Suffolk ref Callum Walchester to run the line at Wembley Stadium in National League play-off final

Callum Walchester will run the line at Wembley

Callum Walchester will run the line at Wembley - Credit: Archant

A second Suffolk referee has been selected to officiate at Wembley Stadium this weekend.

Callum Walchester, who lives in Lowestoft, will be an assistant referee at Sunday’s National League Play-Off Final between Tranmere Rovers and Forest Green Rovers.

The 24-year-old’s appointment follows that of Mildenhall female official Abi Marriott, who will be an assistant referee at Saturday’s SSE FA Women’s Cup Final at Wembley.

Callum only started refereeing men’s football eight years ago and is now a Level 3 referee, meaning he can referee matches at Ryman League Premier Division level and be an assistant at National League matches.

The Gorleston-born official was due to be an assistant at Monday night’s Suffolk FA Premier Cup Final sponsored by Omni Freight Services Ltd in which Needham Market defeated Lowestoft Town 3-2.


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But Callum was withdrawn from the fixture to avoid picking up an injury and attended the final, held at Colchester United’s Weston Homes Community Stadium, as a spectator instead.

Callum, who is a police officer, was told of his appointment in a phone call from National Referee Manager Peter Elsworth on Sunday evening.

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He said: “I was in a daze, to be honest. I was wandering around not saying much as I was shell-shocked – it is quite unbelievable!

“I know I have had a good season, but I never let myself think I could be officiating at Wembley at the end of it.

“Without a shadow of doubt it is going to be the best moment of my relatively short refereeing career and one which may never happen again as such appointments don’t come round very often, although obviously I hope one does.”

Anthony Backhouse (Cumberland FA) will be referee and Callum will be an assistant along with Abbas Khan (Leicestershire & Rutland FA), while Tom Nield (West Riding) will be the fourth official.

Callum added: “I am really looking forward to the experience of officiating at Wembley, although ultimately it boils down to just another game of football of 90 minutes between 22 players.”

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