World's first transgender referee hopes to inspire with donations to National Football Museum

  • Video report by ITV Granada's Sport Correspondent David Chisnall

As the world's first openly transgender referee Lucy Clark is a pioneer for both the transgender community and football.

Lucy took charge of her first match as an openly transgender referee in 2018. She's now donated the shirts and boots she wore in that game to the National Football Museum in Manchester in hope of inspiring others to be their true selves.

Lucy says: "It was an amazing day, something I will never forget.

"It was something that was built up and at one point I thought it would never happen.

"I was going to quit football because I didn't think football was going to accept me. But then I thought let's see what happens.

"It was amazing to go out and referee as my true self with my name on the programme. It was just an amazing experience.

"I'm really humbled and honoured that these items are on display, I think it's great for visibility for trans people."

National Football Museum CEO, Tim Desmond says: "Football is for all, and we passionately champion inclusion and diversity across the game.

"Through our Football Creates programme, our role as a museum is to share important and inspirational stories like Lucy’s.

"Thanks to her kind donation to the Football Heritage Collection, we can raise awareness of her powerful journey in football with our visitors and communities." 

Referee Lucy Clark with other football officials at a game Credit: Instagram @lucyclarkref

Lucy says football saved her life. She now referees in the Women's National League and at grassroots level in the men's game. While the majority of experiences have been positive, there have been a few occasions of a transphobic abuse.

She says: "I've had two incidences. One I let get to me. It was a bit silly and I should have dealt with that on the pitch and I didn't.

"The other was targeted transphobic abuse from the first minute to the last. But I've done hundreds of games and the positives have far outweighed the negatives."

Lucy Clark with her donated items at the National Football Museum Credit: ITV Granada

Lucy hopes by taking her place in the National Football Museum, she'll help other transgender people find their place in the world.

She says: "Being visible is a good thing and just shows that you can live your life and achieve your dreams. Just because you're transgender you shouldn't stop doing the things you love."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...