Celebrating the best of Mike Dean as he prepares for his 500th game as a referee

AFC Bournemouth v Watford FC - Premier League

There are few greater characters in the English game than Mike Dean.

The world-famous referee has developed into a bit of a cult hero over the last few years due mainly to his sometimes bizarre, but always comedic gesticulations and on-field mannerisms.

He is renowned for his superb facial expressions and no-nonsense approach to interactions with players.

Who can forget his tête-à-tête with Marouane Fellaini's afro, or hiding Sergio Aguero's match ball after the Argentine had blasted yet another hattrick?

He was the first referee to dish out 100 Premier League red-cards and is absolutely miles ahead of the next official on the appearance list, with Martin Atkinson sitting at 397 games.

Though fans may not like to admit it, being a referee is one of the hardest gigs in the game and Dean is like a breath of extravagant fresh air when it comes to the job.

So, it seems only right that the 51-year-old will be given a special honour ahead of his 500th game this weekend.

Dean will be on the whistle at the Emirates for Arsenal's clash with Sheffield United and will be presented with a special commemorative medal ahead of kick-off.

AFC Bournemouth v Watford FC - Premier League

Thankfully, the ever-reliable Twitter community has been hard at work hashing together videos celebrating some of Dean's best moments.

You can check them out below:

Brilliant - we just don't deserve Mike Dean.

A die-hard Tranmere Rovers fan, Dean has had his fair share of boo's and scowls from Premier League fans bases - especially at the Emirates - but is looking forward to his big day.

“The game this weekend will be a special one of course, but there is still a match to officiate so my focus will be on that," said Dean.

Southampton FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

“My wife Karam, eldest daughter Zara and my grandson Harvey will all be there to watch, as will a very good friend of mine, Dave Somers, a former SFA referee who will travel down from Scotland.

"My other daughter Brittany won’t be coming as her priority with be watching Tranmere, as always!”

Sounds like it's going to be a lovely, lovely day.

Make the most of it Mike, you've earned it!

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