Howard Webb Retires
Howard Webb has ended his storied career as a professional referee.
This is not unexpected; he’s been setting the stage for this for the last year or so. He dropped hints here or there that he probably wouldn’t be back after the 2014 World Cup, and even went back to his job as a police officer part time starting last spring.
Now it’s official, and it’s no less sad.
The good news is Big Howard will not be going that far. He’s taken a position as Technical Director of PGMOL, the organization that oversees England’s match officials.
He will be “responsible for overseeing the technical direction and standards that govern on the on-field performance of PGMOL’s match officials,” the organization said in a statement.
Here’s Premier League’s official statement (accompanied by a very old photo).
I’ll have more to say about this in the coming days, but for me it’s the end of an era. It was Howard Webb who first turned me on to referees and what they bring to the game, and even though my thoughts on him as a referee became more realistic the more I learned, I never lost my admiration for him.
Godspeed, Howard. I wish you nothing but the best.
Here are some articles you might be interested in reading:
- Howard Webb retires from refereeing to become PGMOL’s technical director (guardian.com)
- Howard Webb retires: 2010 World Cup final referee calls time on career (independent.co.uk)
- Howard Webb retires from refereeing and takes key officials role (BBC)