LOCAL referee Gary Beswick will play his part in one of football’s biggest occasions this weekend.
Gary, who is an assistant referee in the Premier League, has been selected by FA chiefs to be part of the officials team for Saturday’s FA Cup at Wembley.
The 35-year-old has been a member of Hartlepool Referees’ Association for years and has worked his way up through the ranks from Hartlepool’s junior and Sunday church leagues.
Gary, who grew up in Billingham, will be a reserve fourth official for the cup final between Manchester City and Wigan which will be watched by millions of fans.
He said: “Obviously, I’m very honoured and privileged to be selected. The FA have chosen me based on my performance during this season.
“It is great to be involved irrespective of whether it’s an active or supportive role.
“This is one of the reasons why you become a referee. There is not a player or referee who wouldn’t want to be involved.
“You can dream but you never expect it to happen. Also with it being the 150th year of the cup it is a great year to be part of it.” Gary, who works as a quality analyst for a mobile phone company, will be called into action if anything happens to the referee or any of he fourth officials.
The married dad of one has just enjoyed his second season as a linesman in the Premier League. It has taken him to most of the top grounds in the country.
“It is a wonderful experience,” he added.
Gary took up refereeing at grass roots level after following in his dad Ray’s footsteps.
He began with junior leagues, before moving up to senior level and officiating in the Northern League. He said:” I didn’t think I would like it but I gave it a go and promotions started coming along. It is the best thing I have ever done. It is not easy but is thoroughly enjoyable.”
Saturday’s cup final will be Gary’s second visit to Wembley after he was assistant referee for a League One play-off final three years ago.
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