Howard Webb of Yorkshire will referee our Carling Cup 4th round tie at Birmingham City.
Regarded by many as one of the best young referees coming through the system, he started his refereeing career in his local Rotherham leagues in 1989. Just four years later he joined the Northern Counties East League as an assistant referee. Within two seasons he was refereeing those games and the following year he was promoted to the Football League.
Another two seasons passed and he received yet another promotion meaning within 9 years of taking up the whistle he was now refereeing in the Football Conference and running the line in the Premiership.
In 2000 he was promoted again and found himself refereeing in the Football League and three years later he was included on the Premiership list of referees. That season he rounded off a marvellous year by refereeing the Division Two Play-off final between Cardiff City and Queens Park Rangers, his biggest game so far of his career.
He had a very unusual start to his Premiership career, as his first five matches did not produce a single goal. Ex-red Paul Ince finally gave Webb the chance to finally mark a goal on his match card after a total of 450 goalless minutes.
He is a UEFA Category 2 official since becoming a FIFA referee last year. He refereed his first international match this time last year as Northern Ireland held Portugal to a 1-1 draw at Windsor Park. This season he refereed his first Champions League game after a number of fourth official appointments, Gerard Houlliers’ Lyon came away from Bucharest with a 3-0 victory over Steaua.
Last season he kicked off by refereeing the Community Shield match between Arsenal and Chelsea, and ended up in the middle of the FA Trophy Final between Grays and Woking.
In the summer he took up fourth official duties in the UEFA U21 Championship Final that saw Holland win the trophy for the first time with a 3-0 win over Ukraine in Porto.
Mr Webb is definitely on the up and up in refereeing circles.
This will be his second visit of the season to St Andrews, a week before he refereed Liverpool’s 3-0 home win over Tottenham Hotspur he was in charge of a 2-2 draw with Ipswich Town in the Championship.
His assistants for the game will be John Holbrook and Gary Stott with Tim Kettle as the fourth official.
Some memorable games involving Liverpool and Howard Webb:
10th November 2004 - Neil Mellor scores two late goals as Liverpool beat Middlesbrough in the Carling Cup.
3rd January 2005 - Second half goals from Luis Garcia and John Arne Riise give us the three points following a 2-1 win at Norwich City.This was the last time we saw Salif Diao in a Liverpool shirt.
5th March 2005 - Lauren Robert’s free-kick gives Newcastle United all the points after a 1-0 defeat at St. James’ Park in Scott Carson’s Liverpool debut.
18th February 2006 - Peter Crouch scores a first half header to beat Manchester United in the FA Cup.
26th April 2006 - Luis Garcia and Hayden Mullins see red and miss the FA Cup Final the following month. Cisse scores twice in a 2-1 win in a game that saw Didi Hamann wearing a Liverpool shirt in the Premiership for the last time.
23rd September 2006 - Mark Gonzalez scores his first Premiership goal for Liverpool in a 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.