Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Sergio Aguero are all immortalised outside the Etihad for their Manchester City careers – and Mark Halsey wants to join them
Mark Halsey, a retired referee, remarked that Manchester City wouldn’t have won the Treble without him and that he merited a statue at the Etihad.
Halsey, 62, worked primarily for the Premier League as a referee. He had to climb the ladder, though, and before reaching the top division, he served as the referee for the 1999 League One Play-Off Final.
Gillingham, a team that is currently in League Two, played against City, and they appeared to be advancing after scoring two goals in stoppage time. At the conclusion of the game, five more minutes were added.
Paul Dickov scored in the 97th minute to force penalties, which City won 3-1. Kevin Horlock had previously pulled one back.
After being photographed drinking with the winning fans that evening, Halsey received harsh criticism for his performance. When he appeared on the Under The Cosh podcast, it was the first thing they discussed.
Halsey started her statement with, “I’m still getting stick now, especially on Twitter, oh the s*** I get from those fans,” and continued, “What a day, what a day.
The night, though, was even better. The Football League’s decision to place me at the same hotel as Man City supporters wasn’t my fault, was it?
Recalling the events at the end of the game from his perspective, Halsey continued: “Nicky Weaver (who saved the decisive penalty for City) does the run. While Nicky’s running one way, I’m running down the tunnel with all the Gillingham fans wanting to chase me.
“It was five minutes, but it should’ve been longer but obviously with all the time wasting that was going on, goal scoring celebrations, cautions, substitutions, but as I say, City fans have got a lot to thank me for.
In response to that incident, he said: “I took my daughter and her boyfriend, obviously a Madrid supporter who is Spanish. My daughter speaks Spanish with ease because she has been attending school here for a while.
“I purchased some tickets, went there, and had our photo taken in the Alicante railway station when we were “on our way to Madrid.” Being British, you naturally want the British team to succeed.
“Some I just put a picture on with ‘come on City’ and then suddenly ‘bong, bing, bing, bing’. I lost my mind completely. Oh my god, the Gillingham supporters demanded an investigation from the FA 24 years after the incident.