PREMIER League referee Mark Halsey has beaten cancer.

Doctors told Mr Halsey the chemotherapy treatment had worked and a scan confirmed his cancer was in remission.

The popular ref from Bolton must now undergo three weeks of intensive radiotherapy to make sure every last cancer cell is killed.

His last appointment will be on Christmas Eve. He hopes then to return to training in the New Year and start refereeing again in February.

The 48-year-old said: “It will be a fairytale return — it’s Roy of the Rovers stuff.

“It is a fantastic Christmas present. It hasn’t been easy, but remaining positive and trying to keep life normal — I think that’s what helps.

“If I can walk out and referee another game then it will give hope to all the other people fighting cancer.”

Mr Halsey was diagnosed with primary cancer of the lymph nodes in August. He has since undergone six draining chemotherapy sessions.

The Hertfordshire-born official, who lives in Little Lever with wife Michelle and daughter Lucy Mia, received messages of support from football stars such as John Terry, Ashley Cole and Wayne Rooney.

Mrs Halsey, who is battling leukaemia, said: “We couldn’t stop crying when we heard the news. We want to say a big thank you to everyone for supporting us. We wish everyone a very merry Christmas, because we will certainly be having one.”

Mrs Halsey said her own battle was not progressing as quickly as doctors would like — but said this may have been down to the stress of her husband also having cancer.

The pair are keen to praise the staff at the Christie Hospital in Manchester, where Mark is being treated.

Now they are busy raising money for the charity through their Italian restaurant, Sottovento in Farnworth.

Mrs Halsey thanked customers for raising more than £1,000 for the hospital.

Well-wishers can also donate through their website