FA Cup Final referees

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The FA Cup

In English football, the FA Cup Final, the deciding match of the FA Cup competition, is considered the highest domestic honour for referees to be appointed to officiate.

The most recent final (2019) was refereed by Kevin Friend, with Constantine Hatzidakis and Matthew Wilkes as assistant referees; Graham Scott was fourth official and Edward Smart the reserve assistant referee.


Individuals may be appointed to referee an FA Cup Final only once, a rule that's been in practice since 1902, but they are allowed to have previously appeared as an assistant referee or fourth official.

David Elleray commented on his selection for the 1994 FA Cup Final:[1]

Referees and assistants are chosen by the Football Association for their impartiality and their assessed performance scores for previous seasons. Only one referee has ever been replaced under the impartiality rule; Mike Dean agreed to pull out following questions in the media about him being able to referee a Cup Final involving Liverpool as he is from the Wirral, a peninsula situated near the city. Alan Wiley took his place.[2]

Officials are informed of the appointment by the FA Referees' Secretary and sworn to secrecy until a public announcement can be made, usually the following day. There then follows a period of media attention resulting in interviews and features appearing in the national press.


When the Cup Final is held at Wembley Stadium, traditions include the "Eve of the Final" rally at a central London location, where the match officials are guests of honour at a meal provided for by the Referees' Association.[1] Many members of the Association including serving and past Cup Final referees also attend.

Speeches are made and the officials are presented with mementos of the occasion and invited to autograph their refereeing colleagues' Cup Final programmes. The referees usually sleep at White's Hotel, with FA protocol stating that they should not leave the grounds.

On the morning of the Cup Final, the officials take a pre-match walk through Hyde Park before travelling by limousine to Wembley.[1] Once there they are obliged once more to autograph Cup Final programmes and are invited to join any VIPs in the banqueting hall.


For the 2013-14 season the officials' fees for the Cup Final were: referee £375; assistant referees £375 each; fourth official £320 and a souvenir medal each, plus travelling expenses.[3]


Prior to 1915

Year Referee
1872 Alfred Stair
1873 Alfred Stair
1874 Alfred Stair
1875 Charles Alcock
1876 W.S. Rawson
1877 Sidney Havell Wright
1878 Segar Bastard
1879 Charles Alcock
1880 Francis Marindin
1881 William Peirce Dix
1882 Charles Clegg
1883 Francis Marindin
1884 Francis Marindin
1885 Francis Marindin
1886 Francis Marindin
1887 Francis Marindin
1888 Francis Marindin
1889 Francis Marindin
1890 Francis Marindin
1891 Charles J. Hughes
1892 Charles Clegg
1893 Charles J. Hughes
1894 Charles J. Hughes
1895 John Lewis
1896 William Simpson
1897 John Lewis
1898 John Lewis
1899 Arthur Scragg
1900 Arthur Kingscott
1901 Arthur Kingscott
1902 Tom Kirkham
1903 John Adams
1904 A. J. Barker
1905 Pat Harrower
1906 Fred Kirkham
1907 Nat Whittaker
1908 T. P. Campbell
1909 Jim Mason
1910 John Ibbotson
1911 John Pearson
1912 J. R. Schumacher
1913 Arthur Adams
1914 Herbert Bamlett
1915 Harry Taylor

1920 to 1939

Year Referee
1920 Jack Howcroft
1921 S. Davies
1922 J. W. P. Fowler
1923 D. H. Asson
1924 Bill Russell
1925 Noel Watson
1926 I. Baker
1927 William Frederick Bunnell
1928 T. G. Bryan
1929 Arnold Josephs
1930 Tom Crew
1931 Harry Kingscott
1932 Percy Harper
1933 Eddie Wood
1934 Stanley Rous
1935 Bert Fogg
1936 Harry Nattrass
1937 Reg Rudd
1938 Arthur James Jewell
1939 Tommy Thompson

Post-World War II

Year Referee
1946 Ernest Smith
1947 Jim Wiltshire
1948 C. Jack Barrick
1949 Reg Mortimer
1950 Harry Pearce
1951 Bill Ling
1952 Arthur Ellis
1953 Sandy Griffiths
1954 Arthur Luty
1955 Reg Leafe
1956 Alf Bond
1957 Frank Coultas
1958 Jack Sherlock
1959 Jack Clough
1960 Kevin Howley
1961 Jack Kelly
1962 Jim Finney
1963 Ken Aston
1964 Arthur Holland
1965 Bill Clements
1966 Jack Taylor
1967 Ken Dagnall
1968 Leo Callaghan
1969 George McCabe
1970 Eric Jennings
1971 Norman Burtenshaw
1972 David Smith
1973 Ken Burns
1974 Gordon Kew
1975 Pat Partridge
1976 Clive Thomas
1977 Bob Matthewson
Year Referee Assistant referees Fourth official
1978 Derek Nippard J. Bent
J. Lydon
W. Cleere
1979 Ron Challis Keith Hackett
H. Dempsey
W. Harvey
1980 George Courtney Alan Robinson
J. Byles
J. Cunningham
1981 Keith Hackett A. Jones
D. Hutchinson
J. Penrose
1982 Clive White A. Hamil
T. Mitchell
R. Guy
1983 Alf Grey Colin Downey
John Pardoe
John Connock
1984 John Hunting A. Saunders
N. Butler
V. Wood
1985 Peter Willis Terry Holbrook
D. Keen
J. Harris
1986 Alan Robinson Robbie Hart
Allan Gunn
C. Topliss
1987 Neil Midgley R. Nixon
J. Hodson
D. James
1988 Brian Hill Mike Pierce
G. Tyson
David Redshaw
1989 Joe Worrall Mike Peck
Arthur Smith
Jeff Winter
1990 Allan Gunn L. Watson
C. Reeve
Roger Milford
1991 Roger Milford P. Brennan
P. Newton
Keren Barratt
1992 Philip Don Rob Harris
John Hilditch
Kelvin Morton
1993 Keren Barratt Roy Pearson
Brian Wigginton
Roger Dilkes
1994 David Elleray Paul Rejer
Graham Barber
Gerald Ashby
1995 Gerald Ashby Mark Warren
Steve Bennett
Steve Lodge
1996 Dermot Gallagher Anthony Bates
Peter Walton
Paul Durkin
1997 Steve Lodge David Crick
David Horlick
Peter Jones
1998 Paul Durkin Bill Jordan
Phil Joslin
Graham Barber
1999 Peter Jones David Babski
Philip Sharp
Mike Riley


Year Referee Assistant referees Fourth official/
Reserve assistant referee
2000 Graham Poll Darren Drysdale
Graeme Atkins
Alan Wiley
2001 Steve Dunn Mike Tingey
Kevin Pike
Steve Bennett
2002 Mike Riley Glenn Turner
Ralph Bone
Mark Halsey
2003 Graham Barber Nigel Miller
Keith Stroud
Mike Dean
2004 Jeff Winter Roger East
Antony Green
Matt Messias
2005 Rob Styles Jim Devine
Paul Canadine
Neale Barry [4]
2006 Alan Wiley[5] Ceri Richards[6]
Darren Cann
Phil Dowd [7]
2007 Steve Bennett Peter Kirkup
Dave Bryan
Howard Webb [8]
2008 Mike Dean Martin Yerby
Trevor Massey
Chris Foy [9]
2009 Howard Webb Dave Richardson
Mike Mullarkey
Martin Atkinson [10]
2010 Chris Foy John Flynn
Shaun Procter-Green
Andre Marriner
Stuart Burt
2011 Martin Atkinson Adam Watts
Simon Beck
Lee Probert
Jake Collin
2012 Phil Dowd Stuart Burt
Andrew Garratt
Mike Jones
Simon Long
2013 Andre Marriner Stephen Child
Simon Long
Anthony Taylor
Gary Beswick
2014 Lee Probert Jake Collin
Mick McDonough
Kevin Friend
Simon Bennett
2015 Jonathan Moss Darren England
Simon Bennett
Craig Pawson
Harry Lennard
2016 Mark Clattenburg John Brooks
Andrew Halliday
Neil Swarbrick
Michael Salisbury
2017 Anthony Taylor Gary Beswick
Marc Perry
Bobby Madley
Adam Nunn

2018–present (VAR)

Year Referee Assistant referees Fourth official/
Reserve assistant referee
2018 Michael Oliver Ian Hussin
Lee Betts
Lee Mason
Constantine Hatzidakis
Neil Swarbrick
Mick McDonough
2019 Kevin Friend Constantine Hatzidakis
Matthew Wilkes
Graham Scott
Edward Smart
Andre Marriner
Harry Lennard

Referees with more than one final

Referee Number of finals Years
Francis Marindin 9 1880, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1887, 1888, 1889, 1890
Alfred Stair 3 1872, 1873, 1874
Charles J. Hughes 3 1891, 1893, 1894
John Lewis 3 1895, 1897, 1898
Charles Alcock 2 1875, 1879
Charles Clegg 2 1882, 1892
Arthur Kingscott 2 1900, 1901


  1. ^ a b c Elleray, David (2004). "The Cup Final". The Man in the Middle. London: Time Warner. pp. 110–119. ISBN 0-316-72714-8.
  2. ^ Davies, Christopher (2006-04-25). "FA replace Cup final referee from the Wirral". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2007-02-06.
  3. ^
  4. ^ FA Cup Final 2005, report: website.
  5. ^ Original referee Wirral-based referee Mike Dean was removed from the final after Liverpool made it through to the final. He was replaced by Premier League Select Group Referee, Alan Wiley.
  6. ^ Original assistant referee Peter Kirkup woke up with a stye in his eye on the morning of the match, which affected his vision. He was replaced by Premier League Select Group Assistant Ref, Ceri Richards.
  7. ^ "FA replace Cup final referee from the Wirral": website.
  8. ^ "Bennett chosen for Final". The Football Association. Retrieved 22 April 2015.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Dean gets Final spot". 7 April 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2015.[dead link]
  10. ^ Mawhinney, Stuart (21 April 2009). "Webb appointed for The Final". The Football Association. Retrieved 21 April 2015.[dead link]
  11. ^ "FA Cup Final for Foy". The Football Association. 13 April 2010. Archived from the original on 15 April 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  12. ^ "Atkinson takes Cup Final whistle". The Football Association. 19 April 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  13. ^ "Phil Dowd to referee FA Cup final". The Daily Telegraph. London. 17 April 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  14. ^ "Marriner to referee FA Cup final". ESPNFC. 17 April 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  15. ^ "Man City 0 - 1 Wigan". BBC. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  16. ^
  17. ^ Callow, James (21 April 2015). "Jon Moss will referee the 2015 FA Cup Final at Wembley". The FA. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Michael Oliver on FA Cup Final appointment". The Football Association. 24 April 2018. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
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