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.
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.
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. 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. 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.
|1877||Sidney Havell Wright|
|1881||William Peirce Dix|
|1891||Charles J. Hughes|
|1893||Charles J. Hughes|
|1894||Charles J. Hughes|
|1904||A. J. Barker|
|1908||T. P. Campbell|
|1912||J. R. Schumacher|
|1922||J. W. P. Fowler|
|1923||D. H. Asson|
|1927||William Frederick Bunnell|
|1928||T. G. Bryan|
|1938||Arthur James Jewell|
|1948||C. Jack Barrick|
|Year||Referee||Assistant referees||Fourth official|
|1978||Derek Nippard||J. Bent
|1979||Ron Challis||Keith Hackett
|1980||George Courtney||Alan Robinson
|1981||Keith Hackett||A. Jones
|1982||Clive White||A. Hamil
|1983||Alf Grey||Colin Downey
|1984||John Hunting||A. Saunders
|1985||Peter Willis||Terry Holbrook
|1986||Alan Robinson||Robbie Hart
|1987||Neil Midgley||R. Nixon
|1988||Brian Hill||Mike Pierce
|1989||Joe Worrall||Mike Peck
|1990||Allan Gunn||L. Watson
|1991||Roger Milford||P. Brennan
|1992||Philip Don||Rob Harris
|1993||Keren Barratt||Roy Pearson
|1994||David Elleray||Paul Rejer
|1995||Gerald Ashby||Mark Warren
|1996||Dermot Gallagher||Anthony Bates
|1997||Steve Lodge||David Crick
|1998||Paul Durkin||Bill Jordan
|1999||Peter Jones||David Babski
|Year||Referee||Assistant referees||Fourth official/
Reserve assistant referee
|2000||Graham Poll||Darren Drysdale
|2001||Steve Dunn||Mike Tingey
|2002||Mike Riley||Glenn Turner
|2003||Graham Barber||Nigel Miller
|2004||Jeff Winter||Roger East
|2005||Rob Styles||Jim Devine
|2006||Alan Wiley||Ceri Richards
|2007||Steve Bennett||Peter Kirkup
|2008||Mike Dean||Martin Yerby
|2009||Howard Webb||Dave Richardson
|2010||Chris Foy||John Flynn
|2011||Martin Atkinson||Adam Watts
|2012||Phil Dowd||Stuart Burt
|2013||Andre Marriner||Stephen Child
|2014||Lee Probert||Jake Collin
|2015||Jonathan Moss||Darren England
|2016||Mark Clattenburg||John Brooks
|2017||Anthony Taylor||Gary Beswick
|Year||Referee||Assistant referees||Fourth official/
Reserve assistant referee
|2018||Michael Oliver||Ian Hussin
|2019||Kevin Friend||Constantine Hatzidakis
|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|
Alan G. Wiley (born 27 May 1960) is a former English football referee in the FA Premier League, who is based in Burntwood, Staffordshire.Andre Marriner
Andre Marriner (born 1 January 1971) is an English professional football referee based in Sheldon, West Midlands. He is a member of the Birmingham County Football Association.
In 2005, Marriner was promoted to the list of Select Group Referees who officiate primarily in the Premier League. He also refereed for FIFA between 2009 & 2017. In May 2013 he took charge of the FA Cup final, the highest domestic honour for a referee in England.Anthony Taylor (referee)
Anthony Taylor (born 20 October 1978) is an English professional football referee from Wythenshawe, Manchester.
In 2010, he was promoted to the list of Select Group Referees who officiate primarily in the Premier League, and in 2013 became a listed referee for FIFA allowing him to referee European and international matches. In 2015, he officiated the Football League Cup final at Wembley Stadium. Taylor later returned to Wembley in 2017 to officiate the 2017 FA Cup final between Chelsea and Arsenal, making it his second final appearance as referee with the first one being in 2015.Arthur Holland (referee)
Arthur Holland (26 November 1916 – March 1987) was an English football referee.Clive White
Clive Bradley White (born 2 May 1940) is a retired English football referee from Harrow, Middlesex.Dermot Gallagher
Dermot Gallagher (born 20 May 1957 in Ringsend, Dublin, Ireland) is a retired Irish association football referee, who lives in Banbury, Oxfordshire. He refereed in the Premier League of English football until May 2007.Graham Barber
Graham P. Barber (born 5 June 1958) is an English former football referee. He was based in Tring in Hertfordshire during his career, but now lives in Spain.Jeff Winter
Jeffrey Winter (born 18 April 1955 in Middlesbrough, England) is a former Premier League referee.Joe Worrall (referee)
Joseph Bertram Worrall (born 21 October 1945) is an English former football referee, who operated in the Football League and for FIFA. He comes from Warrington in Cheshire, and has the distinction of having refereed both of the major club competition Finals in England.Jonathan Moss (referee)
Jonathan Moss (born 18 October 1970) is an English professional football referee who officiates primarily in the Premier League having been promoted to the Select Group of Referees in 2011.
He was born in Sunderland but is now based in Horsforth, West Yorkshire. He is a member of the West Riding County Football Association.Martin Atkinson
Martin Atkinson (born 31 March 1971) is an English professional football referee who officiates primarily in the Premier League and also for FIFA. He was born in Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, but is now based near Leeds, and is a member of the West Riding County Football Association.Atkinson made his first appearance as an official in the Football League as an assistant referee in 1995. Since he was promoted to the list of Select Group Referees in 2005 he has refereed a number of notable matches, including the FA Community Shield and the finals of the FA Trophy, Football League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Europa League.Mike Dean (referee)
Michael Dean (born 2 June 1968) is an English professional football referee who officiates primarily in the Premier League. He is based in Heswall, Wirral, and is a member of the Cheshire County Football Association.
Since his appointment as a Select Group referee in 2000, Dean has officiated a number of notable matches, including the FA Community Shield and the finals of the FA Cup, Football League Cup and FA Trophy.Mike Riley (referee)
Michael Riley (born 17 December 1964) is an ex-professional football referee from Leeds in West Yorkshire, who has refereed matches in the Football League, FA Premier League and for FIFA. Riley currently serves as the general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited.Paul Durkin
Paul Anthony Durkin (born 15 August 1955) is an English former football referee, who retired in 2004. He comes from the Isle of Portland in Dorset. He works as a referee assessor for the Football Association.
Durkin was England's only referee at the 1998 FIFA World Cup Finals in France, where he refereed one match - the Group B encounter between Italy and Austria. In the same year, he refereed the FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Newcastle United, he was in charge of the 2003 Football League Cup Final between Liverpool and Manchester United.
In 2004, Durkin appeared in ITV gameshow Simply the Best as the referee.Phil Dowd
Philip Dowd (born 26 January 1963) is a retired English professional football referee who officiated primarily in the Premier League. He is based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, and was a member of the Staffordshire Football Association.
Dowd made his first appearance as an official in the Football League as an assistant referee in 1992. Since he was promoted to the list of Select Group Referees in 2001 he has refereed a number of notable matches, including the finals of the FA Cup, in 2012, and the Football League Cup, in 2010, as well as the FA Community Shield in 2011.Rob Styles
Robert Styles (born 21 April 1964) is an English football Referee from Waterlooville, Hampshire, who officiated in the FA Premier League, and for FIFA. He retired in 2009.Roger Milford
Roger Milford is a former football referee.
He took charge of the 1991 FA Cup Final.As of 2002, he was working for The FA as an assessor.As of October 2014 he was listed as being the Senior Referee Coach at the Gloucestershire FA.Steve Bennett (referee)
Stephen Graham Bennett (born 17 January 1961 in Farnborough, Kent) is a former English football referee who operated in the Premier League, and previously for FIFA as an assistant referee and then referee.Steve Dunn (referee)
Stephen W. Dunn is an English former FA Premier League football referee. He was born on 24 October 1957. He resides in his birthplace of Bristol, England with his wife.