We spoke with Lucy Clark who stars in the new football film Fanatical, which has its World Premiere on September 5th at the Troxy in London. To buy premiere tickets, click here. Fanatical will also be available in cinemas, in-store and on digital platforms from Friday, September 6th, 2019.
What was it like being interviewed by Dapper Laughs about being the first-ever transgender referee in the film Fanatical?
It was fab. Dapper apart from being very funny is a really nice guy. I could talk about football and refereeing all day so I was in my element!.
What advice would you give to anyone in the sporting industry who is worried/scared to open up about their sexuality?
Coming out to the world when you are part of the LGBT community is daunting and I was so nervous but the welcome and support from everyone had been mind blowing. I think if anyone takes the step they will be amazed at the love and support they will receive and not only that they will help others in the community so one day it won't be a “thing” anymore.
What was the most difficult part of transitioning?
Telling people I love was the hardest part as I didn’t know what reaction I was going to get. It was without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever done and despite lots of tears (mainly mine), the love and support has been amazing. I would not say any part of my transition has been easy, but it has allowed me to finally be the true me and that has been amazing.
We admire how strong and confident you are; if there is one thing you have learnt on your journey what would it be?
Thank you, that means a lot. The one thing I have learnt is that people are accepting and will still love you whoever you are. If someone loves you they will still love you and if someone is a true friend they will still be a true friend. In fact being true to myself has probably made me closer to lots of people.
Football can be seen as a male-dominated industry, is this hard for you when you referee?
I thought it would but everyone had been amazing. Once I walk out into the pitch and the game starts I am just the ref... nothing has changed which is how it should be. Everyone has been really respectful and treated me exactly the same as they did before and fellow officials have been great.
In the film Fanatical, Dapper Laughs takes on a critical challenge to see if he can become the ultimate football fan, even though the top ‘lad’ has never liked football in his life! Do you think he, and we, will become a football fan after this?
I hope so.. football is a great sport in so many ways and I would like to think that the film will make some people football fans. If it doesn’t then they do not know what they are missing!
What do you love about your job and why?
As an ex-player and manager I have seen football from all angles; refereeing is a really important job as lots of people are relying on you to get decisions correct. I love the involvement and the second I get the appointment I am looking forward to the game: the build up, tension and excitement and then going and doing the job, is what makes football and refereeing amazing. The banter with fellow officials and players and of course coming off the pitch knowing you have done a good job is satisfying. If I get a big decision wrong it will be on my mind for months!
Finally, if you could referee for your dream football team, who would it be and why?
Wow... erm that’s a tricky one as there are lots of teams I would love to referee. Can I be greedy and pick a few? Barcelona, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool... all massive teams with lots of history. I would love to referee anyone at Wembley, the home of football. Realistically I’m hoping to referee at Jersey this season, but I am happy refereeing anywhere to be honest, even down the local park as they need referees too.
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