Gerry Jones (1928 – 2020)
The Northern Premier League have this afternoon confirmed the passing of one of its vice presidents and former Lancashire referee Gerry Jones. He sadly passed away this morning at the age of ninety-two after being admitted to hospital with coronavirus. Mr Jones had recently spent time in a nursing home battling Alzheimer’s.
A proud Lancastrian, he joined the Lancaster & Morecambe Referees’ Society in 1951 and obtained his class one refereeing certificate in 1956, reaching the Football League in 1967 many honours came his way, including practically every Lancashire County Cup Final. He officiated a European Cup Winners Cup match between Bayern Munich & Vitoria Sebutal in 1967 and in the same season was in charge for an U23 International between Scotland and Wales.
On his Facebook page it proudly carried a photo of him refereeing a Football League game between Hull City and Leicester City in 1970. Off the field of play, he became the referees appointments secretary of the Northern Premier League and the West Lancashire League. Before being appointed Referees Assessor with The Football League in 1980.
Recognition of his services to the game started back in the 1980s, when he was awarded the Referees’ Association long and meritorious service award. Gerry received the 2017 Northern Premier League Merit Award for services to the league at the annual dinner presentation in Blackpool. He had ended that season by presenting the winner’s medals and trophy to NPL Division One North play-off winners Farsley Celtic following their 4-2 win over Ossett Town.
Later that year, he celebrated his 90th birthday with a party at Lancaster House Hotel, joined by many colleagues from the refereeing fraternity and representatives from the Football Association, the NPL and Lancaster City.