Football: Howard Webb MBE

Born in Rotherham, the former Police Sergeant began his journey to becoming a FIFA listed Ref in 1993 when he became an assistant referee in the Northern Counties League. It was 1998 when Howard took charge of his first game as Ref in the Football Conference before rapidly moving up the leagues.

In 2010 he became the first person to referee both the UEFA Champions League Final and the World Cup Final in the same year.

Whilst football is the focus for Howard's career, during the summer as a kid it was Tennis at Wimbledon that captured his attention. 

" As a kid my all time tennis hero was Ivan Lendl. I was so desperate for him to win Wimbledon but it never happened. He kept coming up against Boris Becker and he had a great chance against Pat Cash but lost that one. The point about Ivan Lendl was that he was clean-cut and wore great Adidas shirts which I used to go out and buy to play my tennis in thinking I would be the next big thing"

When talking sporting memories, few if any, come bigger than The World Cup. Memories of 2010 also figure prominently

"And there was the second podium just on the pitch with the words FIFA on it and on top of that was the World Cup Trophy itself, but it was the shiniest piece of metal I had ever seen in my life. I had seen it so many times on TV before and replicas but I didn't expect such a wonderful sight and to think we were about to play for that Trophy with the Golden World on top and the green at the base was an amazing thing to see as I waited to walk out for the World Cup Final. Those memories and that walk out will stay with me forever, collecting the ball, onto the pitch and past that Trophy and to turn around and face it and to know that you're about to be involved in something quite amazing was very special."