Rebecca Welch creates Premier League history at Craven Cottage - in pictures

Welch becomes first woman to referee a Premier League match as Burnley stun Fulham

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History was created on Saturday as Rebecca Welch became the first woman to referee a Premier League match - between Fulham and Burnley.

Burnley gave their fans an early Christmas present with just their third win of the Premier League season with a shock 2-0 victory over Fulham as Vincent Kompany's side moved off the bottom of the table.

Fulham dominated the first half but second-half goals from Wilson Odobert and Sander Berge saw Burnley move up to 19th with 11 points.

The win gave Burnley's survival hopes a boost while Fulham failed to move into the top half of the table, with Marco Silva's side dropping to 12th after a second straight loss.

But the match will be remembered for Welch's bow. She made her first big intervention at Craven Cottage when she showed a yellow card to Calvin Bassey late in the first half after the defender struck Josh Brownhill with his hand.

In 2021, she became the first woman appointed to referee a match in the Football League when she took charge of the fourth-tier fixture between Harrogate and Port Vale.

Last month, Welch became the first woman to act as fourth official in a Premier League game as part of the officiating team for Fulham's match against Manchester United. Last year, she also became the first woman to take charge of an FA Cup third-round tie.

It was an impressive debut for Welch, who ignored boos from the Fulham fans when she booked Bassey.

Updated: December 23, 2023, 6:29 PM