— Manchester City FC (@MCFC) August 6, 2014
Howard Webb hung up his whistle today, retiring as a referee to take up a role with officials body PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited).
The news predictably provoked a torrent of Twitter gags about the former Old Bill, who’s career was tainted with allegations that he was a Manchester United fan.
Probably due to a few unlucky mistakes in high profile games more than anything, the reputation has followed Webb particularly over the last few years, the United link peaking in 2011 when he awarded a very soft penalty to United against Liverpool in an Old Trafford FA Cup clash.
Aside from all the usual gags, there was one rather interesting subversive tweet from…Manchester City.
The blue half of Manchester tweeted a patently sarcastic tweet to Webb with a ‘Good Luck’ message accompanied by the ref sending off Chinese international Sun Jihai.
Showing that football never forgets, City clearly wanted to remind Webb that he was wrong to send Sun off that day in 2006, when the decision swung the game, and West Ham went on to beat them in the FA Cup quarter final.
And the colour of the card? Red.
— Pie Sports Booze (@piesportsbooze) August 6, 2014
Howard Webb: "It was a tough decision to retire, but I'm looking forward to spending more time with my family" pic.twitter.com/v64XCTKBXt
— Football Funnys (@FootballFunnys) August 6, 2014
"I was really looking forward to working with Howard Webb. It's an awful blow to our hopes of winning the league." – Louis van Gaal
— Michael Gooner (@MickTheGooner) August 6, 2014
Man Utd fans must be gutted to lose Howard Webb. Big void to fill
— Total LFC (@TheTotalLFC) August 6, 2014
Howard Webb retires from Premier League football… pic.twitter.com/zUldo1T9LQ
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) August 6, 2014
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) August 6, 2014