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31 March 2013

Richard Day reviews this day in the club's history

News relevant to Gillingham FC on this day in history, games, players, debuts etc...


1894 - Swindon T 2-0 New Brompton  Fr

1906 - Reading 1-0 New Brompton     SLD1

1923 - Southend Utd 1-1 Gillingham    D3S
Charlie Freeman was the marksman at Roots Hall

1928 - Gillingham 0-4 Luton Town       D3S   Att: 4,045

1934 - Gillingham 3-0 Brighton & HA  D3S   Att: 6,690
Goals from Alan Scott, Sim Raleigh and Arthur Mills ensured a comfortable win

1948 - Gillingham 5-1 Cheltenham T  SL      Att: 2,711
Johnny Warsap smacked a hat-trick while Jackie Briggs and Hughie Russell also found the net in a sound victory

1951 - Port Vale 4-3 Gillingham           D3S   Att: 5,400
Debutant Bill Hales grabbed a hat-trick in vain at Vale Park

1952 - Millwall 3-1 Gillingham              D3S   Att: 6,293
George Forrester was on target at the Den

1956 - Gillingham 0-2 Q.P.R                 D3S   Att: 5,400

1959 - Aldershot 4-2 Gillingham         D4      Att: 3,033
Cliff Payton and Pat Terry both netted at the Recreation Ground but it wasn't enough

1961 - Southport 1-2 Gillingham        D4   Att: 5,700
Goals from Gordon Pulley and John Shepherd saw the Gills to victory at Haig Avenue

1962 - Gillingham 4-0 Southport        D4   Att: 3,921
There were four different scorers, Ronnie Waldock, Charlie Livesey, Tommy Johnston and Gordon Pulley again, as the Gills outplayed the Sandgrounders

1970 - Walsall 0-1 Gillingham            D3   Att: 4,295
Brian Yeo was the goalscoring hero with the second-half winner at Fellows Park

1971 - Gills Res 3-5 Oxford U             FC

1973 - Bradford C 3-1 Gillingham      D4   Att: 2,703
Kenny Hill was the marksman at Valley Parade

1975 -Gillingham 2-2 Plymouth Arg       D3   Att: 11,200
There was a mini green and white invasion as promotion chasing Argyle came to town, a Yeo double put the Gills in the driving seat at the break before the Pilgrims hit back

1976 - Peterborough U 1-1 Gillingham  D3   Att: 4,594
Mark Weatherly found the net at London Road

1979 - Gillingham 2-2 Swindon T  D3   Att: 9,460
Dean White and Danny Westwood struck for the Gills in the 'battle of Priestfield'.

1982 - Oxford Utd 1-1 Gillingham           D3   Att: 5,406
A Micky Adams strike earned a point at the Manor Ground

1984 - Gillingham 3-1 Orient                   D3   Att: 3,090
John Leslie, Tony Cascarino and Dave Mehmet all found the net against the O's

1986 - Brentford 1-2 Gillingham           D3   Att: 4,702
Goals from Martin Robinson and Karl Elsey won the points at Griffin Park

1990 - Chesterfield 2-0 Gillingham      D4   Att: 4,282

1992 - Gillingham 2-1 Wrexham          D4   Att: 2,982
A Steve Lovell penalty was added to by Richard Green in this home win

1997 - Gillingham 1-2 Brentford          D2   Att: 7,359
An Iffy Onuora effort couldn't prevent a home reversal

1998 - Walsall 1-0 Gillingham              D2   Att: 3,117

2001 - Preston NE 0-0 Gillingham       C     Att: 13,550

2007 - Gillingham 2-1 Brentford         L1      Att: 6,113
After the Bees took an early lead the Gills hit back to win thanks to Andrew Crofts and Danny Jackman

2012 – Gillingham 2-0 Macclesfield T  L2     Att: 4,562
Matt Fish scored his first goal for the club to give the Gills a 51st minute lead and a diving header from Chris Whelpdale secured the points



The following players made their debuts in the above games...

1928 - Amos Dee versus Luton T at home

1951 - Bill Hales away at Port Vale

1961 - Gary Griffiths on the trip to Southport

1979 - Tony Funnell against Swindon at Priestfield

1982 - Neil Grewcock against Oxford at the Manor Ground



1952 - Ron Hillyard

After arriving on a free transfer in the summer of 1974, the soft-speaking Yorkshireman proved to be a fantastic signing and went on reach legendary status with the club breaking the appearance record during his 18-year spell at the club.

Having trained as an amateur with Rotherham United and played for home-town club Brinsworth Athletic in the Sheffield Amateur League, he had a further spell as an amateur with Leeds United before moving to York City as a junior in July 1969.

Five months later he signed professional terms with the Minstermen and went on to make 61 appearances for them. While he was at Bootham Crescent, he went out on loan to Hartlepool United (23 games), Bury and Brighton & HA, who at that time had Brian Clough in charge.

After Len Ashurst was named as Gillingham boss Hillyard became his first Priestfield signing,arriving on a free transfer in July 1974.

He made his debut on the opening day of the 1974-75 season in a 2-2 draw at home to Walsall and went on to be ever present in that first season.

It was a feat he went on to repeat in 1977-78, 1979-80 and 1985-86 seeing off the challenges of numerous other keepers at various times.

When Ron played in the 3-0 home win over Chesterfield in October 1989 his appearance broke John Simpson's club record of 617 appearances.

He was appointed assistant manager to Damien Richardson in the summer of 1989, long before his final match, a 2-1 defeat at Scarborough in September 1990.

A back injury picked up in a reserve game in October 1990 finally forced him into announcing his retirement in March 1991.

His Gillingham tally - a truly magnificent 657 games which included 202 clean sheets and no fewer than 20 penalty saves.

Unfortunately it wasn't all good news for Hillyard at Gillingham FC though, after a poor start to the 1992-93 campaign he was sacked along with Richardson following a 3-0 Coca Cola Cup defeat at Southampton in early October 1992.

He was able to enjoy two testimonials at Priestfield, in May 1984 the Gills beat West Ham United 3-2 then in August 1994 Sittingbourne won 1-0.

Ron has been goalkeeping coach at Ebbsfleet United (then Gravesend & Northfleet) in 2002 and he did have a spell back here at Gillingham in a similar part-time role during Andy Hessenthaler’s second spell as manager.

1957 - John Davis

The former Arsenal apprentice was brought to Priestfield by Len Ashurst follwing the right-back's release from Crystal Palace in the summer of 1975.

He made his debut against Colchester United at home in late November, the first of just three appearances for the club.

In October 1976 he followed Ashurst to Sheffield Wednesday but only played one league game during his time at Hillsborough.

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