Jon Moss 'cannot wait' to referee 2015 FA Cup Final

Tuesday 21 Apr 2015
Jon Moss will take charge of the 2015 FA Cup Final at Wembley
Jon Moss has spoken of his pride after being appointed to referee The FA Cup Final on 30 May.

The 44-year-old from West Riding has been awarded the chance to officiate under the arch after a season of consistent performances at Premier League level.

“It was a complete surprise. When I got the call it was the realisation of a dream really. For any referee it is the pinnacle of your career,” he said.

Aston Villa v Arsenal

FA Cup Final
Wembley Stadium connected by EE
Saturday 30 May 2015

“I’ve been involved in the Community Shield and the Conference and Championship play-off finals - but this is the biggest game I will ever referee.”

Moss will be assisted for the Final by Darren England and Simon Bennett, while Craig Pawson will be the fourth official. Harry Lennard will be the reserve assistant referee

He said: “As a young boy I used to watch The FA Cup Final with my dad. We always had the programme and we went to a couple of Finals at Wembley.

“You dream about playing in a Final as a boy but I’ve dreamed about refereeing as I got older. Referees are no different to players and you strive always to get those massive games.”

He refereed his first game as a teenager, but only started to focus on officiating when a career which started with Sunderland’s youth team, took in Connecticut State University in the US and the Millwall, came to an end.

“When my career ended it was my love for football that encouraged me to focus on refereeing”

Jon Moss 

“I’ve always been involved in football. As part of my A level studies I qualified as a football referee, a basketball referee and a rugby referee,” he said.

“At 18 I refereed my first game. I would be playing most of the weekend but I would do junior games on the Sunday afternoon.

“I was playing until I was 29. But when my career ended it was my love for football that encouraged me to focus on refereeing.

“I was a teacher at the time and it was something I used to do after school. It came from there and bit-by-bit you get promoted, and then it becomes your career.”

Moss continues to teach one day a week as an executive head at Beech Hill School in Halifax but has been a professional referee since 2011.

And he believes his experience as a player has helped him understand the emotions that come with top-flight football.

He said: “I was a competitive midfield player and I liked to tackle. Sometimes you mistime a tackle and you get the attention of the referee - but I was always polite!

“But I think it is healthy as a referee to know when the players get a bit frustrated and to take a backseat.”

He added: “I still like to do grassroots football. I did a junior game last Sunday after my game at Crystal Palace.

“Refereeing top-flight football and grassroots football have their own challenges. With Premier League football everything is magnified and every decision you make is under scrutiny.”

“My family don’t often come to games, but they will when it is such a special game like this”

Jon Moss 

“I think it is important for younger referees to see more experienced colleagues doing a junior game. It was lovely for me to referee on Sunday. It keeps you grounded.”

Moss says he “cannot wait” for The Final to come round, and is excited to share the occasion with his wife and four children – including 14-year-old son Joe, who recently refereed his first game.

“They don’t often come to games, but they will when it is such a special game like this,” he said.

“You make a lot of sacrifices and you have to have a supportive family. I’m very lucky to have that.

“As a referee things don’t always go right so you need to have their support. And when you have a special day like this it is important they play a part in it.”

Moss says that when he steps out on to the hallowed turf at Wembley, he will be doing it also for the people who have supported him in his career.

“When I got the call yesterday I took a moment to remember all those people who have helped me along the way – all the unsung heroes who help you when things don’t go so well,” he said.

“I’ll be phoning them all and thanking them personally because it is important that you share the success with those people that have made you.” 

By James Callow Content manager