Howard gets the red card from bobsleigh champ Nicola

Hot seat: World cup final referee Howard Webb gets the red card from bobsleigh world champ Nicola Minichello.
Hot seat: World cup final referee Howard Webb gets the red card from bobsleigh world champ Nicola Minichello.
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REFEREE... get off my seat!

This was the fun moment when World Cup final referee Howard Webb was shown the red card by Sheffield’s bobsleigh superstar Nicola Minichiello.

The Rotherham 39-year-old covered his famous bald head with a woolly hat as he wrapped up to try out the dry bobsleigh push-start track which helped to make her a world champion.

Not that he’s planning a career move.

“I’m a little bit too long in the tooth to change my career but it’s exciting to give it a go,’’ said Howard.

He tried the facility near Ripon, one of only two in the country, when he joined a group of students from Silverdale School, Ecclesall.

“Nicola’s achievements are amazing, to reach the top of her chosen sport. She’s a role model to the kids.”

Nicola, aged 32, is recovering from knee reconstruction surgery and unable to defend her world title at the FIBT World Championships which began this week in Königssee, Germany.

But she has vowed to regain the title and win Olympic gold in 2014.

She also praised Howard’s involvement, to boost a further interest in the sport. She said: “It’s frustrating I won’t be able to defend my world title - but I’ll be back.”

n For a full report on the Silverdale visit see Grassroots in The Star tomorrow.