Rebecca Welch will make history when she becomes the first referee to officiate an EFL game over 90 mins, taking charge of Harrogate vs Port Vale on Easter Monday.
The 37-year-old refereed the Women’s FA Cup final in 2017 and has taken charge of seven National League games this season, but will break another of football’s glass ceilings by officiating a full game in the football league.
Speaking to Sky Sports News about the history-making moment, Welch said:
“I am still kind of trying to let it sink in at the minute. I got the news on Saturday and still haven’t come back down to earth. It’s very exciting, it is really good for me and the next steps of my career. I am very fortunate to be given this opportunity and really excited.”
Amy Fearn was the first woman to referee an EFL game when she came on as an injury replacement for a game between Coventry and Nottingham Forest in 2010, but Welch is the first female referee to be appointed from the start of a game.
For football to be a fair and equal space, we need to see representation at every level of the game: on the pitch, in the stands, in board rooms.
This is another welcome step forward for true inclusivity in football.