Writer: SFC Forever
Date:Monday July 12 2010
We all know that ex policeman Howard Webb is the last Englishman to rule the roost in a World Cup Final. How many of us though can name the first English referee?
We also know that Webb did so 36 years after Jack Taylor refereed the West Germany game against Holland, which finished 2-1 to the Germans.
Jack Taylor has gone into the record books for being the very first referee to award a penalty in a final. He actually awarded two, one to each side.
Until Spain won yesterday, West Germany had also held the record of being the only European champions to go on to win the World Cup. Spain becoming the second now to do so.
The first English referee though still has another record and one which will stand for ever unless a drastic change of rule is made.
George Reader who went on to become the Southampton Chairman, was aged 53 years and 236 days on the day he refereed the Final.
This game turned out to be the final game of his refereeing career which seems quite apt. A career tht had begun in the 1930's on Southampton common.
As well as that record there the record attendance figure which is highly unlikely to ever be broken. The estimated figures start at 174,000 and go as high as 250,000. Which ever is taken it was a massive number of people to see Uraguay beat Brazil 2-1.
George Reader was the man who took on Lawrie MacMenemy as manager in 1973. Big Lawrie is recorded as saying that his chairman never told him about refereeing such a huge match.
Big Lawrie had a lot of time for George and again has been reported as saying how good a man George Reader was.
An unusual connection here but having worked for George, Lawrie has also backed the FIFA decision to award the final to Howard Webb.
He says that Webb has a presence on the pitch which been all to apparent at this World Cup.
He showed that as well last season in the potential banana skin at Southampton when the visitors were the Pompey outfit. The FA knew all about the possible tension and gave Webb the game. He took it in his stride says Lawrie.
So last night we had another Englishman refereeing a final and again he has created a new record. Though perhaps it would be fairer to say that it was the players that did most to make this record.
Starting with Van Persie Mr Webb issued no less than 14 yellow cards. Heitinga received two and had to leave early though it was just before the finish.
So there we have it. Three English referees and three records unlikely to ever be broken.
Date:Monday July 12 2010
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