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Page last updated at 20:45 GMT, Monday, 8 March 2010

Referee Mark Halsey returns after cancer treatment

Referee Mark Halsey
Halsey has also helped his wife recover from leukaemia

Mark Halsey will referee his first game on Tuesday after winning the latest stage of his battle against cancer.

The Bolton-based official is to take charge of a reserve match between Leicester and Scunthorpe at Hinckley.

Halsey has been given the all-clear to return to the game following treatment for throat cancer after passing a rigorous referee fitness test.

The 48-year-old has been getting back in shape by training with Bolton at their base on the outskirts of Chorley.

It has been a difficult time for his family as Halsey's wife Michelle has been treated for leukaemia.

Halsey, who was diagnosed with the disease the day before the season started, told ITV's Granada Reports one of the first messages of support came from Chelsea captain John Terry.

He said: "When I found out I had cancer, I did not think I would be back refereeing. I thought that was it. I thought my career was over, but here I am.

"The chemotherapy hit me hard, it really did. I was quite ill. My throat was very sore but it is just getting back to normal. I've got no taste, though, but hopefully that will come back in time.

"I want to show people who suffer from cancer we can all beat this disease. It's for them. That's why I want to get back on the pitch."

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