EXCLUSIVE: On the lash with Perry Groves and Dermot Gallagher

A sentence I thought I would never write: Dermot Gallagher, the former top-flight referee, is a brilliant bloke. Pisshead. Funnyman. Raconteur. Fanny magnet. The lot.
How do I know? Well, I went to a sports dinner last night at which both he and Perry Groves were speaking. Pezza? well, you kind of expect him to be a raucous, hard-drinking type with tales of drunken antics under the hardline manager that was George Graham.
And of course that was what we got. But I would never have expected Gallagher to be such an animal! And he HATES Manchester United and says Highbury was his favourite ground at which to officiate. “If there is one ground I fucking hated going to it was Old Trafford to ref fucking Manchester United,” he said. “I loved Arsenal. Highbury was steeped in tradition from the bust of Herbert Chapman onwards. Loved it.”
Gallagher, stick thin and polished bald pate, necked Kronenburg all night and once the bash was over he went clubbing with Pezza and some pals of mine, danced with some trollops, left the club at 3.30am and was so hammered the hotel in which he was due to stay refused him entry at 4am! Like me, you are probably thinking he should have been a player in the Graham era although he would have probably drank TA, Merse and Bouldy under the table in the Tuesday Club outings.
A few Tottenham pals attended and were barracked all night and when one gave Pezza some stick he replied: “Fuck me, we ain’t heard from them for 25 years and now we’ve got chippy ***s giving it the big one!”
So we have Fulham tomorrow in the last game of the season and it seems Gael Clichy could be available as we strive for the vital point or points to secure third spot in the table and thus avoid Champions League play-offs. The nightmare scenario, of course, is that we lose and T******** beat Burnley and they go above us and we have to play the qualifiers. Other team news is that Robin van Persie and Andrey Arshavin should start but Tomas Rosicky (ankle), Alex Song (knee) and Nicklas Bendtner (groin) are still out.
I’ve got a spare ticket and I might even give old Dermot G a bell…

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know