On the line at Old Trafford

A LITTLE Downham man went to Old Trafford to be linesman in the second leg of the FA Youth Cup Final between Manchester United and Liverpool. Chris Francis, 46, assisted FA Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg at the match, in front of 25,000 fans and

A LITTLE Downham man went to Old Trafford to be linesman in the second leg of the FA Youth Cup Final between Manchester United and Liverpool.

Chris Francis, 46, assisted FA Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg at the match, in front of 25,000 fans and live on Sky Television, last Thursday.

He said: "It was a fantastic day. I got to meet football legends Bobby Charlton, Sir Alex Ferguson and Steve Heighway, and Keiran Richardson was also there. I also received a solid gold medal, which was really nice."

Mr Francis has been officiating for the past 13 years. He is a Cambridgeshire FA referee, and took charge of last Tuesday's Cambs Invitation Cup Final between Soham and Cambridge City.


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Mr Francis was selected for the FA Youth Cup Final after achieving consistently high marks as a linesman in Football League and FA Cup matches, and while refereeing Conference South, Southern Premier League and Ryman League matches. He will be running the line in the Coca Cola Championship match between Leeds Utd and Derby County on Sunday.

He said: "The FA Youth Cup Final is by far the biggest game I've ever been involved in. I felt a bit of added pressure with it being live on television because they always show the replays over and over if you make a mistake, but luckily everything went smoothly."

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Liverpool won 4-3 on penalties after winning the match 1-0 to take it to an aggregate scoreline of 2-2.

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