School whistles up World Cup ref

LAST summer referee Howard Webb was put in charge of the two most important games in world football as he officiated in the finals of both the Champions League and World Cup.

Yesterday, almost a year to the day after the first of the two finals, the South Yorkshireman was at a Sheffield school chatting to, from left above, Bailey Hunter, Jarrard Scaire and Lewis Ellis. He was there to referee the first game of the school’s new all-weather pitch, which will be available for community use.

Webb, from Rotherham, was put in charge of a match at Sheffield Springs Academy. The new pitch, which has been constructed from 3G matting, was officially opened by Sheffield Council’s new leader and school governor Julie Dore yesterday.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The first game to be played on it was between Sheffield Springs staff and local police from the Manor and Arbourthorne Safer Neighbourhood Team with Webb, a sergeant from South Yorkshire Police, in charge.

Academy principal Jane Miles said: “We’re very fortunate to have both Coun Dore and Howard Webb lending their support to the academy and our students are looking forward to hearing more from Mr Webb about his incredible career in football.

“The new pitch will make a real impact here at the academy, ensuring we can continue to provide our students and the wider community with the very best facilities.” n See Howard Webb in action at: yorkshirepost.co.uk/video.