ANDY HESSENTHALER FACTFILE
Born: Dartford, 1965 (Age 49) Playing Career: A combative midfielder, Hessenthaler joined Charlton at the age of 18 but was released with making an appearance and subsequently played part-time for Corinthian, Dartford and then Redbridge Forest, where he won the Isthmian League title in 1991. Signed by Second Division Watford for £60,000 in 1991, Hessenthaler spent five years at Vicarage Road, scoring 14 goals in 217 games. Following relegation from the second tier in 1996, he joined Gillingham for a club-record fee of £250,000 and would remain there for a decade. Though famously beaten by Man City in the League One play-off final of 1999, Hessenthaler skippered the side to promotion the following season and immediately became player-manager. By the time he departed aged 40 in 2006, Hessenthaler had made 360 appearances and become the oldest player ever to represent Gills. Determined to play on, Hessenthaler spent a further two years with Barnet in League Two and made 30 appearances for Dartford in the 200708 season before retiring in 2010 at the age of 44. Managerial Career: Appointed player-manager of Gills in 2000 following promotion to the Championship (and the subsequent departure of Peter Taylor), Hessenthaler kept the Kent side in midtable three years running and in 2002-03 sealed a best-ever finish of 11th. However, when a relegation near miss was followed by a poor start to the 2004-05 season, Hessenthaler resigned. His next post came at Dover in 2007 and brought immediate success with promotion from Ryman Division One South to Conference South in successive seasons. He then led the Whites to a play-off defeat to Woking in 2010 before resigning. Hessenthaler returned to Priestfield in 2010, but was sacked in 2012 after twice failing to reach the League Two play-offs. After working as a director at Gills and scout for Burnley, he once more returned to Gillingham as No.2 to Peter Taylor and in December 2014 became caretakermanager.