Steve Evans: Top man Howard deserves top honour

Howard Webb
Howard Webb
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To get to the top of your profession, sporting or otherwise, is a magnificent achievement.

To be the best in the world... well, doesn’t that just speak for itself?

So, we should all be proud - and we certainly are in Rotherham - that one of our very own, Howard Webb, is right up there as No 1 in his field.

There isn’t a better referee on the planet and he is held in the highest regard by managers and coaches throughout this country and there will be a lot of people who will have been absolutely delighted for Howard that he’s off to referee at the World Cup Finals again.

And those people will have been delighted not just for Howard the referee but for Howard the man.

They say nice guys don’t come out on top. You can certainly make an exception here. He is a top bloke and everyone who has come into contact with Howard, be it inside or outside football, will tell you what a really good, genuine, down-to-earth guy he is.

We are proud, at my club Rotherham United, to have him as Honorary Club Ambassador. We couldn’t have a better one.

The amount of work he does within the community across the region is staggering and he always seems to be off to some function or visiting a school or group.

Of course, he refereed the last World Cup Final and, for some people, that would have been enough, the peak of their career.

But Howard has retained his motivation to continue at the highest level. Not just continuing, but to perform at the highest standard which he had to do if he was to get consideration for Brazil. He wouldn’t have been picked on reputation if his standards had dropped.

As many people know, Howard is a dyed-in-the-wool Millers fan. He’s not a celebrity fan, he’s a proper fan. He paid for a season ticket with his family and he goes to whatever away games he can get to. Millers fans will tell you they’ve seen plenty of Howard on the away end at our games. When we had our promotion bus tour around the town last May, there was Howard, with his promotion T-shirt on, applauding the lads in All Saints Square as the bus went past.

He gets decisions wrong at times, although that’s very rare, but he does beat himself about it when he gets something wrong and he isn’t happy. As a manager, you can live with that.

But this decision is correct. Howard is the very best we’ve got.