Richard Day looks at some former Gillingham players...

Does anybody else watch the Big Match Revisited on ITV4?

It is a programme which shows football highlights from yester-year and just recently it showed some FA Cup action from January 1979 when Sheffield Wednesday hosted Arsenal at a snowy Hillsborough.

There were a number of people with a Gillingham connection and that’s not including former Gillingham director Brian Moore who introduced the show. In the Owls line-up were Dave Rushbury and Jeff Johnson while performing for the Gunners was Steve Walford.

Full-back Rushbury was to cost the Gills ?15,000 from Carlisle United on deadline day in March 1985 but returned north to Doncaster Rovers at the end of that season having made 12 appearances.

Meanwhile Johnson, who equalised with a header in the 1-1 draw shown, was a tough-tackling midfielder who joined Gillingham in a ?8,000 deal in September 1982 and went on to play 107 times for the club.

Walford meanwhile was to play in four games for the Gills after Keith Burkinshaw brought him in on loan from West Ham United in December 1988.

Also making an appearance was Wednesday trainer Tony Toms who had been at Priestfield during Len Ashurst’s time as manager before the pair walked out to take similar roles at the fellow Third Divisioners.

Managerial Moves

As part of the recent managerial restructuring at Margate, Simon Osborn, who played 49 times for the Gills in central midfield, has been named as assistant to caretaker manager Craig Holloway.


Reading winger Jordan Obita has joined League One Oldham Athletic on loan for a month. The 20-year-old netted three times in six games while with the Gills last season.

Experienced central defender Ben Chorley has joined Stevenage from League One rivals Leyton Orient. The 30-year-old has penned a two-and-a-half year deal having been released by the O's. He scored one goal in 27 appearances on loan at Gillingham back in the 2006-07 season.

Dean McDonald is the latest former Gillingham player to join Blue Square Bet Premier club Macclesfield Town. He signed for the Moss Rose last Friday having been on trial at the club earlier in the season and joins Lance Cronin, currently out with a suspected broken thumb, in the Silkmen’s squad.

It was in the summer of 2006 that he moved to Priestfield and marked his debut with a goal against Huddersfield. He spent a season with the Gills playing thirty times and scoring six goals before a move north of the border with Inverness Caledonian Thistle before going on to play for a number of non-league sides.

Stefan Payne, who had been with Macclesfield, has now joined fellow Blue Square Premier outfit Ebbsfleet United. 

Another striker on the move in the Blue Square Bet Premier is the experienced Darren Byfield who has signed non-contract terms with Tamworth following his release from AFC Telford United.

The 36-year-old has been training with the Lambs in recent weeks having parted ways with the Bucks at the start of January.

Meanwhile goalkeeper Jason Brown has left Scottish Premier League Aberdeen having made 28 appearances for the Dons. The Welsh international began his senior career at Gillingham before moving on to Blackburn Rovers in 2006.