For Howard Webb, 2010 was an amazing year as he refereed two of the biggest games in world football
The 41-year-old has been one of England's leading match officials since taking his first game in the top flight in 2003.
After picking up the whistle way back in 1989, his path in refereeing lead him all the way to the Champions League and World Cup Finals.
The Select Group official was back at Sheffield & Hallamshire FA offices recently, where his route to the top began, and told FATV about some of his memories from 2010.
“I received a phone call from UEFA informing me that I’d been selected to referee the Champions League Final, which was just a magnificent experience really,” he revealed.
“The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, this cathedral of football, five tiers, 70,000 people. As I’ve pressed the bell the two teams have come out, Inter Milan and Bayern Munich.
"These 23 kids had turned up to be mascots, eleven were going to be with Inter Milan, eleven with Bayern Munich and one little lad, he must have been a little bit disappointed, was told he was going to be the referee’s mascot,” chuckled Webb.
“But I held his hand anyway and we walked out and you see the light getting brighter as you walk into this cathedral of football.
“Just off the pitch is this podium with nothing on it. As I got closer, from within up came the European Cup, the big silver trophy with the big ears that over the years I’ve seen Liverpool, Manchester United, Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa lift.
“I could see my face in the reflection and your mind just goes back to when you started, Under-11s football back in 1989, and here I am at the Champions League Final.”
In this, the fourth of a six-part FATV series with the Rotherham-born referee, he also talks about his experience at the World Cup Final just a few weeks after Madrid and how he prepared for the meeting between Spain and Holland.
Watch part four in the FATV player above. Part five will follow next week...
Play Premier League Referee Howard Webb talks to FATV about 2010 when he officiated at both the Champions League and World Cup Finals
Watch part four of our FATV feature with 2010 World Cup Final referee Howard Webb
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