Pre-Season starts this Saturday 2nd July
Ahead of the Pre-Season opener this coming Saturday (2nd July, ko 3pm) when LANCASTER CITY visit the JMO, the media team at Skem caught up with the Club’s new Chairman Gordon Johnson to find out a little bit more about the new man in charge.
Welcome to the New Chairman here at Skelmersdale United, many of you will have seen him down at the club in the last few seasons, or as he reminds us, out in the middle, referring one of our games a few years ago.
Can you tell me a bit about your up bringing?
I was born and brought up in Southport, attended Christ the King RC High School, had a couple of years boarding at St Joseph’s College Upholland where I sat my O level exams before returning to Christ the King to complete my A Levels.
Joined Greater Manchester Police aged 19 in 1983 and initially posted to Manchester but latterly Wigan where I completed 16 of my 30 years police service before retiring from the force in 2013.
I then went to work for Liverpool County FA initially in the referees department before taking on the role of Designated Safeguarding Officer, a role that I left in February 2021. I now work for Southport & Ormskirk NHS Trust based at Ormskirk Hospital as a member of the porters & logistics team.
You joined the referees panel, how did that come about?
I used to coach a junior football team for Ormskirk West End FC and due to frustration at some decisions I saw from referees I was challenged to try in myself!! I qualified as a referee in 1990 and found that I actually enjoyed the role progressing through the various leagues and ultimately onto the Football League list of Assistant Referees, from which I retired in 2013.
Any interesting games that you can recall?
Where to begin with this one!!! Well, I’ve had to suspend play in a NW Counties League game at AFC Blackpool to allow an air ambulance to land on the field of play to collect a player who had sustained a neck injury during the game.
I was appointed to two Northern Premier League play off finals in consecutive years one between Lancaster City & Colwyn Bay and the following year at Colwyn Bay when they played FC United of Manchester.
In 2010 I referred the LCFA Senior Cup Final between Tranmere Rovers & Everton, a game in which I awarded 3 penalties and in which Tranmere scored the winning goal literally with the last kick of the game. Suffice to say there followed an interesting exchange with the then Everton manager, David Moyes, in the players tunnel as we left the field of play!!!
You have spent some time at Ashton Town, what were your roles at the club?
I joined Ashton Town five years ago (2017) as their club welfare officer initially to help them out as their previous welfare officer left at short notice just as affiliation for the new 2017/18 season was due.
I had previously helped out the Ashton Chairman, Mark Hayes, on the ‘Josephs Goal’ Charity football games and as a favour to Mark I stepped into the CWO role. I subsequently became more heavily involved in the club behind the scenes and became Club Vice Chairman a couple of years later. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Ashton Town assisting Mark in promoting and running the club so when Mark notified, he was leaving the club a few months ago I felt that it was the right time for me to do so too.
What are your connections with Skem Utd?
Being an active Referee in the semi-professional game from 1994 onwards and living near to Skelmersdale in Ormskirk, I was regularly called upon by the club when pitch inspections were required at White Moss Park and latterly Stormy Corner. I also assisted the club in securing match officials for pre-season and friendly games as for a time I was also the Secretary of Skelmersdale & District Referees Society.
I met many club officials past and present at the club all of whom I consider to be friends. To name a few, the late Dave Tomlinson, Arthur Gore, Bryn Jones, Mike & Linda Boardman, Norman & Kath Fenney and of course my predecessor Paul Griffiths.
A few memorable games at Skelmersdale United included a preseason game at White Moss Park against Manchester United in 1996 when as Assistant Referee I ran the line to Israeli FIFA referee Abraham Klein who was over visiting his friend Richie Rice, a local Skelmersdale Referee. Abraham Klein has previously officiated at a couple of World Cup Final tournaments and was the match referee when England played Brazil at the Mexico World Cup in 1970.
In 2007 At the invitation of a previous chairman, I also referred the 125th Skem Utd anniversary match involving a team of Liverpool FC legends at the Stormy Corner ground.
Finally, I was also honoured to be able to arrange and host the recent Mayors Charity fundraising game at JMO Sports Park involving a team of ex Skem Utd players and a Hollyoaks all-stars team.
One of the highlights of this for me in particular was being able to bring the FA Amateur Cup back to Skelmersdale for the first time since 1970 to commemorate the recent 50th anniversary of the club’s famous Wembley victory and to also have many of the players from that game and to re-unite them with the trophy.
Its early days but what are you hoping to bring to the club?
Obviously the club have just successfully been promoted back to the Northern Premier League. Together with my fellow club directors we are under no illusion that the season ahead will be a tough one, but we can hopefully build on last year’s success, consolidate our position in the Northern Premier League and hopefully in a year or two push in for further promotion to their Premier Division. In that time, I hope to build on and promote the clubs profile locally attracting sponsors and investors from in and around Skelmersdale to help in our further progression. We are also working closely with JMO Sports Park & West Lancashire Borough Council and are looking to bring a number of improvements to our JMO Sports Park home during the course of the forth coming season.
Thank you Gordon, good luck and welcome to Skelmersdale United.
UNITED PRE-SEASON FIXTURES
Sat 2nd July HOME Lancaster City ko 3pm
Tues 5th July HOME Warrington Town ko 8pm
Sat 9th July Away Winstanley Warriors ko 2pm
Sat 16th July HOME Morecambe ko 3pm
Tues 19th July Away Runcorn Town ko 7.30
Sat 23rd July Away Charnock Richard ko 3pm
Sat 30th July HOME Flint Town ko 3pm
Sat 6th Aug Away Marine FC ko 3pm
Admission to the pre-season games will be Adults £5, concessions £3, under 16s £1
FOR THOSE WITH SEASON TICKETS, ADMISSION WILL BE FREE
You can purchase your Season tickets by online banking
You can pay into the club account at
A/c No. 33697213
sort code: 60-19-49
please choose business account
(Stating your name and season ticket)
You can also pre-order by phoning Kath/Norman on 07949 582 262
Adult Season Ticket – £144
Concession Season Ticket – £96
Family Season Ticket consisting of 2 adults and up to 2 children £300.
Admission for each game will be:
Under 16s season ticket £30