Sudbury Club meet Cup Final referee ahead of Wembley showpiece

Ahead of the Women’s FA Cup Final that took place at Wembley Stadium, our Sudbury Club were delighted to welcome referee Abi Byrne with her husband George for an insightful session on their careers in football.

Abi, originally from Suffolk, has been an elite level referee since 2015 and has been officiating at the highest level of Women’s football for several years, including leading several Women’s super league games this season.

Her husband George is also a football official, currently operating as an assistant referee across the Football League.

Both joined the Sudbury Sporting Memories Club on Wednesday 8 May, days before Abi would take control of the Women’s FA Cup Final, to share their experiences in the world of football with club members.

With over 50 members in attendance, they sat and listened to Abi and George speak in great length, and with openness and honesty about the highs and lows of being an official in the modern game.

One of the key messages from their discussion with the club members was recognising that everyone makes mistakes but using those mistakes as an opportunity to learn, as opposed to using it as a negative and a chance to criticise the individuals involved.

Onto the Final!

Following Abi’s time at our Sudbury Club, it was time for the big day at Wembley on Sunday 12th May, as Tottenham Hotspur faced Manchester United in the final.

Abi was in control of the game with her fellow officials as it proved to be a brilliant day for the Red Devils as they overcame their capital rivals in the final 4-0 to pick up their first ever FA Cup title.

Speaking after the final, Andy Read, Club Facilitator at Sudbury, reflected on a special day for Abi and the Sporting Memories Club.

“First of all, my thanks to Abi and George for taking the time at arguably a very busy part of the season to come along and share their experiences in football with our members.

“Both are true professionals and I believe our members left with some real sporting memories to cherish. They were taking in all the details shared of their time refereeing and definitely left excited and looking forward to watching the cup final the following weekend.

“Watching on Sunday filled me with great pride of having Abi join us and she done a brilliant job in the final too – so well done to her and George!”

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