Referee.Wales spoke to Craig Webb, a Match Official from Bridgend who was born without his left arm.
Craig began refereeing when his Sunday Team needed a qualified referee in order to join a Cardiff league.
“I volunteered to take the course. A couple of weeks after I passed I was contacted by my local league to ask if I wanted to referee a game.”
“I was nervous before my first game because obviously it’s a bit different to playing. I remember the first game because I inadvertently sent the league chairman off!”
“That was it then. Refereeing took over. I stopped playing, mainly because I didn’t want to get in trouble playing whilst I was reffing!”
Refereeing can certainly be character building, and Craig is keen to emphasize his personal growth since picking up the whistle almost six years ago.
“There’s definitely learning curves. Regardless of how long you’ve been doing it there’s always a chance to learn and develop yourself.”
Although Craig’s left arm may look a little different, it has never been an issue for him while refereeing.
“I can honestly say I have never had any comments around my arm. I’m a ref before anything else. Despite the popular opinion of refereeing, the majority of my experiences have been positive. There are certainly a lot more positives to refereeing than negatives.”
One of Craig’s most positive refereeing experiences came recently when he refereed the South Wales FA Sunday Intermediate Cup Final. But that’s not the only standout moment of his refereeing career.
“A few years ago when the Champions League Final was in Cardiff I officiated a couple of games on the floating pitch in Cardiff Bay. I got to stand pitchside while they played the celebrity game with the likes of Steven Gerrard and David James. I’ve also officiated at Cardiff City Stadium.”
Craig is now the Vice Chair of the thriving Bridgend Referees’ Society and has plans to continue improving his own refereeing and the activities of the society over the next few years.