ROTHERHAM-born Howard Webb has ended his 25-year refereeing career to become technical director of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited, the Premier League has announced.
Webb, 43, has taken charge of over 500 Premier League and Football League matches, with his career peak arriving when he was in the middle for the World Cup final between Spain and Holland in Johannesburg in July 2010.
The former police officer began his refereeing career in 1989 and progressed through the Northern Counties and Football League to become a Select Group referee in 2003.
Webb refereed a number of notable matches in England including the 2009 FA Cup final between Chelsea and Everton, the 2005 FA Community Shield between Chelsea and Manchester United and the final of the Football League Cup in 2007 when Arsenal faced Chelsea.
He also became the first person to referee the finals of both the UEFA Champions League and World Cup in the same year in 2010, with his prestige World Cup final appointment following taking charge of the European club showpiece between Inter Milan and Bayern Munich in Madrid.
Webb’s first game in the Premier League was a 0-0 draw between Fulham and Wolves in October 2003 and he was appointed to FIFA’s international referees’ list in 2005.
The Yorkshireman’s last major refereeing appointment came at the recent World Cup in Brazil when he took charge of the knock-out clash between the hosts and Chile in Belo Horizonte on June 28.
He was also in the middle for the Group C game between Ivory Coast and Colombia.
On his decision to end his refereeing career, Webb said: “I am very excited to start this new chapter in my career.”