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CLUB LEGEND: Peter Gallop

Peter Gallop
Peter Gallop

Peter Gallop was born in Poole Hospital, and has lived in the town all of his life. He has a younger sister Mary, and he attended the St Peter’s infants and primary schools. He finished his education at Seldown where he played for the school’s football team. Peter first met his wife Sue at school, and then again at St Peter’s Church choir. They got married at the Church in January 1976 and went on to have two children Kate and Richard, the latter was to inherit his dad’s love of football.

On leaving school Peter became an apprentice carpenter with Drake’s Shop Fitting (this was to prove very handy for H.U.F.C in later years). Peter then went on to work for a few other firms before joining Bournemouth Water Company as a carpenter. After getting promotion and coming off his tools he took other positions within the Company, and now surveys for new water connections & main schemes. Forty one years later and nearing retirement, he still works for the Water Company.

From the age of sixteen Peter played Youth League Football for a very good Legland Street Boys Club as a winger. He later went on to play his first senior games for Longfleet St Mary’s F.C; where he first met Stan Wallis. He was a pretty handy footballer playing for Poole Town, The Water Company, and Flight Refuelling in the Dorset Combination League. In the last two years of his playing career Peter turned out for Hamworthy United under Irvin Brown for whom he still has the upmost respect. As the years went by and as Peter got older he gradually dropped back into mid-field, before finally ending up as a full-back. He is not the biggest in stature, but Peter could and still can hold his own both on and off the pitch.

In 1996 when Peter’s playing days came to an end due to ankle ligament problems at the age of 35; he was asked by Stan Wallis to join the Hamworthy United Committee. He was given the job of Assisting the then Club Secretary Roy Mitchener, but unfortunately this did not last for long. Tragically in January 1997 Roy died suddenly following a very short illness, and this meant Peter was thrust straight into becoming the Club Secretary having had little experience of all that was entailed. Luckily for Hamworthy Peter is very thorough in everything that he does, and he learned very quickly. Remember in those early days before computers, communication was by hand or telephone, and was very time consuming. Peter went on to become one of the most respected secretaries in all the Leagues he had dealings with, and he was soon very much envied by many of them. Peter remained as Club Secretary for the next 20years before handing the position over to his successor Kevin Keets. This enabled him to have more time to watch his beloved Southampton FC, and continue serving non-league football as President of the Dorset Premier League; a position he still holds today. He is still a Life Vice-President of this Club and until recently a Trustee.

Peter Gallop
Peter Gallop receives his award from Geoff Pike, chairman of the DCFA board of directors

Over the years Peter dedicated most of his spare time to this Club He not only did his secretarial work, but also many of the voluntary jobs that needed doing. Peter’s cabinet-making skills came into good use when he made all the bench-seats and tables for the old clubhouse. He must have saved the Club a lot of money over the years by preferring to do a lot of the smaller carpentry plumbing and painting jobs himself. If that was not enough he was also a member of a squad of volunteers who served behind the bar two or three times a week, made the sandwiches, and prepared the pitch on match-days and maintained it during the close-season.

Peter still gets down to the Specsavers County Ground as often as he can when not at St Mary’s, or fulfilling his Dorset Premier duties. In summing up I do not think there is anybody over the years that have been more dedicated to Hamworthy United Football Club than Peter Gallop a True HUFC Legend.

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