Rebecca Welch first woman to be appointed referee for a men’s Championship game

Rebecca Welch will become the first woman appointed to referee a men’s Championship match when she takes charge of Birmingham versus Preston on Saturday.

Welch, 39, from Washington in Tyne and Wear, already holds the honour of being the first woman to be appointed to referee an English Football League match.

She led the team of officials for the League Two match between Harrogate and Port Vale in April 2021.

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Amy Fearn became the first female referee in the EFL in 2010, when she stepped in as an injury replacement for the final 20 minutes of a second-tier match between Coventry and Nottingham Forest.

Last year, Welch became the first woman to referee an FA Cup third-round tie, also at Birmingham, as Blues lost 1-0 to Plymouth on January 8.