th. In between those two incidents Manchester United scored seven goals, and then added two more after Saints had been reduced to nine men. It’s rare for Mike Dean not be the main attraction in a game but 9-0 wins are even rarer, even for Southampton.


110) Tomas Soucek, West Ham United (vs. Fulham, February 6, 2021)

A record-equalling four-day gap since the previous reds and some late Dean-era controversy. At a set piece, Soucek’s arm connected with Aleksandar Mitrovic’s face but the West Ham player had no idea he was there.

111) Semi Ajayi, West Bromwich Albion (vs. Burnley, February 20, 2021)

A classic combination of Dean and Machine, with the referee consulting the pitchside screen to check if he should send off Ajayi for deliberate handball. Computer said: yes.

112) Fabian Schär, Newcastle United (vs. Arsenal, May 2, 2021)

If you want to know how football has changed in the Dean era then the fact that Fabian Schär was given a straight red in this game for a relatively dangerous challenge is a good example. This sort of challenge was regularly seen in the 2000s and on the occasions it was punished managers complained heavily. These days players are more protected and that’s a good thing. Newcastle and Steve Bruce did try and appeal this sending off by the way, but their protest wasn’t upheld.

113) Emmanuel Dennis, Watford (vs. Norwich City, January 21 2022)

We move into 2022, Mike Dean’s retirement year and his – as it stands – penultimate red card came in a Friday night game at Vicarage Road. Emmanuel Dennis was the man dismissed for two yellows, the second of them on Max Aarons. Max Dean, more like.

114) Josh Dasilva, Brentford (vs. Newcastle United, February 26, 2022)

Will this be the last red? Will we ever see Mike Dean reach for his back pocket again? When Dean brandished his first Premier League red in April 2001 Brentford were in what is now called League One, and Josh Dasilva had yet to start school. Dean’s top-flight career has been a monumental rollercoaster of justice and showmanship. Tell your kids you saw Mike Dean in his pomp, tell them you saw the red held high in a floodlit sky.

Off we pop.

Dean vs Dasilva
No. 114, drink it in.