Among the trailblazers who shattered stereotypes and paved the way for future generations stands Amy Fearn, the first woman to officiate a Football League match.

Her journey began as she honed her skills and expertise on the sidelines, defying expectations and earning recognition for her aptitude and knowledge of the game. She was the second woman to serve as an assistant referee, following in the footsteps of Wendy Toms.

On 9 February 2010, with Coventry City v Nottingham Forest heading into the final twenty minutes, referee Tony Bates pulled up with a calf strain. Fearn was the senior assistant that day: in stepping up to deputise, she became the first woman to take charge of a Football League match as referee.

Three years later, Amy became the first woman to be appointed as referee for the main FA Cup draw, taking charge of a First Round clash between Corby and Dover. She went on to referee two Women’s FA Cup finals: first in 2004, then again in 2015.

Amy has more recently refereed in the Women’s Super League, and was awarded an MBE for her services to the sport in 2023.