Howard Webb was born on 14 July 1971 and now lives in Rotherham, Yorkshire. He is an English football referee who operates in the Premier League and has been a FIFA-listed referee since 2005. When not refereeing he is a sergeant in Sheffield for South Yorkshire Police.
Howard Webb's father was a referee and it was he who made his son aware of a referee's course. Howard passed the course when he was 19 years old and started refereeing locally.
He 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. He became a referee in the Northern Counties East League in 1996.and in 1998 fulfilled the same function in the Premier League, as well as being promoted to the Football Conference as a referee.
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. 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 Wolves. He was appointed as a FIFA official in 2005.
In November 2007 he was criticised by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson for favouring Arsenal in the club's Premier League encounter. However Ferguson also stated his that he believed Webb had "a great chance to be the top referee". In December 2007 Webb was selected as England's representative to referee in UEFA Euro 2008.
Howard Webb became a household name when he officiated as a referee during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, including the final, in South Africa.