PATRICK MC KERRY
The passion for soccer Pat Mc Kerry first experienced growing up in his native Scotland continues to burn bright today.
One of the most respected referees in New Jersey soccer over the past half century, this lifelong Glasgow Celtic supporter se a standard for officiating excellence by which today’s referees are measured.
Born in Alexandria, Scotland on New Year’s Day, 1940 and educated at St. mary’s Elementary and St. Patrick’s High School in Dumbarton, Pat began his referee career when he passed a referee exam given by the Scottish Football Association while he was earning an engineering apprenticeship at the Royal Navy Torpedo Factory. Soon after he was officiating amateur and pro league matches in Scotland.
In 1964 Pat and wife Geraldine moved to the U.S. where his referee career continued to make tremendous strides. From 1964-78 he refereed various amateur and pro leagues on the East Coast, including the American Soccer League. Shortly after he was recognized by the N.J. Soccer Association and recommended to the United States Soccer Federation as a FIFA candidate. Pat passed the National Referee exam and became one of the “First Five” National Referees in the U.S.
His referee career continued with the North American Soccer League and in 1981 was appointed to the Major Indoor Soccer League. By 1999 he had officiated over 2,500 amateur and pro games, including internationals with Glasgow Celtic, A.C. Milan, Roma, Santos, Juventus, Tottenham Hotspur, Lazio, Manchester City and the Argentina National Team. Health concerns forced him to retire as an active referee in July, 1999.
In December, 2000 Pat became the first New jersey referee to earn the USSF Lifetime Award for service as a referee for 35 years. A month after attending the NJSA Hall of Fame dinner to support his referee colleagues, Pat was honored by the Northern Counties Soccer League with a Lifetime Award for service to the league. In 2001 he was honored by the N.J. State Referees Association and the N.J. Referee Committee for his outstanding career.
Off the pitch Pat worked for the Jersey City Housing Authority for 28 years as a boiler room supervisor where he provided heat and hot water for over 33,000 tenants. He has obtained a FAA pilots license and also rides a Harley Davidson mortorcycle.
A founding member of the St. Cecilia’s Council 6928 Knights of Columbus, he is past president of the Irish American Association in Kearney and the Kearney Celtic Supporters.
After retiring in 2004 Pat still lives in Kearney with his wife of 41 years. They have five children – sons Patrick, Kevin and Michael and daughters Paula (O’Neill) and Jennifer. A loving granddad Pat McKerry enjoys spending time with his grandchildren and watching his beloved Glasgow Celtic.
His soccer dreams include watching the U.S. National Team reach the late stages of the World Cup…..and Glasgow Celtics win the UEFA Champions League.