|Full name||Amy Elizabeth Fearn|
|Born||20 November 1977|
|2005–||Football League||Assistant Referee|
Amy Elizabeth Fearn (néeRayner; born 20 November 1977) is an English football referee from Loughborough, Leicestershire, who in 2010 became the first woman to referee in The Football League.With a degree in economics and a full-time career in accountancy, having also refereed football since age 14, she became only the second woman after Wendy Toms to rise to the position of assistant referee in English professional football. On 9 February 2010 she became the first woman to act as the main referee in a Football League match.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.
In association football, the referee is the person responsible for enforcing the Laws of the Game during the course of a match. He or she is the final decision-making authority on all facts connected with play, and is the only official on the pitch with the authority to start and stop play and impose disciplinary action against players during a match. At most levels of play the referee is assisted by two assistant referees, who are empowered to advise the referee in certain situations such as the ball leaving play or infringements of the Laws of the Game occurring out of the view of the referee; however, the assistant referees' decisions are not binding and the referee has authority to overrule an assistant referee. At higher levels of play the referee may also be assisted by a fourth official who supervises the teams' technical areas and assists the referee with administrative tasks, and, at the very highest levels, additional assistant referees and/or video assistant referees.
She grew up in Staffordshire, where, as a girl, she expressed a desire to play football with her brother.However, she grew frustrated at the lack of opportunities to play because no girls' football facilities were available at the time. When she was 13, her father went on a course to gain a qualification as a referee, something which inspired Rayner to do the same. She qualified just after her 14th birthday. Being under 16 meant she could only referee those at under 12 level, something which she did for two years. When she became 16, the restriction was lifted, and she began refereeing in the Midland Football Alliance before being promoted to the Football Conference, aged 26. Around this time, she was given responsibilities as an assistant referee, also being appointed to the FIFA assistants' list in 2005. She balances her football officiating duties with a full-time job as a Management Accountant for Santander in Leicester. In 2006, aged 28, she expressed a desire to move up to the Football League.
Staffordshire is a landlocked county in the West Midlands of England. It borders with Cheshire to the northwest, Derbyshire and Leicestershire to the east, Warwickshire to the southeast, West Midlands and Worcestershire to the south, and Shropshire to the west.
The Midland Football Alliance was an English association football league for semi-professional teams. It covered Leicestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire and also southern parts of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. The league consisted of a single division which sat at Step 5 of the National League System, or the ninth level of the overall English football league system.
In association football, an assistant referee is an official empowered with assisting the referee in enforcing the Laws of the Game during a match. Although assistants are not required under the Laws, at most organised levels of football the match officiating crew consists of the referee and at least two assistant referees. The responsibilities of the various assistant referees are listed in Law 6, "The Other Match Officials". In the current Laws the term "assistant referee" technically refers only to the two officials who generally patrol the touchlines, with the wider range of assistants to the referee given other titles.
On 9 February 2010 Fearn became the first woman to take full control of a Football League match as the match referee. The original referee Tony Bates suffered a calf strain, and Fearn, as senior assistant on the day took over for the last 20 minutes of Coventry's 1-0 Championship win over Nottingham Forest at the Ricoh Arena.
Anthony J. "Tony" Bates is the former CEO of Growth at Social Capital. Previously, he held a number of technology based business roles including the former president of GoPro, and the former executive vice president of Microsoft responsible for business development, strategy and evangelism and former CEO of Skype.
The Ricoh Arena in Coventry, England, is a complex which includes a 32,609-seater stadium, used by Wasps rugby union and Coventry City football clubs, a 6,000 square metres (65,000 sq ft) exhibition hall, a hotel and a casino. The site is also home to Arena Park Shopping Centre, containing one of UK's largest Tesco Extra hypermarkets. Built on the site of the Foleshill gasworks, it is named after its sponsor, Japanese company Ricoh, which paid £10 million for the naming rights over 10 years. For the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, where stadium naming sponsorship was forbidden, the stadium was known as the City of Coventry Stadium.
In 2013, she became the first woman to referee an FA Cup Game in the Main Draw
In November 2006, Luton Town manager Mike Newell made controversial comments about Rayner, who was the assistant in their game against Queens Park Rangers, which Luton lost 3–2.Angry with the official's decision not to award Luton a penalty, Newell said "She shouldn't be here. I know that sounds sexist but I am sexist. This is not park football, so what are women doing here?". The FA promised to investigate, with Neale Barry saying "English football needs more Amy Rayners". Newell later apologised, saying, "My apology to Amy Rayner, and to anyone I've offended, is unreserved. I was out of order and she has accepted it". Newell was fined a total of £6,500 and given a warning by his club.
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