Howard Webb says he headed off to Brazil on a ‘real high’ after promotion at Wembley for his beloved Rotherham United.
“You don’t need any additional boost when you’re going off to be involved in a World Cup but I can definitely say that I was still up in the clouds and on a real high,” said the World’s leading referee who doubles up as a lifelong, mad-keen Millers supporter.
“People have asked how I’d compare refereeing at Wembley and being a fan there the other Sunday for the League One Play-off Final.
“When you’re reffing you’re nervous because it is an important game, perhaps a final or a semi-final, and it’s always a big stage. But you can control things to a great extent because of your involvement in it.
“But up in the stands, watching your team in such an important game then you have no control really.
“And, to be honest, I didn’t really enjoy it during the game because it’s too stressful, you’re too desperate to win the game and I was desperate for my kids because they’ve become season ticket holders and I didn’t want them to be disappointed,” said Howard who is the club’s Honorary Ambassador.
“But I certainly did enjoy it when we’d won and I said to my two kids that now we can enjoy it and savour it because things like this don’t come round very often.
“I reckon you can count on two hands in your lifetime the real highs like that.
“So, enjoy them. I was on a high and so were all the fans I met subsequently and everyone can look forward to some great games next season.”
However, Rotherham’s most famous ref has to miss tonight’s special anniversary function when Rotherham District Referees Association hold their Centenary Dinner at the New York Stadium.
And former top ref Mike Riley, who began his refereeing as a schoolboy in Rotherham and is now head of the referees ruling body PGMO, is also unable to attend due to World Cup commitments.
n Howard’s Brazil preparations - see Monday’s Star