Skip to content

Rebecca Welch is first woman referee to take charge of a men's FA Cup third-round tie

Welch took charge of Birmingham vs Plymouth in FA Cup third round on Saturday; she was appointed to UEFA's elite female list of referees last year

Rebecca Welch
Image: Rebecca Welch took charge of Birmingham's FA-Cup third-round tie with Plymouth

Rebecca Welch became the first woman referee to take charge of a men's FA Cup third-round tie on Saturday when she took charge of Plymouth's 1-0 win against Birmingham.

The League One club knocked out the Championship side thanks to substitute Ryan Law's extra-time winner. Lee Bowyer's side finished the game with 10 men after George Friend was sent off for picking up two yellow cards in the second half.

Welch is no stranger to making history as last year she became the first female referee to be appointed to an English Football League match earlier this year.

The 38-year-old has refereed men's matches in the National League plus elite women's games including the 2017 FA Cup final.

In April, she took charge of Harrogate's 2-0 Sky Bet League Two defeat at home to Port Vale and in the summer, she was appointed to the EFL's National Group list for the men's professional game.

Rebecca Welch speaks to Birmingham and Plymouth players during the FA Cup tie
Image: Welch speaks to Birmingham and Plymouth players during the FA Cup tie

Welch became a qualified referee in 2010 and continued her day job as an administrator in the NHS until two years' ago.

The official, who hails from Tyne and Wear, has also overseen games in the Women's Super League and the 2020 women's Community Shield.

Also See:

Sian Massey-Ellis discusses VAR, online hate and inspiring next generation
Sian Massey-Ellis discusses VAR, online hate and inspiring next generation

Sian Massey-Ellis talks about the benefits of VAR, dealing with mistakes, being a trailblazer for women in sport, the incident with Sergio Aguero and tackling online hate.

In December 2020, she was added to UEFA's elite women's list, joining other female football officials to referee at international games, including Stephanie Frappart of France.

Amy Fearn was the first woman to referee a game in the main draw of the FA Cup when she oversaw Dover beating Corby in the first round in 2013.

Win ยฃ250,000 with Super 6!
Win ยฃ250,000 with Super 6!

Another Saturday, another chance to win ยฃ250,000 with Super 6. Play for free, entries by 3pm.

Around Sky