Top ref Natalie’s cup final appointment

Natalie Aspinall

Natalie Aspinall

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Lancashire football official Natalie Aspinall has been handed a plum appointment.

The Preston’s College lecturer, who lives in Marton, Blackpool, has been named as one of the referee’s assistants for the women’s FA Cup final between Chelsea and Notts County at Wembley on August 1.

Apinall – nee Walker, who is currently officiating at the women’s World Cup in Canada, will assist Derbyshire official Amy Fearn with Jane Simms running the other line. Rebecca Welsh will be the fourth official.

It will be the first time the women’s final has been staged at the iconic venue. FA Referees’ committee chairman David Elleray said: “I congratulate Amy, Natalie, Jane and Rebecca.”

“I am exceptionally pleased that the first FA Women’s Cup Final to be played at Wembley will be controlled by four Women officials.

“I congratulate Amy, Natalie, Jane and Rebecca on their appointment to what will be an historic occasion.

“As this is the first time that the Women’s Cup Final is being played at Wembley, The FA Referees’ Committee decided to appoint officials who have officiated in the Final before.

“This is highly unusual as there is an ‘unwritten rule’ that an official does not act in the same role in any FA Final more than once.

“But we unanimously agreed that our top Women officials should have the opportunity of officiating at a Wembley final and that it should benefit from being controlled by such a talented and experienced team.”