Callum on his way to Wembley
PUBLISHED: 07:22 12 May 2017
A Lowestoft referee has been selected to officiate at Wembley Stadium this weekend.
Callum Walchester will be an assistant referee at Sunday’s National League Play-Off Final between Tranmere Rovers and Forest Green Rovers.
The 24-year-old only started refereeing men’s football eight years ago and is now at Level 3, meaning he can officiate 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 in which Needham Market defeated Lowestoft Town 3-2. But he was withdrawn from the fixture as a precaution and attended the final, held at Colchester United’s Weston Homes Community Stadium, as a spectator instead.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.
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.
“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.”
Callum’s appointment follows that of Suffolk female official Abi Marriott, who will be an assistant referee at Saturday’s SSE FA Women’s Cup Final at Wembley.