Sunday 2 October 2016 is a date that will stick long in the memory of Alpha Rail employee, Steve Abbott.
A stock yard foreman during the week, what most people won’t know is that Steve is also a fully qualified FA football official and was one of the assistant referees for the FA Women’s Super League Continental Tyres cup final between Manchester City v Birmingham City.
Thanks to a Lucy Bronze header in extra time, Manchester City held on for a 1-0 win, earning their second piece of silverware of the season having sealed the league title only a week earlier.
The WSL Continental Tyres cup is a knock out competition played between the 19 teams that play in league one and two of the Women’s Super League. Other teams include Aston Villa, Chelsea and Liverpool ladies. Local team Notts County ladies lost 3-2 in the quarter final stage in an away leg to Arsenal ladies.
The game was played at Manchester City’s Academy ground, a location which was originally chosen as a neutral venue at the beginning of the season. However, the 4,000 crowd that gathered were clearly favouring the home side to create an electric atmosphere.
Commenting, on the occasion Steve said “This is an experience that I will remember for a long time. I felt honoured to be able to share the pitch with so many internationally ranked players.”
Phil Ball, Sales Director at Alpha Rail said “This is brilliant for Steve. It is nice to see that not only is he respected within the company, but he is also clearly respected in the footballing world. To be given the opportunity to officiate at such a prestigious tournament is a great achievement and everyone here at Alpha Rail is immensely proud of him.”