- United Kingdom
More informationOn the eve of the World Cup, football-daft Peter White follows England's only sure bet when it comes to making it through the qualifying stages. Howard Webb, a miner's son from Rotherham, is one of the world's most respected referees, and already has taken charge of some of the most prestigious international matches around the world. But Howard Webb is far more than just a ref, and usually a reserved man, he's been giving Peter a rare insight into his other faces.
A policeman by profession, he still patrols the streets of his native South Yorkshire, but his involvement in his community goes far deeper. For some years now He has mentored troubled children in the area, using football and his reputation in the game as a way of giving them a sense of direction, and an understanding of how discipline can be used to get results.
He's set up clubs across the schools in Sheffield, Barnsley and Rotherham. Over seven hundred children are involved--girls as well as boys--and as Howard sorts out the footballing Prima Donnas in Brazil, these youngsters will compete in their own championships back in Yorkshire. Howard is particularly proud to be bringing together youngsters from Eastern Europe and Pakistan in a bid to ease tensions between the two groups. Youngsters who've been heading for trouble talk about the satisfaction they've been getting out of the game; one or two have even been catching the eye of local clubs as potential signings. Howard talks with warmth and enthusiasm about the satisfaction he gets from doing this work, whilst preparing and acclimatising for what could be the highlight of his already illustrious career--refereeing the world cup final.