The FA

Taylor-made for Cup Final

Anthony Taylor reflects on discovering he would referee Emirates FA Cup Final

Wednesday 26 Apr 2017

Anthony Taylor has spoken of his pride at being appointed to referee the 2017 Emirates FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Chelsea.

The Cheshire-based official will take charge of the game at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 27 May, alongside assistant referees Gary Beswick (Durham FA) and Marc Perry (Birmingham FA), fourth official Robert Madley (West Riding FA) and reserve assistant referee Adam Nunn (Wiltshire FA).

And having previously been fourth official at the 2013 FA Cup Final, the 38-year-old admits he can’t wait to step out into the middle as referee.

Arsenal v Chelsea
  • The Emirates FA Cup Final
  • 5.30pm, Saturday 27 May 2017
  • Wembley Stadium connected by EE
  • Live on BBC1 and BT Sport
  • Winners receive £1.8m and runners-up £900,000

“The first feeling when I got was the call…I was delighted, excited and very, very honoured and humbled to be appointed to the game,” said Taylor, who has also taken charge at The FA Community Shield, League Cup Final, FA Trophy and FA Vase Finals at the national stadium.

“It’s been a long-standing dream of mine in the 20-odd years that I’ve been a referee to one day officiate The FA Cup Final, it’s the pinnacle of your domestic career.

“Refereeing a match at Wembley is a fantastic experience, any game that you do there, but the Cup Final is iconic and especially with it being a London derby as well, that adds an extra dimension to the occasion.”

Taylor has been officiating in the Premier League since 2010 and has also refereed in international and European games since he was added to the FIFA list in 2013.

A passionate supporter of his local non-League team Altrincham, Taylor admits he still feels privileged to be involved in games at the elite end of the sport and to act as an inspiration to referees of the future.

“People forget that as a referee at the top of the elite level, you’re really fortunate because you get to experience such unbelievable atmospheres like Wembley and it’s a feeling that you wish you could bottle up and share with a football fan or referees who are working their way up in grassroots football,” he explained.

“Most people who love football dream somehow of being involved in an FA Cup Final, usually as a player, but every single referee has dreamed of playing in an FA Cup Final so to referee the game is the next best thing.

“It comes back to acting as an inspiration to people in the refereeing family, operating at grassroots level or trying to work their way through the leagues to really show that with hard work and commitment, that can reap rewards.”

The FA ;

Speaking about the news, David Elleray, Chairman of The FA Referees' Committee, said: “Anthony’s appointment is richly deserved.

“He is a referee with considerable domestic and international experience having been an additional assistant referee in UEFA’s four most significant matches: the EURO final (2016) Champions League final (2016), Europa League final (2015) and Super Cup (2014).

“He refereed The FA Community Shield in 2015 and has also refereed both of The FA’s other major finals – The FA Vase and FA Trophy.

“His wealth of knowledge of the game and his ability to manage players effectively means that he is one of the country’s most respected officials.

“He will be working with a team of officials who are operating at the height of their abilities – hence their appointment to this prestigious match – and the whole refereeing team will be fully aware of the enormous responsibility taking charge of The FA Cup Final involves.

“Whilst players have no limit on the number of times that can play in an FA Cup Final, this is not true for the match officials so this makes their appointment even more special as it is their one and only opportunity to be part of this amazing match.

“The FA Referees’ Committee were unanimous in their selection of Anthony, Gary, Marc, Bobby and Adam and have full confidence that they will contribute to what we all hope will be a marvellous match.”

By Nicholas Veevers