Ref honours his father
Referee wears late father’s old jersey to call junior game in Regina
REGINA Luke Mcgeough was driving home from Calgary when he got a call that would send him down a dark and unfamiliar road: His father, Mick — the colourful and beloved former NHL referee — had been hospitalized due to an apparent stroke.
The news put some things in perspective for the young referee, who came up with an idea to honour his mentor.
“I told my sister, ‘I really want to do a game in Regina and I want to wear one of dad’s jerseys,’” Luke said. “But I said, ‘We’ll wait until he gets out of the hospital so he can see it.’”
Unfortunately, Mick never did. The 62-year-old Regina native died on Nov. 23.
Needless to say, it has been a long couple of weeks since Luke said goodbye to his father.
In the midst of the grieving process, Luke checked his officiating schedule and realized he had been assigned to a Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League game between the Regina Pat Canadians and Moose Jaw Generals.
Mick once played for the Pat Canadians, wearing the captain’s ‘C’ back in the early 1970s.
The stars couldn’t have aligned more perfectly for Luke, who received permission to wear one of his dad’s old NHL jerseys for the game on Wednesday.
“It kind of hit me when we were standing there doing the national anthem (before the game) and when I first put on the jersey,” he said.
“I just hope he’d be proud of me,” Luke added. “My wife was like, ‘He’ll be proud of the way you reffed, either way.’ I said, ‘That wasn’t really Mick’s thing.’ He was a ref, but he’d be way more proud of me being a good dad — he just loved the grandkids — and a good husband and a good person, in general.”
Luke will continue to honour his dad every time he steps on the ice. The 35-year-old only began refereeing last year and has already worked his way up to assignments at the senior, midget AAA and junior B levels.
“I have twin girls (two-year-olds Oaklin and Avery), so I had to pay for daycare somehow,” said Luke, who works full-time at a refinery.
“I started reffing and I fell in love with it.”
Mick was a charismatic official and a mentor to countless young referees. He was also well known as a fun-loving storyteller.
“I was telling my sister one day when we were in the hospital, ‘All those times people said, ‘You’re one apple that didn’t fall too far from the tree,’ I would always be like, ‘You think that little of me?’” he said with a laugh. “But inside, it was always such a deadly compliment. Secretly I was giving a fist pump.”
Luke Mcgeough wears the NHL jersey of his late father, former referee Mick Mcgeough, before calling a game on Wednesday in Regina.