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History

CHOOSE YOUR GREATEST XI

28 August 2013

Watch our video and help us choose the Gills Greatest No.1

The club’s new Legends Lounge hospitality suite is already proving a huge hit with supporters and now we’d like our fans to help us pay tribute to Priestfield’s finest by selecting your ultimate Gills XI.

Throughout the 2013/14 campaign we’ll be asking supporters to vote for their favourite all-time Gills player, with a different position up for grabs every month.

Once the votes are in, the winning candidate will have their shirt immortalised on our Legends Lounge Wall of Fame.

This month we’ll start the ball rolling with the coveted No.1 Jersey. Gillingham F.C. has been fortunate to boast a string of outstanding shot-stoppers over the years but who do you think is the greatest of all time?

Here’s our shortlist for your consideration, or you can add your own suggestions

FREDDIE FOX

Signed from Preston North End in 1922 for what was only the Gills second season in the Football League, Freddie went on to made 106 appearances in a three season stay at the club. He also earned the distinction of being the first, and to this date only current Gillingham player, to be called up by England for full international honours, though sadly he had signed for Millwall before representing the Three Lions in a 3-2 defeat of France.

JOHN SIMPSON

Brought to Priestfield by Archie Clark in 1957 for the bargain fee of £750, “Simmo” repaid his paltry price tag, time and time again, in a 15 year career that saw him make a record 571 league appearances for the Gills. A corner stone of the 1963/64 Division Four Championship winning team, John was named Player of the Year in 1969-70 and again in 70-71 and as former Chairman Dr. Clifford Grossmark once said regarding interest from other clubs, “John Simpson’s value to Gillingham Football Club far exceeded all offers.”

RON HILLYARD

Identified by then Gills boss Len Ashurst as the perfect successor to John Simpson, Ron more than lived-up to expectations, following a move from York City in 1974. He remained first-choice keeper for most of his 17 year career at the club before injury forced his retirement in 1991. By that time he has surpassed Simmo’s record for total first team appearances with a staggering tally of 657 in all competitions, during which he amassed an incredible 202 clean sheets. He later served the club as Assistant Manager to Damien Richardson and returned once again under Andy Hessenthaler as goalkeeping coach.

JIM STANNARD

One of Gillingham’s first summer signings after Chairman Paul Scally’s purchase of the club in the summer of 1995, home fans had low expectations of their new keeper following some dubious performances against the Gills for previous club Fulham. Jim would prove his doubters wrong in style, setting a Football League for conceding just 20 goals, the least number conceded in a 46 match league season, and keeping a record 29 clean sheets, as the Gills clinched promotion to Division Two.  In all “Big Jim” made 128 appearances for the club in a four year stay and remained at the club as a coach after hanging up his boots.

VINCE BARTRAM

Signed in 1998 to provide competition for Jim Stannard, Vince quickly established himself as the Gills first choice custodian and helped his team to the Division Two play-off final in his first campaign. Following the disappointment of defeat to Manchester City at Wembley, Bartram remained a mainstay at the heart of defence as Peter Taylor’ side regrouped to achieve promotion to the Championship for the first time in the club’s history, beating Wigan at Wembley the following year. Vince remained Gills No.1 for six seasons, clocking up 222 appearances before calling time on his playing career in 2004

There are three ways for supporters to vote:

Via Twitter @TheGillsFC using the hashtag #GreatestNo1
Via Facebook on GillinghamFootballClubOfficial comment using GreatestNo1
Via email to media@priestfield.com subject title GreatestNo1


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