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Meet the niece of a Nothern Ireland legend who is refereeing at the Foyle Cup

By Donna Deeney

The Foyle Cup is known for attracting the football stars of tomorrow, but this year it is a referee from a famous sporting family making the headlines.

Megan Power is a niece of John 'Jobby' Crossan, the former Sunderland, Manchester City and Northern Ireland player.

The 17-year-old from Derby in England is the only female referee taking part in the famous tournament, which got under way in Londonderry on Monday.

Yet Megan doesn't let her tender years or gender get in the way of her important role on the football field, and admits she is quite strict when it comes to laying down the law.

Having officiated at a series of Foyle Cup games already, Megan is looking forward to the rest of the busy tournament.

She said: "I have always been interested in football so I took the course in refereeing four years ago and really enjoyed it, and it progressed from there.

"When I am on the pitch I am quite strict, I don't let the players get away with any kind of silliness so I have no trouble getting them to respect me.

"I love the Foyle Cup, it is such a great tournament and I get to meet with referees from so many different places which means I learn so much.

"Everyone is so supportive, really nice and great fun.

"It is great to see the young players developing their skills but the Foyle Cup allows me to develop my skills as a referee as well.

"I am working my way up through all the different levels to becoming a full-time referee, so this is where I see myself in the future," she added.

Megan's family hails from Derry and she still has relatives in the city, including 'Jobby' Crossan who made 24 international appearances for Northern Ireland from 1959 to 1967. He also played for the Derry City team.

Megan added: "My family is from Derry so coming to the Foyle Cup allows me to not only stay with my nan and meet up with my uncle John. But I am on refereeing three matches a day so it is busy.

"Football is a great game to be a part of and being a referee is a way to do just that, even if there are times when not everyone will agree with your decisions."

  • The Foyle Cup, celebrating 25 years, features up to 350 young teams and runs until Saturday.

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