Date: 16th September 2011 at 5:13pm
Written by:

Howard Webb is the man in black for tomorrow’s Premier League game between the Canaries and Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium (3pm).

The 40-year-old South Yorkshire official first took charge of a Football League game in August 2000 as Southend beat Brighton 2-0 at Roots Hall.

His first game refereeing the Canaries was in a 3-2 win against Wimbledon at Carrow Road on 22nd December 2001 (my 21st birthday if you’re interested) in which he sent off Dons players Kelvin Davis and Jermaine Darlington.

Webb first refereed a Premier League game in 2003/04, and saw action at the Reebok that November as Bolton drew 0-0 with Southampton and Michael Svensson was sent off for a second bookable offence with four minutes to go.

His first major final was the 2007 Carling Cup Final when Chelsea beat Arsenal 2-1 at the Millennium Stadium but the game is most remembered for a brawl which erupted in the final minute, leading to red cards for John Obi Mikel, Kolo Touré and Emmanuel Adebayor.

The 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, Euro 2008, 2009 FA Cup Final, the 2009 Confederations Cup and the 2010 Champions League Final followed, before Webb reached the pinnacle of his career by officiating at the 2010 World Cup and was selected to referee the final between the Netherlands and Spain.

He issued a record 14 yellow cards as the Dutch in particular appeared to opt for tactics not exactly in-line with FIFA’s ‘fair play’ policy and received widespread praise for his performance despite being criticised by the Dutch and Spanish press.

Last season Webb refereed 45 games – including Bolton’s 5-1 home win against Newcastle and the 5-0 loss against Stoke at the Reebok – issuing 141 yellow and 6 red cards in the process.

This season he took charge of Manchester United’s 8-2 destruction of Arsenal at Old Trafford last month, as well as Romania’s 0-0 draw with France on 6th September in a Euro 2012 qualifier.

We want to know what YOU think. Have your say by leaving a comment below, or click here to discuss this article in the forum.

You can also share your thoughts via Facebook (Facebook.com/VitalNorwich) or Twitter @VitalNorwich.


Join The Vital Debate