The Man in the Middle

The Autobiography of the World Cup Final Referee

The Man in the Middle

The long-awaited autobiography of Howard Webb, the man who refereed the World Cup final.

Webb's first game as a match official came when he was just 18 and his father's verdict was blunt: 'Useless - he doesn't know his arse from his elbow.' It wasn't the last time his performance would come under fire. But Webb progressed through the ranks, and his natural calm authority made a good impression on players and administrators alike, and soon he was being offered the top matches and the toughest fixtures.

The policeman went on to take charge of some of the most important games, including the 2009 FA Cup final, the 2010 Champions League final and - the biggest of the lot - the 2010 World Cup final. Now, in this superb and frank memoir, Howard Webb reveals what it is like to be at the heart of the action in modern-day football where every decision can be unpicked by television cameras. He explains how he learned to handle some of the game's superstars. Refereeing is a hard business, but Webb shows just why he enjoyed it so much and provides fascinating insights into how he dealt with the most challenging situations.

With his unique perspective, and the characteristic honesty and humour he has displayed as a pundit on BT Sport, Webb has written a book, updated for this edition, that reveals the game - and the man himself - in a new light. 

'Genuinely fascinating insight into the difficulties of officiating in the modern game, and Webb's frankness and self-deprecation are to be commended' When Saturday Comes
  • Simon & Schuster UK | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781471159978 | 
  • August 2017
List Price £8.99 (price may vary by retailer)

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About the Author

Howard Webb

Howard Webb was born in Rotherham, Yorkshire, in 1971 and began refereeing at the age of 18. He was a Premier League referee between 2003 and 2014, becoming one of the world's top officials and took charge at numerous high-profile matches, including the 2010 World Cup final. After retiring from the game, he took up a position working with the referees' body PGMOL before moving to work for BT Sport in 2015. 

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