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By ESPN Staff

Webb to referee FA Cup Final

Howard Webb will realise his lifetime's ambition after he was today announced as the referee of this season's FA Cup final between Chelsea and Everton.

The 37-year-old from Rotherham, who is on a five-year career break from South Yorkshire Police where he serves as a sergeant, was fourth official at the first final at the new Wembley in 2007.

Webb said: "When I started out as a referee 20 years ago the FA Cup final was the absolute pinnacle even though it was a very distant dream.

"Realistically when I started out it was very unlikely to ever happen, but the fact that it has is the realisation of a dream. I'm thrilled to bits.''

The assistant referees will be Michael Mullarkey (Devon) and David Richardson (West Riding), with Martin Atkinson (West Riding) the fourth official.

Webb is viewed as the top referee in the country - he is on FIFA's list and refereed at Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland last year.

"I'm lucky enough to have been there twice before,'' added Webb, who was also in charge of the West Brom v Portsmouth semi-final last season.

"Wembley is an awesome stadium. I have been lucky enough to referee in some amazing grounds, the Nou Camp, the Bernabeu, Allianz Arena, but when it comes to the real home of football - Wembley is it.''

It will be Webb's last domestic duty before the heads to the Confederations Cup in South Africa.


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