Tuktuk Day Five

So, it’s down to business I guess and which is the first club? Well, it could not be anywhere else than Gillingham where I first fell in love with football. I attended my first match on 22nd February 1964 (see below) and my love has rarely waned. I have followed them from Thailand, Spain, India, Sweden, Norway and the USA over the years. In fact an “incident” at Doncaster Rovers a few seasons ago when the over-enthusiastic security did not want to let me in as I had a large backpack. He was not impressed with the fact that I had flown in from Oslo that day and struggled to believe that anybody would do a day trip to Doncaster just to watch a game. It was getting tetchy and I showed him TheShirt blog and some posts on FB about my travels. Sadly over-enthusiastic stewarding and ineffective stewarding have been two of the banes of my life over the past 60 years!

So, when I first visited the Theatre of Farce aka Priestfield Stadium in 1964 they had just got floodlights. I read they were the 89th of 92 clubs to do so. Although I did not really understand it, we got promoted that season from the Forth Division to the Third Division but were apparently unpopular because of our blanket defences. We were ahead of Mou! In fact, the manager a certain Freddie Cox threw a bucket of water over the fans who were complaining about the ultra defensive style. Mmmm.

Jim at Gillingham Legends kindly keeps me up to date with what is happening at the club so I thought that I could return the favour and showcase him here. You will also find him active on Facebook with all his new art.

Jim is a fantastic illustrator and has produced all kinds of memorabilia of Gillingham players. Here is a hardback book that initially sold out within days. He has also produced badges, images of the stadium and the “This Is Your Life” prints above. You can ask him for a print of your first game, promotion game, victory over Leeds United or whatever. Obviously the Wembley games against Manchester City and Wigan are popular …. for very different reasons! I thought the QPR match was interesting. 18 out 22 players played the reverse fixture 24 hours later!

I hope to come back to Gillingham on 22nd February 2024 and will ask Jim to do me a souvenir with the teams.

In the meantime, please consider supporting FC Deportivo Galicia and/or Prostate Cancer UK


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