Football's first ever transgender referee is going to officiate her first game today.
Lucy Clark, 46, has been refereeing men's semi-professional amateur games for years under her former name Nick.
She regularly officiated at 100 games a year in leagues including the Combined Counties, the Isthmian and the National Under 19.
But Lucy, who works as a black cab driver, has decided to live as a woman following a 30-year gender struggle which pushed her to the brink of suicide.
Under her new identity, Lucy, who is married and with three children, will initially officiate women's matches but she hopes to move back into the men's game.
Speaking to Janine Yaqoob for the Sunday Mirror, Lucy, who lives in Surrey, admitted she was nervous about how fans might react to her during the game.
She said: 'I hope the world accepts me for the person I am.
'I have kept this secret hidden away most of my life. Now is the time to be ME.
'I'm preparing myself for the derogatory comments. I don't want to lose my control and I don't want to be putting complaints into clubs about the behaviour of their fans.'
Instead, Lucy says she wants to 'inspire others to be who they are'. Her brave decision has received full backing from the Football Association.
It said in a statement: 'The FA fully supports Lucy and anyone else who wants to participate in football in their preferred gender.
'Football is For All and in 2014 The FA announced a policy, as well as an information guide distributed to all clubs, to encourage trans people to participate in football.'
One drunken night 18 years ago, Lucy told her wife Avril, that she was a woman trapped in a man's body and her wife has stood by her ever since.
The pair say they are happily married and share make-up tips, enjoy clothes shopping together and believe they have a bright future.
Lucy hopes that by talking more about the transgender issue it will inspire other people too.
While her identity as a woman has not been revealed publicly until now, she has been quietly a part of the transgender community for 18 years and launched Trans Radio which broadcasts to more than 39 countries.
Lucy believes she is probably not going to be make it as a Premiere League referee but would like to officiate at a higher level.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.