The voting is open for fans to select their all-time favourite Gills central midfielderTo mark the opening of Priestfield’s Legends Lounge, throughout the 2013/14 campaign, we’re asking fans to vote for what they consider to be their greatest all-time Gills XI.
Thanks to all our supporters that voted for their ultimate left-back last month, hundreds of you voted, and we’ll be announcing the results very soon.
Meanwhile voting is now open for the two central midfield berths which will be the next to be added to our Legends Lounge Wall of Fame. Here’s our shortlist for Gillingham’s greatest central midfielders, or you can email your own suggestions to us by using firstname.lastname@example.org
A former Everton and England schoolboy international, Gills manager Harry Barratt paid £2000 to secure the attacking midfielder’s services in July 1960. He quickly became a mainstay in the side and was handed the captain’s armband at the start of the 1963/64 season in which he led Gillingham to the Division 4 championship, our first success at Football League level. In five seasons at Priestfield Alex scored 21 times in 220 appearances, in all competitions.
Signed by Keith Peacock on a free transfer in May 1985 Karl was a combative and creative midfielder who became an ever present in his first full campaign and quickly earned a reputation for scoring spectacular goals. He was a key performer in the 1986/87 side that beat Division 2 Sunderland to set-up a play-off final with Swindon and netted a trademark “rocket” to level the aggregate scores in the second-leg at the County Ground.
A cultured midfielder, Paul joined the Gills from Brentford in 1997 and immediately became a permanent fixture in the side, featuring in both of our Wembley play-off finals and captaining the team throughout our opening seasons in the Championship. Smudge went on to win the club’s Player of the Year trophy in four of his eight seasons with the Gills, and his return of 26 goals in 396 league and cup appearances place Paul at seventh in Gillingham’s all time appearance table.
A homegrown talent, Chatham-born Dick worked his way through the ranks of Buster Collins youth team and was already turning out for the reserves at the age of 15. He broke into the first team squad at 18 and became a regular for the best part of a decade before following Andy Nelson to Charlton for £70,000 in 1976. He returned to Priestfield as one of Keith Peacock’s first signings in 1981 to rack up a career tally of 18 goals in 419 appearances for Gillingham.
A classy midfielder and dead-ball specialist, Gills fans were given an inkling of Dave’s promise when he netted on his debut in a 3-2 defeat at Huddersfield Town in March 1983. The following season he was a star performer in the Gills side that took First Division high-flyers Everton to three games in the FA Cup and finished above Tony Cascarino as the club’s leading scorer with 17 goals. In total Dave scored 43 goals in 155 outings before returning to Millwall in a £25,000 deal.
Predominantly a box-to-box midfielder, Mark famously played in almost every position for the Gills during the most successful period in the club’s history, after signing from Plymouth Argyle in May 1988. His versatility is perhaps best remembered in our FA Cup run of 1999/2000, when Saundo, playing as a makeshift striker, scored Gillingham’s equaliser in a 3-1 giant-killing of Premier League Sheffield Wednesday to set-up a fifth round tie with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
John scored on his Gillingham debut in a 2-1 win at Reading, whilst on loan from Southampton, prompting Gills boss Gerry Summers to splash out £10,000 to capture the combative midfielder on a permanent basis in February 1971. Lethal from the penalty spot, “Buster” played a vital role in the club’s drive for promotion in 1978-79 but a broken arm incurred at Rotherham that March was a major factor in the Gills missing out on third place by a single point.
Captured from Watford in 1996 as Tony Pulis assembled a side to challenge for promotion from Division 3, Hessy’s passion and work rate quickly made him a firm favourite with Gillingham supporters. A pivotal player in the club’s rise to the Championship, Andy featured in both play-off finals helping the club to our highest ever league finish of 11th in the Championship in 2002/03, scoring 36 goals in 363 appearances.
Signed from Millwall in June 1972 by Andy Nelson, who had previously been a coach at the Den, George was a hard-working midfielder with an eye for goal and netted 21 goals in 172 appearances for the club. He was voted Gillingham’s Player of the Year for the 1973-74 season, a campaign in which he was ever-present in the starting XI and scored eight times as Nelson’s free-scoring Gills powered their way to promotion from Division 4.
There are three ways for supporters to vote:
Via Twitter @TheGillsFC using the hashtag #GreatestCentreMid
Via Facebook on GillinghamFootballClubOfficial comment using GreatestCentreMid
Via email to email@example.com subject title GreatestCentreMid