Catching up with former referee John Gocher

On Friday 18 January 2018, John Peard and Southern Sydney Committee Wellbeing Officer John Harris had the pleasure of visiting former first grade referee John Gocher at Warena Gardens Retirement Village, Bangor.

John refereed 186 first grade games between 1976-1986, including the 1982 Grand Final between Parramatta and Manly. However, his career highlight would see him referee four Test matches between Great Britain and France in 1983 and also New Zealand and Papua New Guinea in 1982 and 1983.

After feeling his body was beginning to weary, John worked as a video referee for several years. He is a Life Member of the St George Referees Association and the NSW Referees Association. Refereeing colleagues frequently come to visit him and reminisce on past memories.

John has vivid recollections of many incidents from his refereeing career and still enjoys watching NRL games. He has forthright opinions on many aspects on the current state of the game and refereeing in particular.

Alongside his refereeing career, John had a successful career in IT with several large companies and enjoyed lawn bowls at Sylvania Bowling Club.

John has attended many Sydney South Committee functions and is looking forward to attending future activities. He was presented with a Men of League Foundation polo shirt and cap and was very thankful for the visit.

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