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Sutton United appoint transgender former referee Lucy Clark as manager

 

Sutton United have appointed former referee,  Lucy Clark, as the new manager of their women's team, making her the highest-profile transgender appointment in English football. 

Clark previously became the first transgender referee in football, having officiated as high as the third tier of the women's game. 

 

The 51-year-old is now embarking on a new challenge in the dugout. 

 

'Proud and honoured to be given the opportunity to manage such a fantastic club. Hard work starts now,' Clark posted on X after the appointment was confirmed last week.

 

She arrives at the fifth-tier side as a UEFA B coaching licence holder. Her first game in charge ended in a 3-1 defeat at home by league leaders Fulham on Sunday.

 

Opening up on her experiences of officiating as a transgender referee, Clark told BBC Sport: '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 (now X) 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.'

 

Clark's appointment comes amid ongoing scrutiny for transgender women in football after a group of 48 MPs and 27 peers signed a letter in December urging the FA to change its rules over transgender inclusion to 'protect women and girls'. 

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