Howard Webb has ended his 25-year refereeing career after being appointed technical director of the official referees' association.
Webb has officiated 500 Premier League and Football League matches and the 2010 World Cup final.
The 43-year-old began his career in 1989, progressing through the Northern Counties and Football League to become a Select Group referee in 2003.
"I am very excited to start this new chapter in my career," said Webb.
Webb was involved in nine major international tournaments, took charge of the Champions League final and also officiated in every major domestic final.
In 2011 he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to football.
"Refereeing has given me so much and I think it's important that match officials who have had the rewards remain in the game to pass on their knowledge," he said.
As technical director of Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), Webb will be responsible for overseeing the technical direction and standards that govern match officials.
"The current Select Group are the best referees this country has ever produced and I am thrilled that I not only get the chance to continue working with them but also the opportunity to help develop the next generation," he added.
"It's an incredibly positive working environment and we all have a common goal of improving refereeing."