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Page last updated at 14:03 GMT, Sunday, 4 April 2010 15:03 UK

Referee Mark Halsey makes emotional return

Referee Mark Halsey
Halsey last took charge of a league game in August

Referee Mark Halsey admitted that he was emotional on taking charge of his first league game after treatment for throat cancer.

Halsey presided over Port Vale's 2-1 win over Rotherham at the Don Valley Stadium on Saturday, receiving a standing ovation as he took the pitch.

"It's something I'll never forget," he told BBC Radio Sheffield.

"It was very overwhelming, I was crying. It was great to be back and the players were fantastic."

The 48-year-old added: "I've went through some dark days and months leading up to Christmas. It's been hard to get my fitness back.

"Obviously those who've been through chemotherapy and radiotherapy know what it's like to put poison into your body in the way that I've had to for four or five months.

"I never thought I'd get back, especially when I failed a fitness test in February.

"And like the fans today with their applause, the ordinary supporters have been fantastic with me and inspired me to get back to this level."

Goals from Marc Richards and Craig Davies helped Vale put a dent in Rotherham's automatic promotion hopes, in a game where Halsey was not forced to show a card to any player.

"I was great to be out there, to have the players and managers moaning at me," said Halsey.

"I thought 'welcome back Mark, some things never change' and to show no yellow cards is fantastic, I'm very happy."

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see also
Rotherham 1-2 Port Vale
03 Apr 10 |  League Two
Bad weather delays Halsey return
30 Mar 10 |  Football
Ref Halsey returns after cancer
08 Mar 10 |  Football

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