Twitter reacts to Howard Webb retirement - 'United must be devastated'

Howard Webb has retired from professional refereeing, causing a gush of jokes from Liverpool fans etc aimed at Manchester United.

Today saw the last Englishmen to feature in a World Cup Final retire from the game, and if you are thinking kudos to an elderly gent who hung on from 1966 you would of course be wrong. Instead we are talking about Howard Webb, who at 43 has decided enough is enough.

The former policeman from Rotherham has taken up a job as technical director of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited - working below PGMOL general manager, and fellow former Premier League ref, Mike Riley.

Webb said of the decision:

"I am very excited to start this new chapter in my career after a wonderfully rewarding 25 years on the pitch,” Webb said. “I have spent over a decade with the best seat in the house for Barclays Premier League matches, been lucky enough to be involved in nine Uefa and Fifa tournaments, and taken charge of the Uefa Champions League and Fifa World Cup finals."

Webb has been the top referee in England for the past few seasons and is often praised by players as the best there is. He even has a laugh with them occasionally - last months Ledley King testimonial showing that...

But he has always received criticism from many for his apparent fondness for Manchester United - indeed, there has been the odd occasion when many would say he has been kind to The Red Devils.

This usually stems from Liverpool fans who were furious at a penalty award against Tottenham in 2009 and a red card given to Steven Gerrard - which caused Ryan Babel to commit photo-shop Twitter mayhem.

Of course trends are what you make of them and believe it or not Webb has also given some dubious decisions against United - just last season against Spurs for example.

But nonetheless it has not stopped Twitter going into meltdown with Liverpool, City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Leeds and many more sets of fans going on a joke run at Webb's expense.

Some of these fans might enjoy his retirement just as much as the man himself...

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