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Darren Cann

Norwich Career: Youth Team (1987)
Current Club: Retired - now a referee
Date of Birth:  
Nationality: English


Darren played for the Norwich City youth team of 1987 but later spent time with Crystal Palace. Matthew Carpenter, the webmaster of the Wroxham FC website informed me that Darren played for a few local (ie East Anglian) non-league sides including Norwich United but was then a Jewson League official and refereed the 1997/98 Norfolk Senior Cup final at Carrow Road

Darren refereed the July 2004 friendly clash between Norwich City and Great Yarmouth Town. He is currently the premier football referreeing official in Norfolk and was selected as an assistant referee for the Coca Cola League One play-off final between Hartlepool and Sheffield Wednesday on 29th May 2005. "In terms of prestige it is certainly my best appointment," said Cann. "But you have to try and remember that it is no different whether you are officiating at a local parks' game or in front of 80,000. The higher you go, the more pressure and nerves there is - decisions you make affect multi million pound games, but that is something I enjoy."

Cann was elevated to the Football League refereeing lists in 2001 and officiated at the FA Cup third round tie between Chelsea and Scunthorpe in January 2005 and assisted FA Cup final referee Rob Styles in a fourth round tie at Charlton. The ambitious official is targeting the Premier League and beyond in the future. "I would like to progress on both lists," said Cann, then qualified to referee at Conference, Football Combination and FA Premier Reserve League level. "I train three times a week and during the course of a season would expect to officiate at two games per week.

"When I came back to Norfolk I was turning out for Wroxham, but my standard of play was going downhill," he said. "During my couple of years at Palace
they encouraged us to develop a good understanding of the laws of the game and I really wanted to go back into the professional ranks."

Cann continued to progress through the refereeing echelons and in 2010, he was Assistant Referee at the Champions League final between Inter Milan and Bayern Munich, and named as an assistant referee for the South Africa World Cup. Alongside referee Howard Webb and fellow assistant refereee Michael Mullarkey, the trio refereed the games between Spain and Switzerland, Italy vs Slovakia and Brazil vs Chile. They were then selected to referee the final on 11th July between Spain and Holland, which saw 13 yellow cards and 1 red (for John Heitinga) as Spain won 1-0 after extra time. .

In April 2011 Cann was honoured with the PFA Merit award 2011 alongside Howard Webb and Mike Mullarkey after they officiated the World Cup final last year. “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.”

In January 2014, Cann was selected to officiate at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil alongisde Howard Webb.

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