Wednesday 17 October 2018

This four-year-old girl’s response to seeing a female referee for the first time will melt your heart

Clara’s touching remark shines a light on why representation matters in sport.

Clara Walker.
Clara Walker.

By PA Reporters

Female role models at county-level football are hard to come by – and a father’s tweet about his four-year-old daughter wanting to be a referee has melted the hearts of many soccer fans.

Nuneaton Town fan Nathan Walker, who lives in West Yorkshire, took daughter Clara and nine-month-old son Rufus to an NCEL Premier Division match on October 14 to watch Garforth Town play against Hall Road Rangers when Clara spotted a female assistant referee.

Delighted by her presence, she asked her father: “Her hair is like mine, can I be a referee?”

Clara, who was referring to Melissa Burgin – a 19-year-old Level Four Sheffield and Hallamshire County referee, has been to a lot of non-league football matches with her father but this was the first time she spotted a female official.

“She normally says the referees are her favourites as black is her favourite colour,” said Nathan.

“She had a great day, she loves going to the football, mainly because she gets chips, but she had to make do with a sausage sandwich as Garforth don’t do chips.”

The tweet, which has garnered more than 5,000 likes since it was posted, struck a chord among Twitter users, with one user saying, “this has warmed my heart” while another adding: “Thank you for sharing… representation is truly important!”

Nathan says they will be back for more football action next week, weather permitting.

The world needs more inspirational youngsters like Clara.

Press Association

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