Mike Dean steps in as emergency fourth official in Tranmere's clash vs Walsall after watching match from stands as a fan

MIKE DEAN stepped in as an emergency fourth official in Tranmere's League Two clash against Walsall, rushing down from the stands where he was watching on with his friends to offer his services after the assistant referee picked up an injury.

The eccentric Premier League referee, who can at times be spotted at Tranmere games, was back on official duty a week before top-flight competitive football gets underway.

The assistant referee picked up an injury in the 60th minute, and lifelong Tranmere fan Dean rushed down from the stands to offer his services, stepping in as the fourth official.

And Dean's arrival on the match appears to have been a good luck charm as Callum McManaman scored the winner for Tranmere 13 minutes later.

Tranmere avoided a late scare as Christopher Merrie was sent off in the 86th minute.

But the home side managed to hold on to secure three points on the opening game of the season.

Dean is usually on the other end of stick from fans, but has built a reputation for having a personality on the field.

The 53-year-old admitted to being a showman, and loves the way he referees games.

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Dean explained: "I do come across like a showman.

"If the ball comes towards me I will let it go through my legs. I love a step-over.

"I love what I do and the way I referee. It kind of comes out I enjoy what I do. I've had this the past 10 years.''

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