Football-mad Daisy Goldsmith celebrated her 14th birthday by becoming Britain’s – YOUNGEST REFEREE.
Soccer-mad Daisy passed the Football Association exams last December but could not officially referee a match until she turned 14.
She made her debut by awarding a penalty AGAINST her classmates at Chilton Trinity Technology College.
Watford-fan Daisy, of Bridgwater, Somerset, undertook a two week accredited training course for a total of 16 hours to qualify to take charge of under 11 football matches.
She passed a multiple choice exam before taking a practical test, which involves analysing a match on DVD.
Daisy, who plays for local juniors club Bishop’s Lydeard, near Taunton, Somerset, said: ”I got into football when I was ten and moved from an all-girls school to a primary.
”Then I decided to take up refereeing because I thought it would develop my all-round mentality towards the game and make me a better player.
”My friends are fine with it because they know I am sporty. In fact some are proud of me.”
Daisy is one of 25,502 officially qualified referees in the country – of which only only 407 are female.
She took her exams in early December with Bishop’s Lydeard team-mate Sarah Brown, 14, who she plays alongside in the Saturday league.
Football Association rules mean referees can only officially qualify aged 14 and Daisy obtained the required 75 per cent in all of her exams.
Daisy was officially rewarded with her level nine trainee referee award when she turned 14 on Wednesday and is now entitled to take charge of youth matches.
She must referee six matches before she is fully accredited – when she will be paid #5 a game.
A referee can only take charge of an adult match aged 16 and must undertake dozens more exams.
Her mum Fiona, a farmer from Bridgwater, Somerset, said: ”We’re all really into football and Daisy’s always been football mad.
”She’s very much of the Bill Shankly ilk, who famously said: ‘Football is not just a matter of life and death: it’s much more important than that’.
”It means the world to her, but going to a Watford game with her is a nightmare.
”If people start getting on the ref’s back she corrects them and calmly explains why the striker was offside.
”We’re really proud of her and I’m sure she’ll continue her referee training.”
Keith Buller, referee development officer for the Somerset Football Association, oversaw Daisy’s training – and praised her ”bubbly and enthusiastic” attitude.
He said: ”It was quite unusual to have female referees until about a year ago when we pushed female only classes.
”Daisy’s uncle is a referee and she became interested through him, asking him to test her on all the laws.
”She is so bubbly and enthusiastic when it comes to football – I wish everyone had the same attitude as her.”