Cumbrian football referee to take charge of National League play-off Final at Wembley

Honour: Cumbrian Anthony Backhouse will take charge at Wembley tomorrow
Honour: Cumbrian Anthony Backhouse will take charge at Wembley tomorrow

A football referee from Cumbria is to take charge of a game at Wembley this weekend.

Anthony Backhouse, from near Brampton, will be the man in the middle for the National League play-off final between Tranmere and Forest Green Rovers tomorrow.

Backhouse, affiliated to the Cumberland FA, began his refereeing career at the age of 14 and becomes the first referee from Cumberland to take charge at the national stadium.

Chris, Backhouse’s dad, was also a Level 3 referee, and he helped to inspire his son’s refereeing journey, supporting him during his rise to his current position.

After realising his potential as a referee, the 26-year-old began working his way up the promotion ladder, finishing playing football at 18 to concentrate on his goal of becoming a top-flight official.

Through his career to date, Backhouse has taken charge of county finals and now becomes one of the youngest officials to take charge at Wembley.

“Being trusted to officiate such an important and prestigious appointment is an honour,” he said on hearing of his appointment for the National League play-off final.

“It is any footballer’s dream to be part of a final at Wembley and it is no different for referees. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported and guided me from the start of my refereeing career at the age of 14.

“The list is too long to mention, however those individuals know who they are.”

Callum Walchester, of the Suffolk FA, and the Leicestershire & Rutland FA’s Abbas Khan will be the two assistant referees. Tom Nield, of the West Riding FA, will be the fourth official.

In the two National League play-off semi-final second legs, only two yellow cards were dished out in each match.

And Backhouse will surely be hoping for a similarly quiet afternoon tomorrow, following kick-off at 3pm.

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