History was made in the Cape Town Tygerberg LFA senior cup final when the first-ever woman referee took charge of a premier league knockout cup final. Sherne Putter oversaw a great game between Rygersdal and Durbanville on the Green Point pitch.Women referees are almost non-existent at the highest level of amateur and professional level of soccer and exceedingly scarce at local and national level.John Ross, chairperson of the Cape Town Tygerberg referees association (CTTRA), echoes the sentiments of many legendary referees that she is “in the mould of the great Trevor Christians”.“This year, the CTTRA selection panel awarded the senior premier cup final to Putter. This is the first time in the history of the association and the old WPFA that a woman took charge of the elite final.“The performance of Putter and her team was exceptional, with no controversy or disputed decisions,” says Ross.This triggered a memory of the heyday of “celebrity referees” like Christians, Malcolm Jacobs, Ronnie Johnson and Jerome Damon who used to – in animated fashion – steal the spotlight on the field of several years ago.Noeleen Daniels was the first woman to officiate the super league knockout cup men’s final of the Cape District LFA (in 2009).Putter joined the CTTRA in 1999. She started in the junior leagues under the mentorship of the late Robert Wouterse and quickly rose to the men’s divisions, refereeing in the extremely hostile veteran divisions.Putter passed all the Safa Cape Town referee examinations up to level 5 and in 2008 she passed her Safa national level 6 exam with a distinction of 93%.From 2002 to 2005 she officiated in the men’s Safa Cape Town Castle league and was well respected by all clubs. When the professional women’s league was formed, she was overlooked, not forgetting that soccer politics played its part in her being sidelined.“I was quite speechless at the time. I felt disbelief. It was simply a roller-coaster ride of emotions,” says Putter.“It has always been my dream to be officiating in a men’s cup final as a referee. That this dream is now accomplished naturally fills me with joy.”She then turned her focus to the LFA level and in no time was officiating regularly in the CTTRA premier division.In 2003, Putter was elected as treasurer of the CTTRA and still holds this position today. She was also the referee mentor to the now PSL referee Joshua Janse van Rensburg when he started out as a 12-year-old referee.Putter, who is a Lieutenant-Colonel of the South African Military Health Services in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), served as the national chairperson of the SAMHS soccer division during the mid 2000s and held yearly national tournaments. In 2002 she was awarded the SANDF SAMHS Sports Administrator of the Year Award.She also officiated in several SANDF national soccer tournaments and has won many awards at the CTTRA, including Administrator of the Year and Chairperson’s Award several times. Putter still helps with referees’ coaching as well.