Referee Garratt relishing SSE Women's FA Cup Final call

Thursday 05 May 2016
Sarah Garratt will take charge of the 2016 SSE Women's FA Cup Final

For many players, the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final is the single biggest match of the season – and Sarah Garratt says it is no different for referees.

The Birmingham FA official will take charge of the Arsenal v Chelsea showpiece at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 14 May.

And she said her appointment still hasn’t sunk in properly.

Arsenal v Chelsea

SSE Women's FA Cup Final
2pm, Saturday 14 May 2016
Wembley Stadium connected by EE
Tickets priced £15 adults, kids go free

Garratt said: "Refereeing a cup final is what you work your way towards throughout your career and it’s what you work hard for throughout the season, every season.

"It’s the one call we all want to get and it was a big shock for me. It’s every referees’ dream to have the honour of officiating on a cup final.

"And especially with it being at Wembley, it really is a dream come true."

Garratt has never refereed a Women’s FA Cup Final before but she was fourth official in the 2011 final between Arsenal and Bristol Academy at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

She said her call-up to this year’s final, the second to be staged at Wembley, is her biggest appointment since she was named assistant referee for a League Two match at Bristol Rovers in 2014.

Sarah Garrett has refereed a large number of FA WSL matches

Sarah Garratt has refereed a large number of FA WSL matches

However, despite the enormity of the occasion she is trying to stay focused on the task at hand.

Garratt added: "I’ve had a bit of time to think about it and it still doesn’t feel real. I like to do some preparation before a game, and I obviously will for this one, but not too much.

"Being a referee in the Women’s Super League means I do have a rapport with the players and I’m sure that will help on the day because they will all know the style that I like to referee.

"They know they can talk to me so hopefully that will make things easier for everyone.

"I’m trying to treat it like any other game but it’s difficult because of where it’s being played.

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"It is just another game at the end of the day and I’ll be doing no different to what I’ve done in any other game.

"But leading the teams out at Wembley will be a huge honour."

Lisa Rashid (Birmingham FA) and Lindsey Robinson (Durham FA) have been appointed assistant referees and Lucy Oliver (Northumberland FA) will be the fourth official.

David Elleray, chairman of The FA's referees' committee, said: “The appointment of Sarah Garratt and her colleagues to the 2016 SSE Women’s FA Cup Final at Wembley demonstrates once again that The FA referees' committee has full confidence in the country’s senior female match officials and are delighted that once again an all-female team of officials, led by Sarah, will control this important match.”

Thanks to The FA's partnership with SSE, all children will be able to attend this year's final for free.

Adult tickets are priced £15 and group bookings and charter standard discounts are also available.

Tickets for the final are on sale now via or by calling 0844 826 2010.

By Glenn Lavery