Webb, Donald & I
Posted on April 5, 2019
I was talking to my youngest son the other day and he mentioned that he has a dubious claim to fame. He works with the daughter of former Premier League and highly regarded international referee, Howard Webb.
This triggered in my memory a bizarre incident that I was involved in, in 2008. It happened when I was on my way to Warsaw to visit my friend Trevor, who was living there at the time.
When I was waiting for my flight at Luton airport, a burly looking chap barged into me and walked off without apologising. He also said something under his breath (cunt I think?). However, I was in no mood to challenge him, mainly because he was massive.
Anyway, when I was on the plane, another chap (Polish) spent virtually the whole flight smiling at me. I wasn’t sure whether he had taken a fancy to me or whether he was just weird. It was quite unnerving.
So, as we departed, he started following me through the airport, eventually tugging at my arm. As I turned to him, he said, “Mr Webb, I am sorry for that man’s behaviour, it is not right”.
Slightly confused, I explained that I was not called Mr Webb. He replied, “I know you are Howard Webb, the football referee”. I continued to explain I wasn’t, but he wasn’t having it. Fortunately, being at the airport, I had my passport as proof.
He apologised for apologising for the person he assumed thought I was Howard Webb, and left me alone. I was somewhat bemused, and a bit alarmed. I wanted Trevor to get me the hell out of there.
When Trevor picked me up, I explained my ordeal. It then became apparent why I had been hassled by aggressors and apologists. It turned out that Howard Webb had, the night before I travelled, given Austria a penalty in the last minute of a Euro 2008 game. It was against Poland and effectively ended their tournament.
The Polish PM
This caused such emotion the Polish Prime Minister suggested that Webb should be killed for such an awful decision. He said, “I should be more calm but yesterday I wanted to kill”. I know that there are a lot of mistakes of referees but this one was ugly and unjust.”
This left him (Howard Webb) in a situation where he had to leave Poland in disguise. It apparently left me in grave danger of good shoeing by a lunatic.
The Polish Prime Minister’s name?
So, if we end up with a bad Brexit deal, it’s Howard Webb’s fault, not mine.