Rebecca Welch

The First Woman to Referee a Premier League match, an English Football League Match & Appointed to Officiate the the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup

  • The first woman to officiate a third-round men’s FA Cup match
  • Officiated at the 2020 FA Women’s Community Shield
  • Former Administrator with the NHS Business Services Authority

Rebecca Welch is a trailblazer in the world of football refereeing, known for her remarkable achievement as the first woman to officiate a Premier League match in 2023. Her journey in football began at a young age, influenced by her studies at the Durham County Football Association. Despite not becoming a full-time referee until 2019, Rebecca’s impact on the sport has been profound. In 2021, she made headlines by being appointed to referee an English Football League match, setting a precedent for women in sports. Her rise to prominence in the refereeing world serves as a beacon of inspiration, making her an ideal candidate as an inspirational football speaker for various events. Rebecca Welch’s story is not just about breaking barriers in sports but also about persistence, passion, and redefining success in traditionally male-dominated fields.

Prior to her ground-breaking career in football refereeing, Rebecca held a career as an administrator with the NHS Business Services Authority. Her refereeing journey began in 2010, and she continued to work at the NHS until 2019 when she became a full-time referee. Her first assignments included women’s university games and a Sunday League match, which tested her professionalism and knowledge of the sport. Her competence and authority quickly earned her respect in the industry, leading to her selection for prestigious games in the Women’s Super League, Women’s FA Cup, and the 2020 FA Women’s Community Shield. Since the 2018-19 season, she has also refereed several men’s National League Matches, showcasing her skill and inspiring women worldwide to pursue careers in sports.

Rebecca’s journey took a historic turn in 2021 when she became the first woman appointed to referee an English Football League game. This milestone was soon followed by another historic moment, as she was chosen to officiate a third-round men’s FA Cup match. Her crowning achievement came when she became the first woman to referee a match in the English Premier League, overseeing the game between Fulham and Burnley. These accomplishments are not just personal triumphs but are significant steps in challenging and changing the stereotypes entrenched in the sporting world. As a result, Rebecca Welch has emerged as a compelling motivational speaker, captivating audiences of various ages and backgrounds with her story of perseverance and breaking stereotypes.

Today, Rebecca Welch is a highly sought-after speaker for international engagements, inspiring people across the globe. Her journey is a testament to breaking boundaries and overcoming challenges in both personal and professional realms. Her insights and experiences resonate with a diverse audience, particularly those in industries where gender disparities are prominent. Rebecca’s narrative is especially powerful for encouraging female employees to aspire to top roles and for boosting team morale across different sectors. For anyone seeking to hire a leading female speaker who embodies determination, resilience, and ground-breaking achievements, Rebecca Welch is an unparalleled choice.

To enquire about Rebecca Welch for your event or corporate function, simply contact us via or call a booking agent on 0203 9158 282.