The legendary Premier League referee Mike Dean is quitting as a video assistant referee and will no longer be part of professional English football next season – ending a run that goes back 28 years to his early days as an assistant referee in the Football League.

Dean, 55, has reached agreement with Howard Webb, head of the referees’ organisation PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials), to step down after a season in which he has been found to be unsuited to Var duties. Dean quit as an on-field referee at the end of the 2021-2022 season and moved to become one of two full-time Var officials with PGMOL.

However, that has not worked out as either party had hoped with Dean last being appointed to Var duties for a Premier League game in February. His unique skillset as a referee did not translate to being able to make decisions remotely from Stockley Park. He did, however, last longer than the other full-time Var, Lee Mason, who was stood down after mistakes during Arsenal’s draw with Brentford in February.

Although his next job is unknown, Dean will no doubt be courted by broadcasters eager to see if his strong personality as a referee also works in the television studio. As a keen ballroom dancer in his teenage years, he may yet find himself cut out for primetime Saturday night television of a different variety.

As a Premier League referee, Dean officiated 560 games issuing 114 red cards going back to September 2000. He remains famous for his unyielding attitude in the face of extreme protests from players and his immortal instruction – “Off you pop” – which accompanied at least one of those 114 dismissals.

Webb, PGMOL’s chief refereeing officer, has rotated his referees between on-field and Var duties since he took charge during the Qatar World Cup finals break in the Premier League season. He has already overseen a major change in personnel with a number of senior referees of Dean’s generation retiring – the latest being Andre Marriner.