Dowd to ref cup final
Phil Dowd has been appointed referee for this season's FA Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool.
The 49-year-old will take charge of the Wembley showpiece for the first time in his career on Saturday, May 5 (kick-off 5.15pm).
The former miner from Staffordshire was also the man in the middle for this season's Community Shield, as well as the 2010 Carling Cup final.
Dowd, who has been refereeing for 28 years, said: "I was honoured and privileged when I found out.
"You obviously hope as a referee that you might one day be considered for the FA Cup final, so it will certainly be the highlight of my career so far.
"I would never have thought in my wildest dreams that when I first started refereeing that one day I'd be refereeing the FA Cup final.
"Watching the final as a boy was something I always loved to do.''
The married father of four will also spare a thought on cup final day for his own father, who passed away three years ago.
"It was always an ambition of his to see me referee the FA Cup final, so I'll have a special thought for him on the day,'' he said.
Dowd will be assisted by Stuart Burt and Andrew Garratt, along with fourth official Michael Jones and reserve assistant referee Simon Long.