Howard Webb achieved a lifetime's dream on Tuesday 21 April when he was appointed referee of the 2009 FA Cup final on 30 May between Everton and Chelsea.

The 37-year-old said it was hard to believe he had been chosen. "When I started out as a referee 20 years ago the FA Cup final was the absolute pinnacle even though it was a very distant dream," he said. "It was very unlikely to ever happen, but that it has is the realisation of a dream and I'm thrilled to bits."

Webb - who has handed out just five red cards this season in 39 matches - was fourth official at the 2007 final and took charge of the semi-final between West Brom and Portsmouth last year.

Webb admitted in January he had experienced the lowest moment of his career when during the Birmingham - Wolves FA Cup tie he inadvertently deflected a pass by Birmingham's Radhi Jaidi to Wolves striker Andy Keogh which led to Sam Vokes scoring - Wolves won the match 2-0.

"You want the world to swallow you up at that moment," he said at the time.