Non-league women side hire TRANSGENDER former referee as manager

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Non-league women side hire TRANSGENDER former referee as manager
Photo: @SuttonUtdWomen

New Sutton United women's boss Lucy Clark has made history as the first transgender woman to be appointed as a manager in the top five divisions of English women's football.

The 51-year-old previously made headlines as football's first transgender referee, having officiated as high as the third tier of women's football.

But Clark has now returned to her first love of management, joining a Sutton side fighting relegation in the London and South Regional Women's Premier Division.

Speaking about how her time as a referee could help her managerial career, she told BBC Sport:

The plan was just to do some refereeing to have a look at players before I got back into managing, but obviously the refereeing went well and I had some fabulous times.

And I think that has helped, I have refereed in the women's game for many years so I have seen many clubs and how they do things.

I set up TRUK [a trans-inclusive amateur football team], which got me back in the dressing room as a manager, and made me think it was time. I got the bug of being a manager again.

When the Sutton job came up I took a week to think, but I thought, this is just perfect. I put my application in, and thankfully I have been successful.

Clark returns to management at a time when the place of transgender women in women's football has come under intense scrutiny.

I transitioned while I was a referee, and people don't like referees. There is nothing anyone can say to me that I haven't heard or seen already from when I came out.

There's already been a few of the Twitter warriors who have said their piece, I let them crack on. I've been known as the trans referee, and that's gone fine.

Sometimes the words can get to you, but I'm thick skinned - I hit the block button and get on with it.

I'm prepared to deal with it [abuse] should it happen, so we crack on. I'm not going to stop doing something I love because of who I am.

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