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Les Riggs (1935-2020)

We are sad to report the passing of former Gills player, Les Riggs.

31 December 2020

Former defender passes away.

Gillingham Football Club is very saddened to learn of the passing of former player Les Riggs, who has died at the age of 85.

Les made 182 appearances for the Gills in all competitions across two spells in the 1950’s and the 1960’s and was welcomed back as a ‘Legend’ in 2014 for the home game against Crewe Alexandra, one of his former clubs. 

The full-back made his Gills debut in April 1954, who were then under the management of Archie Clark, in a 1-0 over QPR and became well known for having the longest throw-in in football. It was calculated that at the time he could throw the ball 49 yards before hitting the turf. 

Les also had spells at Crewe, Bury and Newport before returning to Priestfield at the end of his playing career. 

The defender notched 13 goals for the Gills and later went on to manage both Ramsgate and Margate. 

While in charge at Hartsdown Park he led Margate to an FA Cup Third Round tie with Tottenham Hotspur in 1973. 

After leaving Football altogether in 1977, Les ran a guest house and later opened a sporting goods shop in Cliftonville. 


The thoughts of everyone at Gillingham Football Club are with Les’ family and friends at this very difficult time.



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