Emirates FA Cup Final referee Andy Madley speaks about the honour of his appointment

Following his appointment as referee of the 2024 Emirates FA Cup Final, we spoke to Andy Madley for the official match programme ahead of Manchester City v Manchester United in the Wembley showpiece at the weekend

Wednesday 22 May 2024
Premier League referee Andy Madley will lead out the teams at Wembley on Saturday

Congratulations on your appointment Andy. Firstly, what were your thoughts when you got the call to say you’d be refereeing the FA Cup Final

Genuinely, I heard the words ‘FA Cup Final’ and the rest was a blur. After the call, my thoughts went back to the late 80’s / early 90’s, sitting cross legged in front of the TV at 9am, watching in awe at the players leaving their hotel and boarding the coach. Then, the helicopter following their journey to Wembley Stadium. To think I will be leading the two teams onto the pitch this year is truly humbling.

Manchester City v Manchester United
  • The Emirates FA Cup Final
  • 3pm BST, Saturday 25 May 2024
  • Wembley Stadium connected by EE

You’ve previously refereed in FA Competition Finals before, namely the Vase and Trophy on your journey coming through the ranks. How do experiences like that help you prepare for the FA Cup Final?

 Nothing can prepare you for the first walk out of the Wembley Tunnel. The sheer size and vastness is breathtaking. We usually visit the day before as part of our preparation, but it takes on a completely different personality when it’s full of fans! I’ve been very lucky to have refereed at the stadium on a few occasions now and it never gets old! I’ll still get goosebumps when I’m met with the sea of colour and wall of noise from the 90,000 fans in the stadium on the day.

And of course, you’ve been a regular referee in the Premier League for a number of years now so you’re more than familiar with the two teams and players today. What sort of game do you expect on the pitch?

It’s a bit of a cliché to say ‘it’s a cup final – anything can happen’, but it really can! My main focus is that my team and I are prepared for every eventuality. Of course, there’s the added element of it being a derby so the atmosphere in the stadium will be at peak level too…I have no doubt that the noise levels in the stadium will be cranked up to maximum volume! My team and I will work hard to ensure that emotions on the pitch are kept under control on the day.

ORDER THE FA CUP FINAL MATCH PROGRAMME

Tell us about your journey to this point…after starting out in grassroots football in Yorkshire?

As a youngster, I played football but never really made the grade. I certainly never considered being a referee. After completing the course (purely to keep my younger brother company!), I took up the whistle and found I quite enjoyed it. I moved quickly through the levels and soon found myself on the EFL as an assistant referee. I had one season as a Premier League assistant before being promoted as a referee to the EFL. I became full time in 2016 and was promoted onto the Premier League and FIFA International lists in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

What would be your advice for any young referees looking to start out on their own journey now?

There’s never been a better time to be a referee, so take advantage of the support. It’s not the easiest task in football but I believe it is one of the most rewarding. The game, at all levels, is becoming faster and more technical, so it’s important to stay ahead of the game. Above all, enjoy every game and take something from each and every match!

WHERE TO WATCH THE EMIRATES FA CUP FINAL AROUND THE WORLD
By Competitions department