He’s appeared in a World Cup and Champions League Final, and is regarded by many as the best referee in the country.
But Rotherham’s top Premier League whistler Howard Webb took time out recently to officiate a five-a-side tournament, featuring community side Darnall United and Meadowhall Shopping Centre.
The game was organised to support a scheme which improves intercultural and cross community relations between different groups in the Darnall/Tinsley area.
Members of the Meadowhall Management Team took on Darnall United, a side established by the Darnall and Tinsley Safer Neighbourhood Team.
Over 60 young people are registered with the team, taking part in training sessions and friendly games to keep them off the streets.
And they scored another victory in this game in front of Webb, who refereed the 2010 Champions League and World Cup finals.
Six teams took part in the charity tournament at Darnall football ground, also including a squad from McDonald’s.
The final of the tournament was between the Darnall United side and McDonald’s, with United coming out on top 2-1.
“It is great to see community initiatives in the area and the positive effects they have on the community and reduction of crime rates,” Webb said.
“There are a great selection of talented footballers in the team and thanks to Darnall United they have been given the platform to showcase their talent.”
Chief Superintendent David Hartley, Sheffield District Commander, added: “Every week, a group of committed young people from the area’s differing ethnic backgrounds come together and through football, cultural barriers are being broken down and friendships have formed.”
Last year, Meadowhall pledged almost £20,000 to keep the project running, and the club also received a £2,000 grant from a McDonald’s-backed Kickstart scheme.
Mick Osborne, who is Meadowhall’s security manager and a key man in the Darnall United project, added: “We’re extremely proud to have been involved in the success of this project, helping to improve relations here in our local community.
“Although we didn’t win this year’s tournament, it was great fun taking part and the lads thoroughly enjoyed it!”
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