Tony Gale

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Tony Gale
Tony Gale.jpg
Gale outside the King Power Stadium, Leicester, 2015
Personal information
Full name Anthony Peter Gale
Date of birth (1959-11-19) 19 November 1959 (age 57)
Place of birth Westminster, London, England
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
1976–1977 Fulham
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1977–1984 Fulham 277 (19)
1984–1994 West Ham United 300 (5)
1994–1995 Blackburn Rovers 15 (0)
1995–1996 Crystal Palace 2 (0)
1996–1998 Maidenhead United 42 (0)
Total 636 (24)
National team
1982 England U21 1 (0)
Teams managed
2013 Walton Casuals (caretaker)
2014 Walton Casuals (caretaker)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Anthony Peter "Tony" Gale (born 19 November 1959) is an English former professional footballer who is now a regular pundit on Soccer Saturday and Sky Sports News HQ. He is also the chairman of non-league club Walton Casuals.

As a player, he made 636 appearances as a defender from 1977 until 1998, winning the Premier League with Blackburn Rovers in 1995. He also played for Fulham, West Ham United, Crystal Palace and Maidenhead United.

Playing career[edit]

Fulham (1977-1984)[edit]

After progressing through the youth ranks of Fulham, Gale was promoted to the first team ahead of the 1977-78 season. Making his debut for the first team aged 16 in the Anglo-Scottish Cup against FC Orient, he was drafted in to the senior squad to replace World Cup winning Bobby Moore following his retirement from English football. Recording 38 league appearances and eight goals in his inaugural season, Gale cemented his place in the squad during their time in the Second Division.

Suffering relegation to the Third Division after a 20th placed finish during the 1979-80 season, Gale bounced back to the Second Division two years later. A dispute with manager Malcolm MacDonald saw Gale suspended shortly after the start of the season, but he returned to the first team set-up shortly after to make 44 league appearances as Fulham gained promotion back to the second tier.

Gale narrowly missed out on promotion to the First Division during the 1982-83 season, with Fulham finishing in fourth place and a single point behind Leicester City. After a mid-table finish the following season, Gale opted for a move away from Craven Cottage in order to play in the First Division.

West Ham United (1984-1994)[edit]

In July 1984, Gale completed a £200,000 transfer to West Ham United, and went on to make 300 league appearances over a decade.[1] Finishing 16th in his first season with the club, Gale was part of the side to finish third in the First Division in 1986 while forming a notable partnership with Alvin Martin.[2] He spent all but one season in mid-table before West Ham's relegation to the Second Division following the 1988-89 season.

When playing in the 1991 FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest, Gale became the first-ever footballer to be shown a straight red card for denying an attacker a goal-scoring opportunity with a professional foul.[3] After bringing down Gary Crosby in the 22nd minute, Gale's single career dismissal by Keith Hackett was deemed as unfair by West Ham fans as they suffered a 4-0 defeat to Forest and missed out on their chances of a first FA Cup final since 1980.[4] It took the Hammers another 15 years before reaching the final once again.[5]

In 1993, West Ham returned to the top tier of English football, now rebranded as the Premier League, and finished in 13th during Gale's final season with the club.

Blackburn Rovers (1994-1995)[edit]

After his release from West Ham in 1994, Gale trained with Barnet before receiving a call from Blackburn Rovers manager Kenny Dalglish.[1] Joining on 11 August, he made his debut three days later in the 1994 Charity Shield, suffering a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United after goals from Eric Cantona and Paul Ince. Spending a single season at Ewood Park, Gale made 15 appearances in the club's 1994-95 Premier League winning campaign and clinched the only major honour of his playing career aged 34.[1] Despite being asked by newly appointed manager Ray Harford to remain with the club for a second season, Gale opted against a coaching role while playing for the Reserves. He later admitted it was a decision he regretted, after his only season playing outside of the London area.[6]

Crystal Palace (1995-1996)[edit]

Aged 35, Gale returned to the Second Division to join Crystal Palace. However, his time at Selhurst Park was plagued with injuries and he managed just two league appearances for the club in January and February 1996.

Maidenhead United (1996-1998)[edit]

Gale then joined Maidenhead United in 1996.

Media career[edit]

Gale has been heard commentating on Premier League games for Premier League Productions, a venture of IMG Sports Media who produce, package and broadcast the live production of games for the Premier League for international broadcasters. For the 16/17 season he is part of the commentary team[7] for Premier League games aired in the US on NBC.

Gale has also contributed a regular column for West Ham's official website, WHUFC.com, along with a fortnightly column for Fulham's official website.

Personal life[edit]

Tony Gale joined Walton Casuals as Director of Football in 2002.

During his time at West Ham, Gale was nicknamed 'Reggie' by his team mates. The name came from the comparison to Reggie Kray for his wicked sense of humour. He was also described by teammate Mark Ward as having the touch and vision of a centre forward.[8]

Gale is the chairman of Isthmian Division One South side Walton Casuals, having joined the club as Director of Football in 2003.[9] He became chairman in 2011 and enjoyed two brief spells as caretaker manager. First taking over in March 2013 for eight games to see out the 2012-13 season, he also led the team for 12 games from September to November 2014.[10]

His son, Anthony, made over 200 appearances for the club and took over as manager in July 2015 after working alongside his father as caretaker manager in late 2014.[11]

Honours[edit]

Blackburn

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Boys Of 86 Events - Events With A Difference". www.boysof86.co.uk. Retrieved 10 August 2016. 
  2. ^ "First Division Table 1985/1986 - Footymad". stats.football.co.uk. Retrieved 10 August 2016. 
  3. ^ "Red Card - theyflysohigh". theyflysohigh.co.uk. Retrieved 10 August 2016. 
  4. ^ "FA Cup flashback". BBC. 22 April 2006. Retrieved 10 August 2016. 
  5. ^ "Liverpool 3-3 West Ham (aet)". BBC. 13 May 2006. Retrieved 10 August 2016. 
  6. ^ "Tony Gale: I regret turning down Ray Harford's offer down to remain at Blackburn Rovers". Lancashire Telegraph. Retrieved 10 August 2016. 
  7. ^ http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/thegoalkeeper/2016-17-NBC-English-Premier-League-and-Fox-FA-Cup-TV-schedule.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ Ward, Mark (2010). Hammered. John Blake Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-1843582724. 
  9. ^ "Walton Casuals chairman Tony Gale on involvement at club". audioBoom. Retrieved 10 August 2016. 
  10. ^ "Chairman takes charge after Hams step down - The Ryman Isthmian Football League". www.isthmian.co.uk. Retrieved 10 August 2016. 
  11. ^ "Gale gets off to a winning start as new manager - The Ryman Isthmian Football League". www.isthmian.co.uk. Retrieved 10 August 2016. 
  12. ^ "Tony Gale". www.premierleague.com. Retrieved 5 April 2015. 

External links[edit]