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World Cup Final referee at Newtown

Created on 15/11/2010 @ 15:41

World Cup Final referee Howard Webb has been in Newtown to talk to referees from all over Wales

And the World's number one match official brought the World Cup Final ball and his medal to Mid Wales Leisure Latham Park.

There aren’t many people worldwide who are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend two hours in the company of a FIFA World Cup Final and UEFA Champions League Final Referee.
But, for over fifty people involved in Welsh refereeing on Thursday night in Newtown Football Club, that opportunity was grasped wholeheartedly and those present, were provided with an incredible journey of the English referee, Howard Webb who took up the whistle in 1989 in the Rotherham Sunday League and made it all the way to the World Cup Final 2010 – Or as he put it himself in his Presentation Title; From Steel City to Soccer City.
Speaking to Principality Welsh Premier League Referees, Assistant Referees, Referee Development Groups, Assessors and FAW Referee Committee Members, Webb began to explain his motivation for taking up the whistle, which was common to many of those others present. “I wasn’t very good at football, and I wanted to stay in the game that I love. My dad was a referee at local level and he encouraged me to get involved,” he explained.
His next message was a very subtle piece of motivation for every young aspiring referee, from a man who has undoubtedly been assisted by sports psychology techniques such as goal-setting and motivation. “When I started refereeing, I knew that somebody would referee the 2010 World Cup Final, but you can never really imagine that it will be you. But it was.
“Somebody, somewhere in the World right now, will referee the 2030 World Cup Final. They don’t know it yet. But they will. And there’s no reason why it can’t be somebody sat in this room.”
The South-Yorkshire official then talked about his rise to the Champions League Final in 2010, as he was given the Internazionale v Bayern Munich Final at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid in May, a match he described on the evening as his favourite ever.
He then went onto the main subject of the evening’s discussion and the next two months of his life, which culminated in an event that only eighteen other people in the world have had the fortune to experience.
He discussed his preparation for the FIFA World Cup after his selection to the Panel, which included training at Sheffield Hallam University under conditions equivalent to running at altitude. With many World Cup games scheduled to be played under these testing conditions, Webb wanted to ensure that he was physically prepared to referee at the top of his game. His motivation for this, was wondering whether the other referees selected for the World Cup (and therefore his opponents for the honour of refereeing in the Final) were doing the same - a motivational technique that could only be admired by those listening intently.
Not only is he the World’s top referee, a great speaker and a very humorous individual, Howard Webb was a real Gentleman, taking time at the end of the session to have photos and chat with all of those young Welsh referees who formed a very orderly line. They were also allowed to touch and have photos with his Champions League Final Ball and medal and his World Cup Final Ball and Medal.
The World’s top referee stated in his opening remarks that he was in Newtown to assist the work of friend and National Referees Officer of Wales, Rodger Gifford. The two have worked together on English Premier League matches, with the Welshman assessing and advising Webb on countless occasions. It was certainly impressive for all in attendance to hear how highly the World Cup Final referee values the man he called ‘The Giff’.