What­ever hap­pened to Gilling­ham’s Third Di­vi­sion run­ners up of 1995/96

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Neil Fissler

NEIL SMITH says Tony Pulis was a breath of fresh air when he walked into Pri­est­field Sta­dium and started to sprin­kle his magic dust.

Only two sea­sons ear­lier the Gills had nar­rowly avoided go­ing out of the Foot­ball League and pos­si­bly out of busi­ness.

But, backed by new chair­man Paul Scally, Pulis came in and made a raft of new sign­ings.

Sud­denly the club were on the up and at the end of Pulis’ first sea­son they fin­ished as Di­vi­sion Three run­ners up, three points be­hind Pre­ston North End.

Smith says that was due to Pulis’ no non­sense ap­proach to foot­ball man­age­ment and get­ting ev­ery­one pulling in the same di­rec­tion.

“There was no ‘I’ll see how it is’. Straight away it was ‘if you wanna go, you go’ but if you wanna stay you are go­ing to have to work your socks off’.

“Ob­vi­ously the sea­sons be­fore weren’t good enough. Tony shook the club from the foun­da­tions and it was ex­actly what was needed.

“I’d seen the times when the club had nearly gone out of the league and out of ex­is­tence. Hav­ing some­one like Tony come in was like a breath of fresh air.

“It needed that shake up. Paul Scally also gave it a bit of an in­jec­tion and di­rec­tion. I can hon­estly say that I loved ev­ery minute of it.

“Train­ing was hard work. I’d never trained like it be­fore in all my ca­reer. Tony also brought us a be­lief.We went into games know­ing we were go­ing to win in the tun­nel.

“I would have run through a brick wall for Tony and the rest of the team be­cause I know the other lads would do it for me.”

Gilling­ham looked as if they were go­ing to walk away with the ti­tle un­til win­ning only one of ten games dur­ing Fe­bru­ary and March.

In the end they had to set­tle for run­ners up spot when their third ever pro­mo­tion – af­ter suc­cess in 1963-64 and 1973-74 – was se­cured with a goal-less draw at Ful­ham.

1. Do­minic Nay­lor: He is now run­ning Flow plumb­ing and heat­ing so­lu­tions in St Al­bans.

2. Joe Dunne: Joined the coach­ing staff at Colch­ester United where he ended his ca­reer. Now first team man­ager there.

3. Neil Smith: He is as­sis­tant man­ager of Brom­ley and runs the clubs academy as well as coach­ing at Crys­tal Palace’s academy once a week.

4. Richard Car­pen­ter: Coach­ing for Brighton Com­mu­nity Scheme and is on the coach­ing staff at Hove col­lege BHASVIC.

5. Jim Stan­nard: Man­aged Red­bridge be­fore work­ing as goal­keeper coach at Gilling­ham twice, Crys­tal Palace, Southamp­ton and now Da­gen­ham and Red­bridge.

6. Steve Brown: Is now back

liv­ing and work­ing in his na­tive Southend on Sea.

7. Scott Lind­say: For­mer tech­ni­cal de­vel­op­ment coach at Gilling­ham be­fore be­com­ing as­sis­tant man­ager at Lin­coln City and now Tam­worth.

8. Gary Mick­le­white: Was youth de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer at QPR, as­sis­tant man­ager at Wy­combe and a coach with Charl­ton. Now a cab driver in Lon­don

9. Mark O’Con­nor: Coached Gilling­ham, Bournemouth Portsmouth, Ply­mouth Ar­gyle and Stoke un­der Tony Pulis. He is now Bris­tol City’s U21 boss.

10. Wayne Jones: The physio worked at New­port County in Septem­ber 2013. Lives in Kent with his fam­ily.

11. Andy Arnott: He is based in Rochester, Kent and has been a project man­ager for Dry space Struc­tures since Jan­uary 2008.

12. Dar­ren Free­man: The for­mer winger was man­ager of White­hawk in the Con­fer­ence South un­til be­ing sacked in Jan­uary 2014.

13. Dave Martin: Af­ter work­ing as a project man­ager for a dry line com­pany is now a cab driver in Lon­don.

14. Tony But­ler: He fin­ished his ca­reer at Al­fre­ton Town and is now back liv­ing and work­ing in the North of Eng­land.

15. Mark Har­ris: Af­ter twice win­ning the FA Tro­phy with Kingsto­nian he be­came a sales rep for a tool hire com­pany.

16. Richard Green: The for­mer cen­tral de­fender is now based in Wal­sall where he works as a driv­ing in­struc­tor.

17. Si­mon Rat­cliffe: Af­ter work­ing for Gilling­ham as youth

de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer he re­turned to Nor­folk and has been a prison of­fi­cer at Nor­wich Prison for 14 years.

18. Kevin Brem­ner: Worked in the Acad­e­mies of Mill­wall and Gilling­ham. Lives in Gilling­ham and works as a sub con­trac­tor in the build­ing in­dus­try.

19. Paul Wat­son: He stud­ied phys­io­ther­apy at Brunel Univer­sity and in 2009 joined Brighton where he is cur­rently first team physio.

20. Leo For­tune-West: Now liv­ing in the East Mid­lands where he works in fund rais­ing and is do­ing some coach­ing.

21. Paul Wil­son: Lives in Hast­ings and works for Free­dom Leisure as a cen­tre man­ager in Bexhill.

22. Tony Pulis: Now in charge of Crys­tal Palace hav­ing pre­vi­ously man­aged Stoke (twice), Bris­tol City, Portsmouth and Ply­mouth Ar­gyle.

23. Paul Scally: For­mer owner of a pho­to­copier com­pany has been chair­man of the Gills since 1995.

24. Lind­say Parsons: Worked un­der Pulis in var­i­ous coach­ing and scout­ing ca­pac­i­ties prior to leav­ing Stoke City in May 2013.

25. Den­nis Bai­ley: The com­mit­ted Chris­tian lives in Birm­ing­ham and works for an­other for­mer foot­baller Derek Jef­fer­son and his com­pany Sports Pur­suits

26. Adrian Fos­ter: Has man­aged Gilling­ham Town and is now in charge of South­ern League Frome Town

27. Kevin Rat­tray: He lives in Ed­mon­ton, Lon­don and works in the City of Lon­don.

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