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Page last updated at 22:44 GMT, Saturday, 10 July 2010 23:44 UK

World Cup 2010: Referee great Taylor praises Webb

Johan Cruyff's turn

1974 World Cup - Top 10 goals

Jack Taylor, the last English referee to take charge of a World Cup final, has heaped praise on Howard Webb ahead of Sunday's showpiece in Johannesburg.

Webb will become the first Englishman since Taylor in 1974 to officiate football's biggest match when the Netherlands face Spain at Soccer City.

"I believe he's the best referee this country has ever produced," said Taylor, who will be at the match.

"He's ready for this: he's fit, his man-management is excellent."

The 38-year-old has impressed throughout the tournament and is the first referee to be awarded the European Cup final and World Cup final in the same season.

It's a huge honour and this is a great reflection of English officiating - this should really act as an inspiration to referees coming through

Jack Taylor

The former police officer from Rotherham, who started officiating in the Northern Counties League in the mid-1990s, will be joined by his fellow English assistants Michael Mullarkey and Darren Cann.

Webb is the fourth Englishman to referee a World Cup final and Taylor is convinced he is the right man for the job.

"I remember speaking to Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore shortly after Howard received the call that he was to start officiating Premier League games and I told him he had someone special, someone who would go all the way to the top, and he has," said the 80-year-old Taylor.

"I'll be looking to see how Howard is on the pitch, in his warm-up, before the game kicks-off. But, knowing him as I do, I expect him to be ice cool and not to be showing any emotion, because that's Howard.

"He knows he's got a job to do and he's not phased whether he's doing parks football and it is one man and his dog that is the match assessor, or whether there's a billion people watching.

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Lady of the Bridge

"He's got presence on the pitch and I love his manner, it's assured. If you're a player he's exactly the type of referee you want to be in charge of the match.

"With all his experience he will know what to expect. He has such a positive approach on the pitch that I expect him to do him, his team and his colleagues back in England proud."

Taylor, referee for the 1974 final between the former West Germany and Netherlands, added that Webb's appointment was great news for officials of all ages in England.

"It's a huge honour and this is a great reflection of English officiating, it says that we're respected," said Taylor.

"The professionalisation of our officials has been a good thing, it's allowed them to get on concentrate about being better referees whether that's their fitness or analysing their performances.

"Seeing an Englishman in charge of a World Cup Final is a wonderful thing whether you are someone of my age or just a youngster coming into the game, and this should really act as an inspiration to referees coming through. He's a great guy, an excellent referee and it's just rewards for all his efforts."



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see also
Webb to referee World Cup final
09 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Fifa to make refereeing changes
08 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Webb overlooked for semi-finals
06 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Webb misses out on quarter-finals
01 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Refs trained to ignore vuvuzelas
22 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Webb prepares for highs of South Africa
19 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup 2010 performance analysis
07 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Webb given Champions League final
20 May 10 |  Europe
Referee Webb chosen for World Cup
05 Feb 10 |  Football
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010


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