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Howard Webb
Howard Webb3.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth 14 July 1971 (1971-07-14) (age 38)
Place of birth Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England
Other occupation Full-time referee
Former police officer[1]
Years League Role



Northern Counties East
Northern Counties East
Football League
Premier League
Football Conference
Football League
Premier League
Asst. referee
Asst. referee
Asst. referee
Years League Role
2005– FIFA listed Referee

Howard Melton Webb (born 14 July 1971[2]) is an English football referee who operates in the Premier League and has been a FIFA-listed referee since 2005. He lives in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.



Webb first took up refereeing in local Rotherham leagues in 1989. In 1993, he progressed to the Northern Counties East League as an assistant referee, becoming a referee for that league two years later. In 1996, he was appointed as a Football League assistant referee, and, in 1998, fulfilled the same function in the Premier League, as well as being promoted to the Football Conference as a referee.[3] at the YNWA.TV website. In 2000, he was included on the National List of Football League referees, stepping up to the Select Group for the Premiership three years later.[3] His first game in the foremost English league was on 18 October 2003, when he took charge of the 0–0 draw between Fulham and Wolverhampton Wanderers.[4] He was appointed as a FIFA official in 2005.[5]

FA Community Shield

7 August 2005
Chelsea 2 – 1 Arsenal Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Attendance: 58,014
Drogba Goal 8' Goal 57'

Lampard Booked
Makélélé Booked
Fàbregas Goal 65'

Fàbregas Booked

Webb officiated the FA Community Shield game between League winners Chelsea and FA Cup winners Arsenal. Chelsea were 2–0 up through two Didier Drogba goals, by the time Cesc Fàbregas netted a goal for the Gunners twenty five minutes before the end. It was a tense finale, but the Blues held on to secure a 2–1 victory. Webb issued three cautions (to Frank Lampard, Claude Makélélé and Cesc Fàbregas) in a game that saw 11 substitutions.[6] He was fourth official for the game the previous year between Arsenal and Manchester United.

First international match

15 November 2005
Northern Ireland  1 – 1  Portugal Windsor Park, Belfast
Attendance: 14,500
Feeney Goal 54'

Capaldi Booked
Gillespie Booked
Quinn Booked
Craigan Goal 41' (o.g.)

Webb's first international game was in November 2005, when Northern Ireland took on Portugal in a friendly match. The game ended 1–1, with the home side scoring both goals. Northern Ireland went one down just before the break through a Stephen Craigan own goal, but Warren Feeney salvaged a respectable draw by netting in the second half. Tony Capaldi, Keith Gillespie and James Quinn were booked for Northern Ireland.[7]

FA Trophy Final

14 May 2006
Grays Athletic 2 – 0 Woking Boleyn Ground, London
Attendance: 13,800
Oli Goal 41'
Poole Goal 45'

Grays beat Woking 2–0 in this game, through goals from Dennis Oli and Glenn Poole, both just before half time.[8] No players found their way into the book.

European Under-21 Championship

The 2006 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualifying rounds began in August 2004, with the finals taking place in May and June 2006. Webb officiated the Group A match which saw France beat Portugal 1–0,[9] and the Group B game between Italy and Ukraine, which saw the Italians win thanks to a Giorgio Chiellini goal three minutes into second half stoppage time.[10] Webb also took charge of one of the two semi finals, seeing Ukraine beat Serbia and Montenegro 5–4 on penalties, after a 0–0 draw.[11] He was also appointed as fourth official for the final, which saw the Netherlands beat Ukraine 3–0.[12]

First Champions League match

26 September 2006
Steaua Bucharest Romania 0 – 3 France Lyon Ghencea Stadium, Bucharest
Attendance: 26,500

Nicoliţă Booked
Oprita Booked
Ovidiu Petre Booked
Fred Goal 44'
Tiago Goal 55'
Malouda Goal 90'

Toulalan Booked

The Group E match between Steaua Bucharest and Lyon was Webb's first European appointment. The game finished 3–0 to Lyon, with four yellow cards being issued overall.[13]

Carling Cup Final

25 February 2007
Chelsea 2 – 1 Arsenal Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Attendance: 70,073
Drogba Goal 20' Goal 84'

Essien Booked
Carvalho Booked
Diarra Booked
Lampard Booked
Mikel Red card
Walcott Goal 12'

Denilson Booked
Eboué Booked
Fàbregas Booked
Touré Red card
Adebayor Red card
Webb refereeing a match in 2007

The Carling Cup final was certainly not a dull affair. Theo Walcott gave Arsenal the lead with a well taken finish early in the first half - his first goal for the London based club, but two Drogba goals gave Chelsea victory. The match ended with a large brawl, with most of the players on the pitch becoming involved. Managers José Mourinho and Arsène Wenger both entered the pitch in an attempt to calm the situation down. As a result of the melée, Webb sent off Mikel John Obi of Chelsea and Kolo Touré of Arsenal, and showed yellow cards to Frank Lampard and Cesc Fàbregas. After consulting his assistant, Webb also dismissed Emmanuel Adebayor.[14] This was the first time that three red cards had been shown in a League Cup Final. Indeed, prior to this game only three red cards had been shown in all of the previous Finals. Later in the same year, Webb was selected to be the fourth official for the 2007 FA Cup Final, with Steve Bennett chosen as referee.

FIFA Under-20 World Cup

Webb was selected to officiate in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Canada during June and July, and was referee for the Group D game between Poland and Brazil at the Olympic Stadium in Montréal on 30 June.[15] He then took charge of the Group C game between Mexico and Portugal at the National Soccer Stadium in Toronto on 5 July.[16]

UEFA Euro 2008

In December 2007, Webb was selected as England's representative to referee in UEFA Euro 2008, with Darren Cann and Mike Mullarkey as his assistants.[17] On 12 June 2008, whilst refereeing in his first match of the tournament between Austria and Poland and with less than one minute left in stoppage time, he awarded Austria a penalty after he adjudged Poland's Mariusz Lewandowski to have pulled the shirt of Sebastian Prödl. The penalty was converted and the match finished 1–1.[18] Leo Beenhakker, the coach of Poland, described the decision as "inconsistent with the rest of the tournament".[19][20][21] Some commentators praised the decision, describing it as "brave".[22] In the light of UEFA's instructions to referees about conduct at set pieces, the decision to award a penalty in such circumstances was considered a breakthrough in strict implementing the laws of the game by some commentators.[20] UEFA official William Gaillard said the decision was not controversial and was correct.[23] On 15 June, Webb was reported as saying that the only incorrect decision he made was to allow Poland's goal, which he said was offside. "To me the penalty was clear and I hope that people later will look at it and realise it was the only decision that could be taken," Webb said. In the same interview he also said that neither he nor his family, who remain in England, feel under threat. "I have not received any threats," he said.[24]

On 18 June, Webb refereed his second game of Euro 2008 when he took charge of the Group D match in which Greece lost 1–2 to Spain.[25] UEFA confirmed on 19 June that Webb had not been selected to referee matches in the knock-out stages of EURO 2008.[26]

Superliga 2008

Webb was invited to referee the final of the North American Superliga between New England Revolution and Houston Dynamo on 5 August. New England won the match on penalties which took place at New England's home ground of Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

FA Cup Final

30 May 2009
Chelsea 2 – 1 Everton Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 89,391
Drogba Goal 21'
Lampard Goal 72'

Mikel Booked
Lampard Booked
Saha Goal 1'

Hibbert Booked
Neville Booked
Baines Booked

Webb took charge of the 128th 2009 FA Cup Final final of the world's oldest domestic football cup competition, the FA Cup. The final was played at Wembley Stadium in London on 30 May 2009 and marked the third time that the final has been staged at the stadium since it was rebuilt. The match was contested by Chelsea, who beat Arsenal 2–1 in their semi-final, and Everton who beat Manchester United 4–2 on penalties after a 0–0 draw after extra time. After Louis Saha opened the scoring after just 25 seconds, the fastest ever goal in an FA Cup Final, Didier Drogba equalised in the 21st minute before Frank Lampard scored the winner with 19 minutes left to play to give Chelsea their fifth FA Cup success.[27] Webb cautioned Mikel and Lampard for Chelsea and showed yellow cards to Hibbert, Neville and Baines for Everton.

2009 Confederations Cup

In June 2009, Webb was one of the referees at the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa where he took charge of two games. On the 15 June, in the match between Brazil and Egypt with the score line at 3–3 and in the final minute, he appeared to signal for a corner after Egypt's Ahmed Al-Muhammadi had handled the ball to prevent a goal. Webb then sent off the defender and gave a penalty which Brazil scored from and eventually go on and win 4–3, Egypt claimed that Webb took advice from the fourth official who may have seen a TV replay and awarded the penalty based on this information, but the complaint was later rejected by Fifa.[28] He also refereed the 0–0 draw between Iraq and New Zealand in Johannesburg.[29] Throughout the tournament, Webb wrote a regular blog on[30] detailing his experiences as a referee whilst at the tournament in South Africa.

2010 World Cup

On 24 October 2008, FIFA announced that Webb would be on the provisional list of referees for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.[31] On February 5, 2010, FIFA confirmed that Webb had been selected as a referee for the competition.


Yellow / red cards per game

Year Games Total Booked Booked per game Total Red card Red card per game
2000–01 26 58 2.23 1 0.04
2001–02 32 69 2.16 5 0.16
2002–03 39 145 3.72 4 0.10
2003–04 34 92 2.94 9 0.26
2004–05 34 100 2.94 2 0.06
2005–06 47 117 2.49 7 0.15
2006–07 43 151 3.51 9 0.21
2007–08 38 128 3.37 2 0.05
2008–09 40 132 3.30 6 0.15
Overall 333 992 2.96 45 0.13

Cautions and dismissals

Webb issued at least one card in every game he refereed in both the 2002–03 and 2004–05 seasons. As a result, it meant that he had shown at least one card in every game he took charge of between 2 March 2002 (Oldham v. Colchester)[32] and 27 September 2003 (Sunderland v. Reading)[33] and 10 April 2004 (Lincoln v. Swansea)[34] and 18 December 2005 (Middlesbrough v. Tottenham).[35] Between 17 February and 17 March 2007, Webb showed five red cards, all in the 90th minute.

The first red card he showed in the Premier League was to Michael Svensson of Southampton in the 0–0 draw between Bolton Wanderers and Southampton on 8 November 2003.[36] To date, the only current England international he has dismissed is Peter Crouch, when he was playing for Southampton against Crystal Palace on 7 May 2005.[37]

Since the 2000–2001 season, he has issued two red cards in the same game three times, twice giving one red to either side, once reducing one team to nine men (Milton Keynes Dons).[38] He sent three players off in the same match for the first time in the 2007 League Cup final, when Mikel John Obi of Chelsea, and Touré and Adebayor of Arsenal, were given their marching orders.[39] He has sent two goalkeepers off; Kelvin Davis whilst playing for Wimbledon in 2001,[40] and John Filan of Wigan in 2004.[41] Webb has shown red cards in consecutive matches six times.

Most cards in a Premiership game

29 November 2006
Fulham 2 – 1 Arsenal Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 24,510
McBride Goal 6'
Radzinski Goal 19'

Brown Booked in the 31st minute 31'
Rosenior Booked in the 36th minute 36'
Boa Morte Booked in the 82nd minute 82'
Helguson Booked in the 82nd minute 82'
Van Persie Goal 36'

Song Billong Booked in the 25th minute 25'
Senderos Yellow cardYellow cardRed card 40', 66'
Rosický Booked in the 43rd minute 43'
Van Persie Booked in the 71st minute 71'
Flamini Booked in the 82nd minute 82'

Webb also issued ten cards in the 2007 Carling Cup Final between Chelsea and Arsenal.

Premier League red cards by season

Webb refereeing a match in October 2006







See also


  1. ^ taken from an interview with Howard Webb on 22 January 2009 at Wickersley School and Sports College in Rotherham
  2. ^ Birthdate and biographical detail: Football League website.
  3. ^ a b Detailed profile
  4. ^ First ever Premier League match: website.
  5. ^ Confirmation of international status: Official website.
  6. ^ Arsenal v. Chelsea, FA Community Shield 2005 match report: website.
  7. ^ N. Ireland v. Portugal, friendly match 2005: article.
  8. ^ Grays Athletic v. Woking, FA Trophy Final 2006: Grays Athletic website.
  9. ^ France v. Portugal Under-21 match lineups from
  10. ^ Italy v. Ukraine Under-21 match lineups from
  11. ^ Ukraine v. Serbia and Montenegro Under-21 match lineups from
  12. ^ Netherlands v. Ukraine Under-21 match lineups from
  13. ^ First European appointment, match report at Official website.
  14. ^ Carling Cup Final, 2007: Match report at website.
  15. ^ Poland v. Brazil, 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup: website.
  16. ^ Mexico v. Portugal, 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup: website.
  17. ^ "Referee Webb chosen for Euro 2008". BBC Sport. 19 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  18. ^ "Austria 1–1 Poland". BBC Sport. 12 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  19. ^ "UEFA: Webb made correct call". itv Football.,19239,6145_3686377,00.html. Retrieved 2008-06-14. 
  20. ^ a b "UEFA backs referee". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2008-06-14. 
  21. ^ Jones, Gareth (2008-06-14). "Polish PM wanted to 'kill' referee Webb after controversial last-gasp penalty". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2008-06-15. 
  22. ^ "You can put your shirt on Howard Webb". Times Online. London. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  23. ^ "Uefa supports Webb over penalty". BBC Sport. 13 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  24. ^ "Webb to referee Greece against Spain". Guardian online. Retrieved 2008-06-15. 
  25. ^ ""Greece 1–2 Spain"". BBC Sport. 18 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  26. ^ "Euro 2008 over for referee Webb". BBC Sport. 19 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-19. 
  27. ^ Cheese, Caroline (30 May 2009). "Live text - FA Cup final". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 30 May 2009. 
  28. ^ "Fifa rejects complaint over Webb". BBC Sport. 2009-06-16. Retrieved 2009-06-30. 
  29. ^ "Iraq 0 – 0 New Zealand". 2009-06-20. Retrieved 2009-06-30. 
  30. ^ "". 
  31. ^
  32. ^ Oldham v. Colchester match information from
  33. ^ Sunderland v. Reading match information from
  34. ^ Lincoln v. Swansea match information from
  35. ^ Middlesbrough v. Tottenham match information from
  36. ^ First red card in Premiership: website.
  37. ^ England international dismissed - Peter Crouch (2005): website.
  38. ^ Norwich v. MK Dons match information from
  39. ^ Chelsea v. Arsenal match information from
  40. ^ Kelvin Davis dismissal from
  41. ^ John Filan dismissal from
  42. ^ Michael Svensson dismissal: website.
  43. ^ Gonzalo Sorondo dismissal: website.
  44. ^ Peter Crouch dismissal: website.
  45. ^ Darren Ambrose dismissal: website.
  46. ^ Michael Dawson dismissal: website.
  47. ^ Hayden Mullins dismissal: website.
  48. ^ Luis Garcia dismissal: website.
  49. ^ Djimi Traore dismissal: website.
  50. ^ Ousmane Dabo dismissal: website.
  51. ^ Philippe Senderos dismissal: website.
  52. ^ David Bentley dismissal: website.
  53. ^ Leon Andreasen dismissal: website.

External links

Preceded by
Mike Dean
FA Community Shield
Succeeded by
Martin Atkinson
Preceded by
Phil Dowd
FA Trophy Final
Succeeded by
Chris Foy
Preceded by
Alan Wiley
Carling Cup Final
Succeeded by
Mark Halsey

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