Rebecca Welch to make history as the first EVER woman to referee a Football League game from the start
Rebecca Welch makes history as the first EVER woman to referee a Football League game from the start when she takes charge of Harrogate vs Port Vale in League Two … and predicts the Premier League will be female officials in 10-15 years. will see
- Rebecca Welch will be the first woman to referee a men’s soccer game
- She will take charge of Harrogate Town v Port Value in League on Easter Monday
- Welch believes the Premeir League could see female referees in 10 to 15 years
- The 37-year-old is the highest-ranking female official in English football
Rebecca Welch will become the first woman to be an EFL match referee when she takes charge of Harrogate’s League Two match with Port Vale on Monday.
The 37-year-old from Washington, Tyne and Wear, has been active in the National League for the past three seasons, refereeing the Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley.
But Welch is now the first woman to take charge of a game in England’s top four, with Amy Fearn whistleblowing a championship game in 2010 – but replacing injuries for the last 15 minutes.
Rebecca Welch is the first female referee to be appointed to a men’s soccer game
“I got the news on Saturday and still haven’t returned to Earth,” Welch admitted. ‘I’m lucky to have gotten this opportunity.
“ I have always said in all my promotions that I want to be hired because I am in the top 10 match officials on that list.
‘I think it’s important to show that women who are in the top 1 percent of their category can move on to the next level.
It certainly makes others look up in the pyramid and know they can achieve the same.
‘If it’s not me, I have no doubt that we will see a female referee in the Premier League for the next 10 to 15 years.
The official will take charge of Harrogate Town v Port Vale in League Two on Easter Monday
‘We’ll get out of the way on Monday. I try not to focus too much on the future, I always play one game at a time. My next promotion with men would be the Football League.
‘If I finish in the top one or two percent at the end of the season, I put myself in a position to be selected. I have to keep performing, getting those grades, to get those rewards. ‘
The 37-year-old has been selected following an ongoing review of her performance this season, with referees Mike Riley and Mike Jones approving her nomination.
She was a regular in the National League and Women’s Super League, taking charge of the Women’s FA Cup final in November.
Hailing from Washington in Tyne and Wear, the official started as a referee 11 years ago and said she never expected to progress so quickly.
Welch believes the Premier League could see female referees in the next 10 to 15 years
Her appointment follows the historic steps taken by Stephanie Frappart and Kateryna Monzul, both of whom were the men’s first qualifiers last weekend.
Welch thinks it is realistic to expect female referees in the Premier League in the next ten years.
Assistant referee Sian Massey-Ellis has been a fixture in the top flight since her first appearance in 2010.