World Cup 2010: English referee Howard Webb believes it's the ultimate honour to take charge of final

First English referee of a World Cup final since 1974...
English referee Howard Webb has expressed his delight at being chosen to officiate the World Cup 2010 final between Spain and Holland.

The 38-year-old will be supported by assistants Darren Cann and Michael Mullarkey, as he becomes the first English referee of a World Cup final since Jack Taylor in 1974.

Webb will take charge of the final at Soccer City in Johannesburg on Sunday evening and admitted he was thrilled to be asked.

"We are delighted to have been selected for the game, it is a wonderful honour and a privilege. It is the ultimate honour for a referee,” Webb told a press conference.

"We are proud to be representing the English FA as well as FIFA and all the other officials here at the World Cup.

"We will be proud to be able to show the ability and quality of match officials in England when we take to the field tomorrow [Sunday] evening.

"This is the World Cup, and it's massively important for the world. We understand the importance of the game and we will need total focus and concentration.

"We will try to be a calming influence where we can and use all our experience of being involved in big games."

Mullarkey said all three officials were emotional when they received the news they would be in charge of the final.

"We had not been chosen for any of the quarter-finals or the semi-finals so you do start to wonder about things,” Mullarkey said.

And Cann was equally thrilled, saying: "When we were actually told it was an incredible moment. When I was sitting at home watching the 2006 World Cup on television I never envisaged that I would be here doing the final.

"This is the culmination of 20 years hard work and is the greatest honour we can receive as match officials.

"It was a very emotional moment in truth when we were told. When match number 64 was read out and the name Webb that was what we were waiting for.

"Everything became a blur for a few seconds and neither Mike [Michael Mullarkey] nor I can remember hearing our names read out afterwards."

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