Gladiators referee Mark Clattenburg’s love life – gay slur, ‘affair’ and divorce

Gladiators 2024 referee Mark Clattenburg is a staple on screens every Saturday night – but he’s had a rather wild love life.

Mark is considered one of the most highly regarded football referees in history. He bagged his Premier League referee job in 2004, which has since led to him taking charge of some of the biggest footballing games.

But this year, Mark, 48, decided to switch things up when he joined the BBC’s Gladiators reboot as the show’s brand-new referee. The rebooted series made its return after years off screen – and is fronted by Bradley and Barney Walsh.

But away from the iconic arena, it’s fair to say Mark has had a colourful love life!

Mark Clattenburg in an interview
He’s had an eventful love life (Credit: NBC Sports/YouTube)

Gladiators referee Mark Clattenburg – divorce from first wife Helen

Gladiators star Mark was previously married to Helen Henderson. As seen in a photo on MailOnline, the pair can be seen posing for a snap from back in the day. Mark and Helen went on to tie the knot, and they share one child, a son, together. However, their marriage ended in divorce.

While his son hasn’t been publicly named, writing in the Daily Mail in 2021, Mark made a rare comment about his private life, and the lengths trolls had gone to in order to threaten him.

He said: “I used to get letters sent to my house. They would be directed to ‘Mark Clattenburg, Gosforth’ and my postie, thinking he was doing me a favour, delivered them. Some of the abuse was vile and, yes, there were threats. ‘I’m going to do this and that to you, your wife, your children…’ I reported it to the police but, given the anonymity of it all, nobody was caught or convicted.”

Gladiators ref Mark in ‘affair scandal’

After Helen, Mark moved on and found love with a woman called Claire, who he went on to marry. It’s believed he has a daughter, Mia, with Claire. However, things took a dramatic turn in their relationship when he was allegedly caught cheating on his wife.

In 2017, The Sun reported that he had a fling with divorcee Andrea Hodgkinson. The pair would allegedly meet monthly in a rented apartment where they would “practically tear each other’s clothes off”.

He is a very charming, romantic man. He swept me off my feet.

Mark also reportedly sent Andrea X-rated snaps and messages. Andrea claimed she never knew Mark was married during their affair, which she said lasted eight months.

She told a pal at the time: “He is a very charming, romantic man. He swept me off my feet. He’s affectionate and kind and I fell for him – he’s not what I expected. He’s got that hard-faced refereeing persona but he’s not like that at all in real life.”

He has always strongly denied the affair claims.

‘Most amazing mother’

Mark’s wife Claire appeared to stick by her husband Mark despite the claims.

Last year, on Mother’s Day, he shared a picture of Claire to Instagram, praising her for being “the most amazing mother in the world”.

In 2020, he also mentioned his wife when he revealed he had undergone a hair transplant.

He told Paddy Power’s From The Horse’s Mouth podcast: “I had to go to Ireland for my hair transplant. I had to go twice because I was going so bad. My missus was saying I was looking old, so I thought I’d get a hair transplant quickly and it’d look alright.”

Gladiators referee Mark Clattenburg shouts
Mark’s back on screens for the new Gladiators show (Credit: BBC)

Mark fled Egypt over untrue gay relationship claims

In January 2023, Mark was reportedly forced to flee his home in Egypt over fears of his safety. He had moved to the country for work a year before.

Mark was said to have left after the head of one of Egypt’s top football teams made untrue claims that h head left wife Claire and started a gay romance.

The Sun reported at the time that Mark decided to leave Egypt after receiving threats from Egyptian football supporters.

It’s not illegal to be gay in Egypt but same-sex sexual activity is prohibited under the penal code. This criminalises acts of “indecency”, “scandalous acts”, and “debauchery” and only men are criminalised under this law.

Read more: Gladiators star accused of ‘cheating’ by angry player as referee forced to step in: ‘He had to cheat to beat me’

Watch Mark on Gladiators tonight (March 9) at 5.50pm on BBC One.

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