Webb started out in 1989 by refereeing games in the local leagues of Yorkshire and in 1993 progressed to the Northern Counties East League firstly as an assistant and later as a referee.
A police sergeant with South Yorkshire Police, he took sabbatical leave to concentrate on his career when appointed an assistant referee in the top flight in 1998.
Promoted to the Select Group of professional referees who can take charge of Premier League games in 2003, his first top tier appointment was Fulham vs Wolves in October that year.
Webb was in charge of the 2005 FA Community Shield between Chelsea and Arsenal, the 2007 League Cup final between the same teams, and the 2009 FA Cup final between Chelsea and Everton.
His first international game was in November 2005, when Northern Ireland hosted Portugal in a friendly match, while Webb’s maiden Champions League game came on September 26, 2006 when Steaua Bucharest played Lyon.
After previous experience at the European Under 21 Championship and FIFA Under 20 World Cup, Webb was selected as England’s representative to referee at Euro 2008 alongside assistants Darren Cann and Mike Mullarkey.
He was also at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups and Euro 2012. The pinnacle of Webb’s career came in 2010, when he took charge of the ill-tempered World Cup final between Spain and Holland, sending off John Heitinga and issuing 14 yellow cards.
In 2011, Webb was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to football.
PGMOL general manager Mike Riley said: ‘Howard has been the foremost referee of his generation and an inspiration for match officials in this country and around the world.
‘We are very excited that Howard’s knowledge and skills are being retained and shared for them and the rest of PGMOL’s officials.
‘Last season we trebled the funding for referee coaching and training and we will continue to invest in match officials from the Premier League down to the contributory leagues.
‘We want to accelerate the development of referees from the semi-professional game so that we have an even stronger talent pool to pick from at Select Group level. There is no one better to lead on that than Howard Webb.’
Howard Webb has called time on his 25-year refereeing career to take up a technical director role for Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL).
The well-respected match official has taken charge of more than 500 Barclays Premier League and Football League fixtures since becoming a Select Group referee in 2003.
Webb has also officiated in two World Cups and two European Championships, becoming in 2010 the first referee to be appointed to the Champions League final and the World Cup final in the same year.
In his new role, the 43-year-old will oversee the standards of PGMOL’s referees and work on the development programme that guides aspiring officials to the top level.
‘I am very excited to start this new chapter in my career after a wonderfully rewarding 25 years on the pitch,’ Webb said.
‘I have spent over a decade with the best seat in the house for Barclays Premier League matches, been lucky enough to be involved in nine UEFA and FIFA tournaments, and taken charge of the UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Cup finals.
‘Refereeing has given me so much and it’s important that match officials who have had the rewards remain in the game to pass on their knowledge.
‘I also have much more to learn about the business of refereeing and the best place for me to do that is with PGMOL. It’s an incredibly positive working environment and we all have a common goal of improving refereeing.’
The Rotherham-born referee added: ‘Over the last five years in particular we have made huge strides in terms of our accuracy, fitness and professionalism.
‘The current Select Group are the best referees this country has ever produced and I am thrilled that I not only get the chance to continue working with them but also the opportunity to help develop the next generation of Select Group officials.’