Howard Webb MBE is a former professional referee, who officiated primarily in the Premier League. Having always loved football, Howard opted to follow the refereeing route after realising he would not reach the heights he wanted as a player.
He has gone on to become one of the country’s most respected referees in both domestic and international football. To pursue his refereeing aspirations, Howard is currently on a career break from his role as a police sergeant with South Yorkshire Police Force, where he has been a serving officer for 15 years.
Howard quickly progressed through the ranks via the Northern Counties East League, Football league and Football Conference and in 2003 he became a Premier League referee. Just two years later, Howard became a FIFA listed referee and began officiating international fixtures. During his successful career, Howard has officiated on some of the biggest stages of domestic and international football – European Under 21 Championship, FA Cup Final, Carling Cup Final, FIFA under 21 World Cup, UEFA Euro 2008 and Superliga in North America.
2010 was to prove a high profile year for Howard – in May he was the referee at the Champions League Final and in the summer he was one of 14 European referees (and the only British representative) to officiate at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The pinnacle of his career was to come during the 2010 FIFA World Cup when he had the honour of refereeing the final, making him the first ever referee to officiate both the World Cup and Champions League final in the same year.
”Howard’s ability to tell his story in a very grounded, simple and authentic way enabled him to touch everyone in our audience that day, because they all got something different from the experience – a story of a man who made it to the top in his field in an extraordinary way, a man who captured the heart of his team and took them together on that journey, a man who applied ”life skills” to one of the most pressured decision making roles in sport today. Howard Webb, I thought, was breathtaking, in his own way – his style, professionalism, realism and humour was pitched perfectly to a very mixed audience in terms of levels of managerial experience. I would highly recommend Howard Webb, he is outstanding.
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