When you’ve refereed the World Cup Final and the Champions League Final, both within a matter of weeks of each other, you’ve reached the very top of your profession. It can’t get any better.
Some might wonder what Howard Webb had left to achieve after that little lot. He won’t be doing either of those finals ever again so what’s he have to aim for?
Even to ponder the question is not to know the depth of feeling and love and enjoyment that England’s No 1 referee gets from football not to mention a desire to help and do his bit for the wider community.
He is revered across the refereeing world for his ability and achievements and for the person he is.It’s not just in his native Rotherham that they’ll tell you Howard has given of his time so freely and he’ll be talking football and refereeing and lots more, long into the evening - and long after many special guests would have made their excuses and left.
His enthusiasm for football and his clear passion for refereeing is unquenchable. And it matters not the level either - many recall that his very first refereeing appointment after his 2010 World Cup Final in South Africa was a few weeks later on Thrybergh Rec for a first round tie in the Rotherham Charity Cup! At the end of last season, he reffed a fund-raising charity match in the town. Not long ago it was a women’s cup final.
Now, he’s out in Brazil for FIFA’s Confederations Cup and will hope that it proves some sort of ‘rehearsal’ for him for the 2014 World Cup.
Clearly he has maintained his high standards over the past two seasons and would love to be in Brazil again next Summer. That will be an achievement - it will be something to strive for in addition to maintaining his place as one of the leading referees in Europe if not its top one. One thing is certain, he’ll come back from Brazil but won’t be shouting the odds whatever’s happened. He’ll just look forward to his next assignment and to his beloved Millers doing well in League One.