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6 June 2013

The club were saddened to learn of the passing of former Gills player Charlie Burtenshaw

Everyone at Gillingham Football Club was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former Gillingham outside right Charlie Burtenshaw, who recently passed away, aged 90.

Born in Portslade, Sussex, Charlie was a dashing winger who represented Brighton Schoolboys and Brighton & Hove Albion Juniors in his youth, before turning professional with Luton Town in 1948.

He joined Gillingham in October 1949, as then manager Archie Clark splashed out a club record fee to secure the services of Charlie, his brother Bill Burtenshaw and club stalwart Bill “Buster” Collins, to bolster the club’s under-performing forward line.

The trio had an instant impact on the team’s performance that season but were unable to turn around a disappointing start, the Gills ultimately finishing the 1949/50 campaign fifth in the Southern League table.

However, Football League restructuring that summer saw Gillingham re-elected to the newly formed Division Three South for the 1950/51 season, with Charlie a key player as crowds packed Priestfield for the return of League Football.

Sadly Charlie suffered a badly broken right leg in a 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace in February 1951. Despite making a comeback the following December, he only made two further appearances for the Gills.

After scoring ten times in 61 outings for Gillingham Charlie moved to local side Snowdon Colliery in 1953 where he won the Kent League and Kent Senior Cup titles.

Our thoughts are with Charlie’s family and friends at this sad time

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