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Anthony Peter 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.
Gale outside the King Power Stadium, Leicester in 2015
|Full name||Anthony Peter Gale|
|Date of birth||19 November 1959|
|Place of birth||Westminster, London, England|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|1984–1994||West Ham United||300||(5)|
|2013||Walton Casuals (caretaker)|
|2014||Walton Casuals (caretaker)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
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.
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 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 UnitedEdit
In July 1984, Gale completed a £200,000 transfer to West Ham United, and went on to make 300 league appearances over a decade. 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. 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 in the English game to be shown a straight red card for denying an attacker a goal-scoring opportunity with a professional foul. 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. It took the Hammers another 15 years before reaching the final once again.
West Ham were promoted back to the First Division in 1991 at the second time of asking, but were relegated again after just one season back among the elite.
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. In 1994 Gale was awarded a testimonial by West Ham. He received an estimated £50,000 from the game, a 4-2 win at Upton Park against a Republic of Ireland team.
After his release from West Ham in 1994, Gale trained with Barnet before receiving a call from Blackburn Rovers manager Kenny Dalglish. 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 35. 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.
After Blackburn's title triumph, Gale signed for relegated Crystal Palace. However, his time at Selhurst Park was plagued with injuries and he managed just two league appearances for the club halfway through that season, and retired from professional football at the end of it.
Gale then joined Maidenhead United in 1996, continuing his playing career at non-league level for two more seasons before finally retiring from playing in his 39th year.
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 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.
During his time at West Ham, Gale was nicknamed 'Reggie' by his teammates. 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.
Gale is the chairman of Isthmian Division One South side Walton Casuals, having joined the club as Director of Football in 2003. 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.
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.
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- "First Division Table 1985/1986 - Footymad". stats.football.co.uk. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
- "Red Card - theyflysohigh". theyflysohigh.co.uk. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
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- "Liverpool 3-3 West Ham (aet)". BBC. 13 May 2006. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
- "Football: Palace party ends in defeat". Retrieved 25 October 2018.
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- Tannenwald, Jonathan. "English Premier League, FA Cup TV schedule on NBC, Fox". Retrieved 25 October 2018.
- Ward, Mark (2010). Hammered. John Blake Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-1843582724.
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- "Chairman takes charge after Hams step down - The Ryman Isthmian Football League". www.isthmian.co.uk. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
- "Gale gets off to a winning start as new manager - The Ryman Isthmian Football League". www.isthmian.co.uk. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
- "Tony Gale: Overview". Premier League. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- Tony Gale at Soccerbase