Sian Massey-Ellis has been awarded an MBE for services to football in the New Year’s Honours list.
Massey-Ellis is an assistant referee in the Premier League and English Football League and she has taken charge of a number of matches in The FA Women’s Super League.
She has also officiated in the finals of the UEFA Women’s European Championship and the UEFA Women’s Champions League as well as the 2014 FIFA Women’s U17 World Cup.
Massey-Ellis said: “I am thrilled to have been awarded an MBE. It was a complete shock.
“I want to thank everyone who has helped and guided me in my refereeing career to date.
“I love football and it is a privilege to officiate in Premier League and EFL matches, and to have refereed at all levels of the women’s game. I hope to continue refereeing for many years to come.
“On a personal level I am particularly pleased to see women’s football continuing to grow and develop and hope that my role in the game can inspire girls to play football, or get involved in the sport in other ways.
“I want to give a final thanks to my husband and my wider family. Without their support, particularly since the birth of my wonderful daughter Harriet, I could not have achieved any of this.”
David Elleray, chairman of The FA referees committee, added: “Sian's appointment to MBE is a fitting recognition of her role as The FA's leading female official and follows her appointment in recent years to the UEFA Euro and Champions League finals.
“On and off the field, Sian is a role model and inspiration for the country's many female officials, and especially the growing number of young referees who are joining The FA's pool of female referees.
“Her MBE will further motivate and inspire other referees and will hopefully encourage more women to take up the whistle.”