I originally published this article on Bleacher Report, but because it is to do with Gillingham, I have felt compelled to publish it here on my blog site also.
So, in no order of ranking, here are the 10 reasons why I love Gillingham Football Club.
1: The fans
Gillingham have the best fans in the world. At Priestfield we’re amazing, we always spur on the team to go that bit extra. Away from home, we’re unbelievable. We’re so loud that even the home team and fans are intimidated by us!
2: The KRBS Priestfield Stadium
There’s only usually 5,000 at a game (out of 11,000 capacity) but it is always a daunting place for teams to visit, especially for opposition players with funny names or ginger hair. They receive so much stick they crumble on the pitch and explode into tears once they’re in the dressing room.
3: The Highs
I’ve had some incredible times following the Gills. Our promotion season in ’96, our Wembley game against Wigan in 2000 promoting us to the 1st Divison (now Championship) for the first time, an F.A Cup win over Charlton, a League Cup win over Portsmouth, are just a few of the high times I’ve experienced as a proud Gillingham fan.
4: The lows
To be honest, even the lows times are okay. I have experienced many lows as a Gills fan. Two relegations, 5-0, 6-0, 7-0 drubbings away from home which make me wonder why I bother making the journey to watch them away, are just a few of the lows. But it’s all okay because I get respected for not being a glory hunter!
5. My mate Vaughan
Probably the most die-hard Gillingham fan you’ll ever see. He’d do anything for the Gills. He’ll even criticise them for not scoring good enough goals. “F*ckin’ hell Jacko! That was sh*t! You could’ve at least taken it round 13 players before scoring from 35 yards!”
6: Andrew Crofts
A Gillingham legend. A true Gillingham lad who gives his heart and soul for his beloved Gillingham Football Club. Also, the most capped player while at Gillingham, so far receiving 12 caps for Wales.
7: Other Legends
Nicky Southall, Andy Hessenthaler, Ian Cox to name but a few from my era. Truly fantastic servants for the Gills who always provided good entertainment for the Gillingham faithful.
8: Brent Sancho
Gillingham’s first ever player to play in the World Cup while at Gillingham, playing for Trinidad and Tobago (wow! Two teams in one lol). He is also technically the first Gills player to score in the World Cup, scoring an own goal in the game against Paraguay. Sums Gillingham up really doesn’t it?
9: Simeon Jackson
A great young striker, a Canada U-20 international, who has been getting the goals for the Gills recently. But the reason I love him is because he always seems to be the scapegoat (when we criticise the players that is) for Gillingham poor performances. “We wouldn’t have lost if Jacko was a bit stronger.” “He’s so f*ckin greedy that Jacko. If only he let someone else score the goals we would win more.” I love Gillingham fans.
10: Ex-Gilingham Players
There are some great players out there who were once Gills players. Jason Brown (Blackburn), Mamady Sidibe (Stoke) Marlon King (Hull) Nyron Nosworthy (Sunderland) are just a few of the ex-Gills players that have gone on to better things, adding to the collection of other ex-Gills players who have become legends, such as Tony Cascarino and Steve Bruce. It’s great as it means that the once worthless memorabilia signed by King, Sidibe, Brown, Nosworthy, etc, can now get me a load of money on e-bay. The youth players think I’m weird asking for their autographs all the time, but if the aforementioned players are anything to go by, I reckon I’ll be rich by the time I’m 30.
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