Willie Collum to referee 2015 Scottish Cup Final

Willie Collum will referee his second Scottish Cup Final when Falkirk meet Inverness Caley Thistle at Hampden Park on Saturday, May 30.

Willie Collum referee (Dundee United v Celtic - 26th April 2015)
Mainstay: Collum has overseen 26 Premiership games so far this season (Picture from Sky Sports)

REFEREE Willie Collum will take charge of his second Scottish Cup Final when Inverness Caledonian Thistle face Falkirk on Saturday, May 30.

The 36-year-old will oversee the 2015 showpiece at Hampden Park as the Highlanders of the Scottish Premiership take on the Bairns of the Scottish Championship at the end of the month.

He will be assisted by linesmen Douglas Ross and Alastair Mather while the fourth official will be the experienced Crawford Allan.

This season’s newly promoted top-flight officials Andrew Dallas and Don Robertson will act as additional assistant referees.

Collum was in the middle for the 2013 final when Celtic beat Hibernian 3-0 while his only other cup final outing came in the 2012 League Cup Final as Celtic lost 1-0 to Kilmarnock.

He was also on electronic board duties for the 2011 League Cup Final and 2012 Scottish Cup Final.

The Religious Education teacher in Belshill oversaw arguably the biggest game of his career to date last month when Monaco hosted Juventus at the Stade Louis II in the Champions League quarter-final second leg.

during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between FC Bayern Muenchen and FC Shakhtar Donetsk at Allianz Arena on March 11, 2015 in Munich, Germany.
Red: Collum sent off Shakhtar Donetsk’s Aleksandr Kucher against Bayern Munich in the Champions League last 16 earlier this year (Picture from Getty Images)

He has refereed 45 games in all competitions so far this term – brandishing 136 yellow cards, 15 red cards and awarding 18 penalties.

His latest match was the crucial relegation clash between Motherwell and Kilmarnock last Friday night in the Premiership.

Collum has already encountered Inverness in four league games and a Scottish Cup tie at Partick Thistle this term.

He has also officiated two Falkirk games in the second tier against Hibernian and Rangers since the turn of the year.

Collum is widely renowned for issuing plenty of cards in domestic games – despite his reluctance to do so in European outings – and is often the centre of controversy but is regarded as a fit and highly rated official who tends to get the big decisions right.

However, he endured a controversial start to 2015 domestically.

Collum awarded four penalties and sent off four players in his first two matches of the new year but saw the red cards he gave to St Mirren’s Kenny McLean and Motherwell defender Stephen McManus overturned by the Scottish Football Association’s judicial panel.

Collum was then dropped from the Premiership for two weeks before he and assistant referee David McGeachie failed to award a goal when Adam Rooney’s shot struck the underside of the crossbar before bouncing a foot over the line in Aberdeen’s 3-0 win at Hamilton in February.

He was also slammed by Hibernian boss Alan Stubbs in March for failing to spot a foul by Lee Wallace on Paul Hanlon in the build-up to Kenny Miller’s clinching goal for Rangers in their 2-0 win at Easter Road.

Collum was also at the helm for the friendly between the Netherlands and Spain in a repeat of the 2010 World Cup Final at the end of March.

Glasgow-born Collum – a father to three daughters – first took up the whistle at the age of 14 and has been a Category One official since June 2004.

He was promoted to the Scottish Premier League a year later and was first included on the Fifa list of international referees in 2006.

Willie Collum in action (Hearts 0-4 Celtic - 30th Nov 2014)
Up and coming: Collum will take charge of the Championship play-off final second leg between Alloa and Forfar on Sunday evening (Picture from Sky Sports)

Domestically, Collum – who refereed the 2013 Scottish Cup Final and 2012 Scottish League Cup Final as well as several domestic cup semi-finals – is now regarded by many as Scotland’s leading whistler, overtaking Craig Thomson in that respect.

He has taken charge of two Old Firm and four Edinburgh derbies in total.

Meanwhile, on the European front, he has been a Uefa Category One official since 2012 and has officiated Bayern Munich, Juventus and Barcelona already in the Champions League this campaign as well as two European Championship qualifiers in an international capacity.

Last season, Craig Thomson handled his third Scottish Cup Final as St Johnstone overcame Tayside rivals Dundee United to lift their first major trophy at Celtic Park.

Like the Saints, Inverness are bidding for a maiden piece of silverware in their 21-year history to crown a magnificent campaign in which they have secured European football for the first time and John Hughes has been named PFA Scotland Manager of the Year.

Hughes was boss of Falkirk when they were last in the Scottish Cup Final in 2009. A year later, Peter Houston was triumphant with Dundee United in the same competition.

Now, the Bairns boss is back at the national stadium as Falkirk – who are currently vying for a place in the Premiership via the play-offs – seek their first silverware since the Challenge Cup in 2012.

The 15:00 BST kick-off will be screened live both on BBC Scotland and Sky Sports.

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