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