Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher will make a special appearance at Oxford United in the Community’s Manor Club for the Over 50s to reflect on his officiating career.
The 64-year-old Irish-born official, who lives locally in Banbury, will take to the stage at Cowley Workers Social Club from midday on Wednesday, April 6, in the company of event host Roger Hiscock.
Gallagher was a Premier League official from 1992 until 2007 after first taking up the role in 1978 while in his early 20s. He progressed through the Football League before taking charge of his first top-flight fixture in the Premier League’s inaugural season when Tottenham Hotspur hosted Coventry City.
Other career highlights include the 1995 FA Charity Shield fixture at Wembley between Everton and Blackburn and the 1996 FA Cup Final between Liverpool and Manchester United, a game United won 1-0 after Eric Cantona’s strike. He took charge of his last Premier League match on May 13, 2007, when Charlton’s visit to Liverpool ended in a 2-2 draw.
Now, Gallagher will reflect on his matchday memories and discuss the modern-day game as part of Oxford United in the Community’s final Manor Club for the Over 50s.
“It’s every child’s dream to play in the Premier League,” said Gallagher. “And while I didn’t quite make it on the pitch as a player, I believe I achieved the next best thing.
“Football has granted me memories which will last a lifetime. Stepping out onto the Wembley turf in front of 79,000 plus supporters with footballing greats Peter Schmeichel, David Beckham, Roy Keane and Eric Cantona among others – it just doesn’t get better.
“Being a referee is one of the toughest roles in sport. It requires extraordinary levels of concentration and you’re under constant scrutiny from the many thousands of people watching the game.
“You could say there is less pressure on modern-day referees with the introduction of video technology, but even replays are open to interpretation as we’ve seen. I’m looking forward to discussing this and more at next month’s Manor Club and hope to see as many Oxford United fans where possible.”
April’s Manor Club will be Oxford United in the Community’s final instalment of this season’s series with the monthly social event set to return in September at the beginning of the 2022/23 season.
Chris Lowes, Head of the Charity, thanked those who have supported the Manor Club since it returned to its physical format in November with guests including Milk Cup winning goalkeeper Alan Judge, Wembley hero Alfie Potter and Eddie Odhiambo.
He added: “We’d like to thank Dermot for taking time out of his schedule to be our final guest this season and look forward to hearing his stories and memories of being at the heart of the Premier League for 15 years.
“The Manor Club is a weekday social hub for our club’s older supporters and is a fantastic way for people to engage with likeminded individuals. Tickets are on sale now and we look forward to welcoming everyone on the day.”
Tickets for Dermot’s guest appearance at the Manor Club will be on sale via the Oxford United ticket office until midday on Monday, April 4. Alternatively, fans can buy tickets from the ticket office windows, call 01865 337533 or visit Tickets – Oxford United (oufc.co.uk).
Tickets include lunch which will be served from 12.30pm.
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