By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Howard Webb will take charge of the Tyne-Wear derby on Sunday, as Newcastle United take on Sunderland at St. James' Park in Barclays Premier League action (noon kick-off).
It is the fourth time this season the the Yorkshire-based official has been appointed to a Magpies match, having overseen the 3-0 home defeat against Manchester United in October, a 2-1 defeat at Stoke the following month, and a dramatic 3-2 victory over Chelsea in February.
In total this term, the whistler has overseen 37 games across the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup, Championship and international fixtures, issuing 131 yellow cards, five reds and awarding six penalties.
Webb, aged 41, began officiating in his local Rotherham leagues in 1989 and worked his way up the football pyramid before being added to the National List of Football League Referees in 2000.
He stepped up to the Select Group for the Premier League three years later, with his first match being a goalless draw between Fulham and Wolves in October 2003.
Webb is widely recognised as one of the best referees in the business and took charge of both the 2010 Champions League final and the 2010 World Cup final.
On Sunday at St. James' Park, he will be assisted by Darren Cann and Sian Massey, with Anthony Taylor the game's fourth official.