The FA Vase

Oxfordshire Referee Duo Appointed to Prestigious Finals

Congratulations to John Busby and Dan Leach.

Oxfordshire FA is delighted to learn that two match officials from the county have been appointed to prestigious FA finals in the coming weeks.

John Busby has been appointed referee of the Buildbase FA Vase final at Wembley Stadium between Binfield and Rylands on Saturday 22 May (12.15pm KO).

Shortly after, Dan Leach will be running the line for the FA Youth Cup final between Aston Villa and Liverpool, which is to be played at Villa Park on Monday 24 May (7.45pm KO).

Berinsfield native John Busby is a National List referee, who regularly officiates games in the Football League. He started his referee career by attending an Oxfordshire FA referee course back in the early 2000s, later progressing through local leagues before being appointed to the Football League in 2016.

Since taking charge of his first Football League game, John has overseen some high-profile fixtures and earlier this season refereed the Championship clash between Bristol City and Luton Town at Ashton Gate.

Although having previously been part of officials’ teams at Wembley, Saturday’s FA Vase final will be the first time that John has served as the man in the middle, and whilst this may be one of his greatest refereeing achievements thus far, we’re confident more are to come.

John said: “The appointment made me think back to how I started when, as a young lad, I took the Oxfordshire FA referee course, which was then supported and mentored by the Association’s Appointments Secretary John Chappell, who set me on my way to fulfilling every referee’s dream of walking out at Wembley as the match referee.”

Meanwhile, Dan Leach has been refereeing since he was 14-years-old, starting out by completing the FA Basic Refere Course. Dan started working his way through the levels officiating in the Witney & District Youth League and Witney & District FA before progressing to FA competitions. In 2012, Dan made the choice to become a specialist Assistant Referee and just nine years later he was promoted to the Football League List of Assistant Referees. A regular official for EFL Championship fixtures, Dan’s final game of the season was the clash between Birmingham City and Nottingham Forest.

Dan said: “I was extremely proud to receive the call from the FA to tell me I had been appointed to the FA Youth Cup final. I would not have developed as a referee if it wasn’t for the support and guidance of the Oxfordshire FA and Witney & District Referees Association. I have no doubt this, along with the support of my family, employers and friends set me on my way to achieving this appointment. With the opportunities now available and support available from the Oxfordshire FA there really is no better time to become a referee.”

Everybody at Oxfordshire FA is incredibly proud of both referees would like to wish both John and Dan the very best of luck in their respective finals.

The pair’s appointment is a perfect illustration of the pathway that exists for referees within Oxfordshire.

If you’re keen to follow in John or Dan’s footsteps and get into refereeing within the county, please click here for more information or give Nigel Saverton a call or email via 01993 778586 or

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