Lorraine is a trailblazer for female referees in Scotland

Lorraine Watson lectures a Berwick player during her debut in the senior men's game. Pic: Alistair Linford
Lorraine Watson lectures a Berwick player during her debut in the senior men's game. Pic: Alistair Linford

A Thornton woman has made history by becoming the first female to referee a senior men’s match in Scotland.

Lorraine Watson, nee Clark, was in charge of Edinburgh City’s 1-0 win over Berwick Rangers a week past Saturday in SPFL League Two.

And she hopes her progression through the juvenile, amateur and junior ranks into the senior set-up will inspire young female referees.

“The more it happens, the more normal it will become,” said the 32-year-old building surveyor.

“The more people see it, the more chance we have of young ones coming through and maybe aiming that bit higher than they ever had before.”

Watson says the players at Ainslie Park did not make an issue of her debut.

“It was brilliant,” she added. “There was absolutely no reaction, they just treated me the same as they would any other referee.

“As a referee, it doesn’t matter if you’re male, female or any other difference in you, if the teams and supporters aren’t happy with your decisions, they will pick up on something – and unfortunately if you happen to be a female, that’s generally what they pick up on first – and they’ll make comments regarding that.

“But it all goes back to the decisions made on the field. If you’re there and have a good game, you’re going to get minimum dissent, just the same as any male would.”

Lorraine has previously officiated at the Women’s Under-19 European Championships and was a fourth official at the Women’s Euro 2017 in the Netherlands this summer. She has also taken charge of games in the Women’s Champions League.

Lorraine is currently bidding to attain full Scottish FA category one status which would allow her to referee matches as high as the Scottish Premiership.