The voting is open for fans to select their all-time favourite Gills right-back.To celebrate the opening of Priestfield’s new 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 Gillingham goalkeeping great, hundreds of you voted and the competition was very close and we’ll be announcing the winner very soon.
Meanwhile voting is now open for the No.2 shirt which will be the next to be added to our Legends Lounge Wall of Fame. Here’s our shortlist for Gillingham’s greatest right-back, or you can email your own suggestions to us by using email@example.com.
Born and raised in Gillingham, Mel served his apprenticeship with his hometown club and turned professional in 1982, quickly forcing his way into first team reckoning. He was a virtual ever-present in Keith Peacock’s free-scoring team of 1984/5 and beat off the likes of Tony Cascarino, Terry Cochrane and David Shearer to win Gillingham’s Player of the Year trophy in 1985/86. Following interest from a number of larger clubs, Mel moved to Derby County for a fee of £60,000 that summer, helping the Rams back to Division One in his first season at the club.
One of the longest serving players in Gillingham history, Charlie joined the club in 1944, as Manager Archie Clark sought to assemble a squad capable of regaining the Gills Football League status. Described as a full-back with a sledgehammer blow in his right foot, Marks made the right-back berth his own, playing 434 times in a fifteen year career at Priestfield and was a corner stone of the defence that took Gillingham back to the Football League in 1950.
A tough tackling full-back, John joined the Gills from Southampton for a fee of £30,000 in October 1978 following a month long loan spell, adding steel to the back-four as Gerry Summers’ side narrowly missed out on promotion to the Second Division. He remained a mainstay of the team during the early tenure of Summers’ successor Keith Peacock, scoring two goals in 232 appearances for Gillingham.
Signed on loan from Swindon Town in March 1992, Richard Green became the first defender in Gillingham history to score twice on his debut, helping Damien Richardson’s team to a 3-2 win at Cardiff City. After making his move permanent the following summer Richard went on to play an important role in Gillingham’s Division Three promotion winning side of 1995/96, scoring 17 goals in over 250 outings for the club.
A graduate of the Gills Academy system, Nyron made his first team debut in the 1-0 defeat of Fulham at Priestfield in November 1998 and became a regular in the side as Peter Taylor’s Gillingham clinched promotion to the Championship in 1999/2000. He clocked up 199 appearances for the Gills, famously scoring twice as a make shift striker against Crystal Palace in May 2003, before joining Premier League Sunderland in 2005.
An uncompromising full-back who liked to push forward, Keith was signed by Andy Nelson following a successful loan spell from Port Vale in December 1972. His combination of steel and skill epitomised Nelson’s team which powered its way to promotion in Lindsey’s first full campaign in 1973/74, with the right-back netting four times, including three penalties. In total Keith scored five goals in 75 games for the club.
A graduate of legendary coach Bill “Buster” Collins’ youth team, Chatham born full-back Graham Knight was a real one club man, spending his entire professional career at Priestfield after signing apprentice forms in 1968. A hugely versatile player, Knight played in every position except goalkeeper during his time with the Gills, scoring 10 times in 274 appearances and was rewarded with a testimonial against Tottenham in 1979.
Signed from Plymouth Argyle for a fee of £45,000 in October 1997, Patto was a key addition to the squad as Gillingham prepared for an assault on promotion to the second tier. He was a virtual ever-present in the side that took the Gills to Wembley for the first time in the club’s history, before losing to Manchester City, but missed out on the play-off final the following season through injury. He returned to action for Gillingham’s debut in the Championship making a total of 147 first team appearances and is now the club’s Development Manager.