Darren Cann (referee)

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Darren Cann
Austria vs. Russia 20141115 (095).jpg
Cann in November 2014
Born 22 January 1969 (age 47)
Norwich, Norfolk, England

Darren Cann (born 22 January 1969)[1] is an International and Premier League Assistant Referee best known for running the line in The UEFA Champions League Final and The World Cup Final.

Football Playing Career[edit]

Before becoming a referee, Cann was a promising footballer playing in the Youth Team for Norwich City[2] and being signed by Steve Coppell in the 1980s for Crystal Palace.[3] He played regularly for the Youth Team and Reserves, but did not make any first team appearances.

Early Refereeing Career[edit]

Cann began refereeing in 1991 and quickly excelled, receiving successive promotions in his first two seasons, to become a 'Class 1' Referee in 1993. He was promoted to the National List of Assistant Referees (Football League Assistant Referee) in 2001/02 and again promoted as an Assistant Referee on the Premier League in 2005. In that same year he was awarded his first International appointment, a UEFA Cup match refereed by Howard Webb. Cann has since represented his country over 125 times on International matches.

Notable Achievements[edit]

In just his first season as a Premier League Assistant Referee, Cann's performance throughout that season saw him appointed to the 2006 FA Cup Final between Liverpool and West Ham United. In a pulsating match, considered to be one of the best Cup Finals ever, Liverpool eventually came out on top, winning 3-1 on penalties after the match finished 3-3 after 90 minutes.

Over the next 16 months, Cann would go on to complete the set of four most prestigious appointments in English football (FA Cup Final 2006, FA Community Shield 2007, Carling Cup Final 2007, Championship Play Off Final 2007). Indeed, he holds the distinction of becoming the first person ever to officiate in the six most prestigious matches available to an English official (the aforementioned four domestic finals as well as The UEFA Champions League Final and The World Cup Final). Howard Webb and Mike Mullarkey have since also achieved this feat.

The English Refereeing trio of Howard Webb, Darren Cann and Mike Mullarkey were honoured with the appointment of officiating the 2010 Champions League Final at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid.[4] Inter Milan, under the management of Jose Mourinho, beat Bayern Munich 2-0. Just 50 days later the same English trio would also referee the 2010 World Cup Final, becoming the only referee team in the world ever to officiate both matches in the same season.[5]

In 2011 the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) honoured the trio by awarding them the PFA Special Merit Award, the only time a refereeing team have received such an honour.[6] Regarding the award, Cann is quoted as saying, "It came as a bit of a surprise really. It certainly is an honour to be recognised by such an esteemed body as the Professional Footballers’ Association. It means an awful lot. It is nice that the playing side of the game has taken this opportunity to mark what happened with us last year, the two finals that we did and I am very proud of that fact.".[7] Previous recipients of the award include Pelé, Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Bobby Robson and George Best. Webb, Cann and Mullarkey have also been inducted into the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) Hall of Fame.[8]

In 2013, Cann also completed the set of FIFA's four most prestigious International tournaments, officiating at the 2007 U-20 World Cup in Canada, the 2009 U-17 World Cup in Nigeria, the World Cup Finals in South Africa and the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil.

On 15 January 2014, it was announced that Howard Webb, Mike Mullarkey and Darren Cann would once again be England's refereeing team at the 2014 World Cup Finals in Brazil.[9] Of the 25 referee teams selected from around the world, they were the only trio to be returning from the 2010 World Cup.[10][11]

References[edit]