Darren England will become the first man from Barnsley to be a linesman in the FA Cup final tomorrow before he hangs up his flag and turns to refereeing.

The 29-year-old, who was brought up in Little Houghton and now lives in Broomhill, near Wombwell, has been running the line in the Premier League for several seasons after working his way up from amateur football in Barnsley. He says being selected for the cup final – at Wembley between Arsenal and Aston Villa – will be the highlight of his career which has also included the European Under 19s Championship final, the UEFA Super Cup and the Community Shield.

"I would never have dreamed of the FA Cup final when I started out doing the Barnsley Sunday League and over 35 football in the Wragg League," said England, who recently ran the line for Steven Gerrard's final game at Anfield.

"The FA Cup final would be the highlight of anyone's career, either as a player or an official. It's an honour. I have been told that the only Barnsley men who have refereed the final are Steve Lodge and Arthur Holland but there is no record of a linesman from Barnsley."

England is regularly involved in Champions League games and was preparing to share a touchline with Pep Guardiola in Bayern Munich's home quarter-final with Porto last month when he got a crucial phone call.

He said: "I was on the bus from Munich Airport to the hotel with all the other officials for that game when I got a call to tell me I had been selected for the FA Cup final.

"I had to keep it confidential until the FA published it so I had to give no reaction even though it was the biggest moment of my career.  I managed to keep my cool until I was in my room then I screamed a bit and phoned my wife and my dad."

After tomorrow's final, England will run the line for the final time in an international friendly between Norway and Sweden before moving on to refereeing, which he has been doing at Conference level. He will begin next season in the Football League with the hope of making his way up to the top flight.

The main factors in his decision to swap the flag for the whistle were the opportunity to bow out in the FA Cup final as well as the chance to spend more time with his wife and eight-month-old daughter and the news that Champion-ship referees may be professional in the near future.

"I will miss being involved in Premier League and international and European games but the aim is to be back there as a referee one day. It's short-term sacrifice for long-term reward. Being involved in the big games as a referee would be even better than running the line in them."

England used to be a coach in the Oakwell academy and worked with the likes of John Stones and Mason Holgate. He then worked for the Barnsley FC Community Trust, promoting the National Citizens Service for teenagers, and has now moved on to do the same thing across the country for the Football League Trust.