Howard Webb is an English professional football referee who was born on 14th July, 1971 in Rotherham, West Riding of Yorkshire, England. As a child, he was born as Howard Melton Webb to Sylvia and Billy Webb. His father was also a referee for 35 years.
Howard began refereeing in the year 1989 while as a sergeant with the South Yorkshire Police. He then progressed to the Northern Countries East League in 1993 as an assistant referee and later after two years, he became a referee for that league.
Webb was included on the National List of Football League referees in 200 and after three years he was promoted to the Select Group of professional referees who can take charge of Premier League games. His first game in the top tier of English football was on 18th October, 2003 when he took charge of a 0-0 draw between Fulham and Wolverhampton Wanderers. In the year 2005, Webb was appointed to FIFA’s international referees.
His first international match was the friendly match between Northern Ireland and Portugal on 15th November 2005. Howard’s first big international tournament was EURO U-21 2006 which was in Portugal. His first Champions League match was on 26th September 2006. It was the match between Steaua Bucharest and Lyon. FIFA announced on 24th October 2008 that Webb was on the provisional list of referees for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. It was confirmed on 5th February 2010 that he had been selected as a referee for the finals. On the 2010 finals, Webb issued 14 yellow cards including two to the Netherlands’ John Heitinga.
Webb was named as one of the 12 referees in December 2011 who was selected by UEFA to take charge of games at Euro 2012. He was selected for the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil as a referee. It was announced on January of 2014 that Howard Webb had been included on the referees’ list for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil. He officiated the group C match on 19th June between Colombia and Ivory Coast in the capital, Brasilia.
He also refereed the first knockout match between Brazil and Chile on 28th June. Howard was awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2011 Queen’s New Years Honours List for his services to Association Football. In addition, Howard was the first man to referee both the Champions League final matches and World Cup final in the same year in which he set a record of showing 14 yellow cards and a red, and the Champions League final. Besides, he is considered to be the best referee in the world.
To talk about his personal life, Webb is married and has three children. He is devoted family man. In addition, Howard is heavily involved in children’s charities and other works with the kids.