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.
- 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.