The best of the Twitter reaction to Howard Webb’s retirement from refereeing
To get the inevitable joke out of the way, Manchester United fans everywhere are obviously distraught at such terrible news.
The Premier League announced this afternoon that Webb, one of the most well-known referees to ever officiate in the English top flight, has brought a 25-year refereeing career to an end and will take up a position as technical director of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited.
Hard as it might be to believe, Webb began refereeing as a teenager in 1989 and worked his way up through regional leagues and the Football League before becoming a Select Group referee in 2003.
Webb has refereed over 500 Barclays Premier League and Football League matches and officiated in every major domestic final, while he has also officiated in eight international tournaments, including two FIFA World Cups and two UEFA European Championships.
He did, of course, take charge of the infamous World Cup Final in 2010, where he somehow failed to send off Nigel de Jong for a kung-fu challenge on Xabi Alonso. That game came only months after Webb was the man in the middle for the UEFA Champions League Final and he has the honour of being the first man to referee the World Cup Final and the Champions League Final in the same year.
Whether he deserved it or not, Webb became the most high-profile official in the Premier League in recent years, largely because of the fact that he was deemed by fans of other clubs to have been very generous to Manchester United whenever he took charge of games involving the Red Devils and, unsurprisingly, it was that aspect of his officiating which garnered the vast majority of reaction on Twitter this afternoon (see below).
Happy retirement Howard…
Great news folks we won't be webbed again.Hes retired.Happy days
— John Aldridge (@Realaldo474) August 6, 2014
Howard Webb about to quit refereeing to spend more time with his family. pic.twitter.com/ohG6X80cm5
— TheOfficialLFCStory (@LFCHistoryShow) August 6, 2014
GOOD NEWS - Howard Webb retired BAD NEWS - other clubs no longer have someone to blame when they lose to United — Dan Patrescu (@1Obefiend) August 6, 2014
— ASHAR_MUFC (@NayanAshar77) August 6, 2014