Soccer Builder - Inducted 2020
Derek Douglas may have been born to be a soccer referee – in a career spanning almost two decades he has officiated at every level possible. He started officiating in 1973, shortly after settling in Sherwood Park, Alberta with his young family. In 1981, Derek was certified as a national soccer referee and began officiating in the North American Soccer League (NASL) the following season, a position he held until the league folded in 1984. Two years later, he became one of the first Alberta-based soccer officials to be promoted to the position of Federation International Football Association (FIFA) soccer referees. When he wasn’t officiating, Derek could be found promoting the sport on a local, provincial and national level.
Derek Douglas was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1942 with a love of football – he first started playing at the age of 4. When he immigrated to Canada with his family in 1957, he packed up that love for the sport and brought it with him.
In his family’s adopted hometown of Vancouver, BC, Derek would hone his goaltending skills playing on teams alongside his brothers.
In 1973, Derek relocated to Edmonton for work, settling in Sherwood Park with his young family. As soccer was so new in the growing community, Derek and his wife found roles as coaches with their children’s teams.
Derek also began officiating soccer that same year, and would serve two terms as president of the Sherwood Park District Soccer Association from 1975 - 1979. In 1981, Derek’s hard work and dedication to the sport were recognized when he was promoted to the position of National Soccer Referee. By 1982, Derek was officiating professional soccer games in the North American Soccer League, while also maintaining his commitments to soccer in his home community. In 1986, Canada Soccer promoted Derek to the top position a soccer official can become: a FIFA International Referee, one of the first ones from Alberta.
In an officiating career that lasted from 1981-2000 at the national and international level, Derek officiated games across North and Central America. In the mid-1990s, Derek shifted his focus to the development of female soccer officials locally, provincially, nationally, and internationally.
At the age of 77, and after seven plus decades in the sports, Derek continues to grow the sport locally as a part-time referee coordinator in Sherwood Park.