PHIL DOWD will referee Liverpool’s FA Cup final clash with Chelsea at Wembley next month.
The 49-year-old, from Staffordshire, will take charge of his first FA Cup final when Kenny Dalglish’s side take on the Londoners on May 5.
Dowd has taken charge of the Reds in a number of key games already this season. He was in the middle for the Merseyside derby with Everton at Anfield in March, the defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford in February, and the Carling Cup semi-final second leg with Manchester City in January.
He also officiated Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the League Cup quarter-final back in November, and refereed the Reds’ home draws with both Swansea and Sunderland earlier in the campaign.
“I was honoured and privileged when I found out,” said Dowd. “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.”
Dowd will be assisted by Stuart Burt and Andrew Garratt, along with fourth official Michael Jones and reserve assistant referee Simon Long.