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Referee Webb calls time on 25-year career

ESPN staff
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Howard Webb refereed a Champions League and World Cup final in the same year © Getty Images
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Howard Webb has retired from a refereeing career which included a World Cup final to become technical director of the body which selects and governs Premier League match officials.

Webb ends a 25-year professional career in which he became the first man to officiate showpiece matches of both the Champions League and World Cup in the same year, a feat he achieved in 2010.

The former police officer from Rotherham will take up a newly created position with Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) to spearhead the training and development of future top-flight referees.

"I am very excited to start this new chapter in my career after a wonderfully rewarding 25 years on the pitch," Webb, 43, told the Premier League's official website.

"I have spent over a decade with the best seat in the house for Premier League matches, been lucky enough to be involved in nine UEFA and FIFA tournaments, and taken charge of the UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Cup finals.

"Refereeing has given me so much and it's important that match officials who have had the rewards remain in the game to pass on their knowledge. I also have much more to learn about the business of refereeing and the best place for me to do that is with PGMOL. It's an incredibly positive working environment and we all have a common goal of improving refereeing.

"Over the last five years in particular we have made huge strides in terms of our accuracy, fitness and professionalism. The current Select Group are the best referees this country has ever produced and I am thrilled that I not only get the chance to continue working with them but also the opportunity to help develop the next generation of Select Group officials."

Manchester City offered a slightly different tribute to Webb on Twitter:

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