World Cup referee Howard Webb oversees school games in South Yorkshire

Howard Webb at a World Cup celebration event organised for schools.
Howard Webb at a World Cup celebration event organised for schools.

Pupils lived the dream playing vital World Cup clashes as part of a soccer celebration - with the matches overseen by top international referee Howard Webb.

Nine schools took part in the event which took place just three days before Howard flew out to Brazil for the 2014 tournament.

The day was organised by SportFX South Yorkshire at Sheffield University’s Bawtry Road sports park and 300 youngsters from across the county took part.

In the first match Fir Vale School took on Dinnington Comprehensive, representing Germany vs Italy - Dinnington winning after a penalty shoot out.

Dinnington eventually won the tournament, running out 2-1 winners against Barnsley’s Horizon Community College.

Howard, an ambassador for the SportFX project, said: “This event is our way of saying thank you to the boys and girls attending the football coaching sessions each week.

“The World Cup is only days away and it was the best opportunity to give them a day I’m sure they will never forget.

“I will be out in Brazil for the next six weeks, but the team have things in place for the project to deliver football coaching in a further three schools across South Yorkshire and I am looking forward to getting involved in assemblies and coming along to the evening sessions when I return.”

The event was supported by Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA, Maplins, South Yorkshire Police and the Co-operative and Costco.

Maplins donated £1,500 towards the overall project along with various prizes and the Co-operative and Costco provided free fruit and water, with over 400 bananas, 600 bottles of water and lots of prepared exotic fruit

John Cleland of Maplin Electronics, said: “When Howard approached us about getting involved with the SportFX project we jumped at the chance. We are really pleased to be able to support the World Cup Festival and get involved in a great event.”