Maguiresbridge woman Louise Thompson was always mad about football.
But when a serious knee injury ended her career with Fermanagh Mallards the 31 year old turned in a different direction and took up refereeing.
Now she is the IFA’s first-ever female FIFA referee having been selected for the 2020 FIFA list.
It’s not the first time she has made the history books having refereed an Irish Cup fifth round tie between Newry City and Bangor with her all female team, a first in the competition’s 139 year history.
She was due to take up her first FIFA appointment earlier this year but Covid-19 put paid to that but she is looking forward to he her first game at that level.
Less than three years ago, the Maguiresbridge woman was playing for Fermanagh Mallards, getting to third place in the Women’s Premiership before a serious knee injury ended her career.
Now 31-year-old Thompson is the IFA’s first-ever female FIFA referee having been selected for the 2020 FIFA list.
The modest whistleblower is no stranger to creating history, at the start of the year she led an all female team to officiate at the Irish Cup fifth round tie between Newry City and Bangor – the first time in the blue riband competition’s 139-year history.
Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has meant Louise has already missed out on her first FIFA tournament appointment, however, she remains focused on her fitness and remains hopeful that she will get further FIFA appointments once the sport returns to normallater this year.
A recruitment drive for female referees by the IFA caught Thompson’s eye, setting her on her current journey.