World Cup Referee Howard On A Slippery Slope After Red Card

Hot seat: World cup final referee Howard Webb gets the red card from bobsleigh world champ Nicola Minichello.
Hot seat: World cup final referee Howard Webb gets the red card from bobsleigh world champ Nicola Minichello.
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Now come on Howard, you know your place is on the football field and not in a bobsleigh.

It was all in the best possible taste as Rotherham’s World Cup referee Howard Webb was shown the red card by Sheffield’s bobsleigh superstar Nicola Minichiello.

The fun moment came at the dry bobsleigh push-start track in North Yorkshire, which helped to make Nicola a world champion, when he joined a group of students from Silverdale School, Ecclesall.

Howard was quick to point out that he’s not planning a career move.

“I’m a little bit too long in the tooth to change my career but it’s exciting to give it a go,’’ he said. “Nicola’s achievements are amazing, to reach the top of her chosen sport. She’s a role model to the kids.”

Nicola is recovering from knee reconstruction surgery and unable to defend her world title at the FIBT World Championships which began this week in Königssee, Germany. But she has vowed to regain the title and win Olympic gold in 2014.

Meanwhile four intrepid teenagers from Broomhall saw their bobsleigh dream became reality. The youngsters, Ahmed Warsame, Ez Hussein, Rana Aszad and Awale Abdi, came, saw and finally conquered the legendary push track at Camp Hill outdoor pursuits centre near Bedale.

Nicola put them through their paces and showed them how to master the bob, or to be more precise how to run with it and get in it without doing themselves any damage!

At least she allowed them the comfort of a mattress to cushion themselves inside the bob.

The adventure doesn’t end here as, today, the boys travelled to Konigssee for Part Two. Here they will have the trip of a lifetime in a ‘taxi bob’ down the World Championship track where they will reach speeds of around 80mph and pull around 4Gs.

They will then stay on to watch British Olympian Dan Money, who along with Webb has helped with fund-raising activities, and Barnsley’s Fiona Harrison compete in their respective events at the forthcoming World Bobsleigh Championships.