Referee Rebecca Welsh to make history at Harrogate Town match

HARROGATE TOWN'S EnviroVent Stadium will witness some English Football League history on Easter Monday with Rebecca Welch to become the first female referee appointed to take charge of an EFL game.

EnviroVent Stadium, home of Harrogate Town AFC. Picture: Tony Johnson.

Welch is to become the first female referee appointed to take charge of an EFL game. She is set to officiate in Harrogate's home game against Port Vale in League Two.

Washington-based Welsh has officiated seven National League games this season.

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Amy Fearn was the first woman to referee an EFL game as she came on as an injury replacement in the 2010 Championship game between Coventry City and Nottingham Forest.

But Welch is the first to be given a game from the off.

On the forthcoming historic accolade, the 37-year-old, who refereed the 2017 Women’s FA Cup final, told Sky Sports News: “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.”

“My dad is my biggest fan so pre-Covid he came to every single game, he was over the moon. My mum doesn’t know a lot about football so she is excited but I don’t think she knows why she is excited.

"They are really proud so that is really nice.”