LONDON, August 7- Howard Webb jokes flooded the Internet mostly linked to his perceived favouritism of Manchester United after he announced retirement from refereeing to take up a role as a technical director of Professional Game Match Officials Limited.
The highly regarded Webb, 43, who became the first whistler to referee the Champions League and World Cup final in the same year, will also be remembered for his perceived fondness of United, appearing to consistently award Sir Alex Ferguson’s side penalty decisions and additional time at the end of the game.
“It has been gotten from a reliable source that Man United is planning to organise a testimonial for Howard Webb who has retired from refereeing.
“The new Man United boss Louis Van Gaal said that Webb played a critical role in recent united success story and thus deserve the honour,” one such post read.
It added: “Former Man United coach Ferguson was full of praise for Webb labelling him the best man he has ever worked with and a United Legend.
“Former United players and staff have being paying tribute to the great Webb, Rio Ferdinand went as far as saying that the retirement of Webb is Man United’s biggest ever loss. The Venue for the testimonial is Old Trafford but the date has not yet been fixed.”
Twitter was flooded with Webb jokes such as “Howard Webb retires. He made 764 appearances for Man Utd,” from @Manhattandoc, “Would’ve been great to get one more year out of Webb, been a great asset to the squad in the last few years. #ThankYouWebb,[email protected]
“BREAKING: Howard Webb retires as a referee. Unconfirmed reports: Statue to be built outside Old Trafford,” @Eurosport.com_EN, “BREAKING NEWS: Howard Webb is to retire from refereeing after 25 years. Reports suggest that he’ll be taking a position as Fergie’s butler,” @TheSunFootball were some of the thousands of Tweets on the subject.
“9 – Howard Webb awarded nine penalties to Man Utd in the Premier League, more than any other club (Liverpool 6, Bolton 5). Retired,” stats gurus, Opta Joe posted while betting firm Paddy Power wrote, “Another high profile departure from Old Trafford announced as Howard Webb retires from refereeing..”