Lee Mason

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Lee Mason
Lee mason.jpg
Mason issues a red card during a match in 2010
Full name Lee Stephen Mason[1]
Born (1971-10-29) 29 October 1971 (age 49)
Bolton, Lancashire, England
Domestic
Years League Role
1992–1996 North West Counties League Assistant referee
1996–1998 North West Counties League Referee
1998–2000 Football League Assistant referee
2000–2002 Premier League Assistant referee
2002–2006 Football League Referee
2006– Premier League Referee

Lee Stephen Mason (born 29 October 1971)[2] is a referee from Bolton, Greater Manchester. Since 2006, Mason has been on the list of Select Group Referees who officiate in the Premier League.[2]

Mason is a former chairman of the Bolton Referees' Society and is associated with the Lancashire County Football Association.

Education[edit]

Mason attended Thornleigh College in Bolton and then the Liverpool Institute of Higher Education between 1990 and 1993, living in Newman Hall, where he gained his degree. Whilst there he played for his college football team as well as being a regular compere, hosting a variety of social events at a students' union club.[citation needed]

Family[edit]

Mason’s younger brother, Andy, is a former professional footballer who was a trainee at Bolton Wanderers, and played professionally for Hull City among others, before ending up playing in Non-League.[3][4]

Career[edit]

Mason took up the whistle in 1988, officiating in the Bolton Boys' Federation League. He previously worked in the car rental industry.[5] In 1992, he was added to the North West Counties Football League assistant referees' list, and progressed to referee in that league four years later. He was included on The Football League list of assistant referees in 1998, and was added to the Premier League assistant referees' list in 2000.

In 2002, he was promoted to referee in the Football League, and his first match at that level was a Third Division match between Shrewsbury Town and Exeter City in August 2002, won 1–0 by the home side.[6]

Also in 2002, he took charge of that year's FA County Youth Cup final between Birmingham and Durham, which Birmingham won 2–1.[7]

Mason became a Development Group referee in 2003, and finally reached the Premier League list of Select Group Referees in 2006. His first Premier League appointment came in February 2006, when Middlesbrough lost 4–0 at home to Aston Villa.[8]

Later in 2006, he was appointed to referee the Football League One play-off final between Barnsley and Swansea City at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, which Barnsley won on penalties after a 2–2 draw after extra time.[9]

He was widely praised in the press following his handling of a League Cup tie between Chelsea and Manchester United in October 2012. The two teams had met three days prior in an incident-filled Premier League fixture which United won 3–2 and Chelsea had two players sent off. During the League Cup match, Mason correctly awarded three penalties and was required to interpret and handle a number of other incidents. Chelsea won 5–4 after a 90th-minute penalty for the Blues, who were previously 3–2 down, forced the Cup tie into extra-time.[5][10]

Controversy[edit]

In March 2015, Mason caused controversy in a 1–1 draw between A.F.C. Bournemouth and Cardiff City when he disallowed a goal scored by Bournemouth's Callum Wilson, who had had the ball kicked against his back by Cardiff goalkeeper Simon Moore, which then looped onto the crossbar before Wilson converted it into the unguarded net. Wilson was booked for a perceived foul, while commentators struggled to establish which rule had been broken.[11][12]

In December 2020, Mason was severely criticised by Wolverhampton Wanderers coach Nuno Espírito Santo after a loss to Burnley, as not up to the Premier League standard for refereeing.[13][14] Espírito Santo refused to apologise for his comments but has admitted they constituted improper conduct and was later fined £25,000 by the Football Association.[15]

On 27 February 2021, Mason controversially ruled out a goal by Brighton’s Lewis Dunk in a 1–0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion, causing strong criticism of Mason in the media and on Sky Sports.[16] Mason had blown his whistle allowing a quick free-kick to be taken, before then blowing his whistle again after the free kick had been taken, denying Dunk the goal.[17]

Statistics[edit]

Season Games Total Yellow card Yellow card per game Total Red card Red card per game
2002–03 24 94 3.92 3 0.13
2003–04 30 118 3.93 6 0.20
2004–05 36 108 3.00 3 0.08
2005–06 37 90 2.43 3 0.08
2006–07 33 87 2.64 3 0.09
2007–08 30 110 3.66 4 0.13
2008–09 34 132 3.88 8 0.23
2009–10 35 106 3.09 7 0.20
2010–11 33 135 4.09 5 0.15
2011–12 32 80 2.50 3 0.09
2012–13 30 108 3.60 3 0.11
2013–14 36 111 3.08 6 0.17
2014–15 33 101 3.06 6 0.18
2015–16 34 96 2.82 3 0.09
2016–17 25 96 3.84 3 0.12
2017–18 26 72 2.78 4 0.15
2018–19 32 99 3.09 3 0.09
2019–20 26 80 3.08 1 0.04

Statistics are for all competitions. No records are available prior to 2002–03.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "England - L. Mason - Profile with news, career statistics and history - Soccerway". int.soccerway.com.
  2. ^ a b Birthdate confirmation Archived 28 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine and biography: the Football League Official website.
  3. ^ Andy Mason (ex-footballer), Lee's brother: Boston United website.
  4. ^ "Andy Mason | Football Stats | 1993-2002 | Soccer Base". Soccerbase. CENTURYCOMM LIMITED. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Lee Mason stars without stealing the limelight - Manchester Evening News".
  6. ^ First Football League match, Shrewsbury v. Exeter, Division Three, 2002: soccerbase.com website.
  7. ^ FA Youth Cup Final 2002, Birmingham v. Durham: TheFA.com website.
  8. ^ First Premier League match, Middlesbrough v. Aston Villa, 2006: soccerbase.com website.
  9. ^ League One Play-Off Final 2006, Barnsley v. Swansea: soccerbase.com website.
  10. ^ "Match Report: Chelsea 5-4 Manchester United - KensingtonChelseaToday". Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Bournemouth striker Wilson scores most ridiculous FIFA-esque disallowed goal v Cardiff". 18 March 2015.
  12. ^ "AFC Bournemouth: Controversy as Cherries are held to draw at Cardiff City". Bournemouth Echo.
  13. ^ "Referee Mason 'not good enough' - Nuno" – via www.bbc.com.
  14. ^ "Referee 'not good enough' in 'tough' defeat - Nuno". 21 December 2020 – via www.bbc.com.
  15. ^ "Wolves boss Nuno fined for ref criticism" – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  16. ^ "West Brom-Brighton referee 'shambles': Lee Mason disallows then gives goal before VAR rules it out". Sky Sports. 27 February 2021. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  17. ^ "West Brom 1-0 Brighton: Bizarre defeat for Seagulls after free-kick confusion". BBC Sport. 27 February 2021. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  18. ^ "Lee Mason | Latest Football Betting Odds | Soccer Base". www.soccerbase.com.

External links[edit]