FRIMLEY official Paul Melin has seen his dream come true after being handed a ticket to the Premiership.
After a fine season in the middle and on the lines, Mr Melin has been promoted by the Professional Match Game Officials panel to the top 40 in the country, which will see him rub shoulders with David Beckham et al, in, arguably, the finest domestic league in the world.
Mr Melin, along with several other referees up and down the country, have been assessed throughout the season, and the results of which, have led to this promotion with only two referees - Mr Melin and Jim Tatton of Liverpool - making the grade.
The news has come on the back of an extremely busy period for Mr Melin, who made his first visit to the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, in April, to run the line in the LDV Vans Trophy final between Wigan and Carlisle.
From there, Mr Melin was then asked to officiate in two Nationwide Play-Off semi-finals where a trip to Sincil Bank, Lincoln for the first division three semi-final leg with Scunthorpe United was followed by a stint at Bramhall Lane, where he was linesman for Sheffield United's thrilling 5-3 second-leg victory over Nottingham Forest in the division one semi.
Those performances, coupled with many others in the middle for Conference matches this season, prompted panel chairman Philip Don to telephone Mr Melin earlier this week to deliver the good news.
Mr Melin said: "I'm absolutely delighted, this is where I wanted to be. It's taken me 12 years but it's all been worth it as I can look forward now to officiating at some of the top stadiums in the country in front of thousands of fans.
"I know it's every player's dream but it is every referee's dream also.
"I've had a really hard end of season with the two Play-Off involvements and I had no idea this was coming. So when Philip Don phoned me up it was a bolt from the blue, although the champagne tasted good, I'll tell you."
Mr Melin will now join the 39 other officials on list to assist the 21 Premier League referees on the panel - an accolade which will see him regularly take to the line for Premiership matches.
But the good news for his local clubs, Farnborough and Aldershot, is that Mr Melin will continue refereeing Conference matches and even into the Football League if instructed to do so.