Rotherham College alumni Howard Webb has been recognised by the Association of Colleges for the role that further education played in his career.
The former international football referee was presented with the prestigious ‘gold’ award at a ceremony at Rotherham College.
Gold awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of successful and influential people who have attended further education and sixth form colleges.
Webb, who officiated Premier League and Football League matches, the 2010 World Cup Final and 2010 Champions League Final, studied French at Rotherham College between 2005 and 2007 as an adult learner.
He retired from refereeing last year.
He said: “I’m absolutely thrilled and delighted to have won the award - it’s not something I expected.
“It was a surprise when I was told I was nominated so to then be told I had won was something special.
“When I was appointed to the international FIFA list of referees, I decided to study French at the college to be able to converse with more international players.
“For me, just having a better chance of communicating with overseas players would give me an advantage in my career.”