the Duke William in Starkholmes welcomed a very special guest through its doors on Monday when top referee Howard Webb was guest of honour at an event organised by the Matlock-based Derwent Valley Referees Association.
Around 40 guests enjoyed a 90-minute talk that Mr Webb, 39, called From Steel City To Soccer City, detailing his early days of refereeing, through to officiating in the Premier League and culminating in last year’s World Cup Final in South Africa.
The event was organised by Neil Howard and the association’s secretary and chairman Peter Bailey, who described the evening as ‘mindblowing’.
Mr Bailey explained: “It was a fantastic evening. We had people from across the county, made up of coaches, referees, members of other referee associations, and lads and dads.
“Howard was incredibly modest and all in all it was a terrific evening. He also refused expenses and instead said he was putting them all towards the Bluebell charity, which was a lovely gesture.”