Please redirect to the new site at Gillingham FC Scrapbook
This site will be removed at the end of the month
|< 1950's||The 1960's||1970's >|
1960-61 Div 4
Position 15th (out of 24)
After finishing 7th the previous season this was to be a rather disappointing campaign for several reasons. While the goals flowed in the early part of the season they rather dried up after Christmas and they finished in 15th place. There was controversy in the home game with Oldham when a late equalising goal was disallowed by the referee who was subsequently attacked by a spectator. The Football League had no choice but to close the ground for 14 days and the home game with Wrexham was played at Gravesend and Northfleets Stonebridge Road ground. In the FA Cup 2 late goals by John Shepherd in the 2nd Round against Southend Utd earned the club a home match against 2nd Division side Leyton Orient. The Londoners were far too strong though winning the tie 6-2.
1961-62 Div 4
Position 20th (out of 23)
Easily the worst season since re-joining the football league in 1950. One Point from the first 9 games set the tone for the season. Money problems didn't help either and when the team arrived late for a game at Barrow which was eventually abandoned when they were 7-0 down, the club were fast becoming a laughing stock. To the boards credit though they managed to come up with the money for signings such as Tom Johnstone and Ronnie Waldock and they did just avoid re-election but only due to Accrngton Stanley dropping out of the league. Gordon Pulley was one bright spot and he ended the season as leading scorer with 16 goals. After 4 years in charge manager Harry Barrett tendered his resignation at the end of the season.
1962-63 Div 4
Position 5th (out of 24)
Freddie Cox the ex Arsenal and Spurs winger and former Bournemouth Manager was unveiled as the successor to Harry Barrett. One of his first tasks though was to deal with the bribery scandal from the previous season where it was alleged that certain Gillingham players had taken bribes in the end of season games against Wrexham. After a 3 month enquiry though both the club and players were cleared of any involvment. On the pitch it was to be a much better season as new signings John Arnott, Mike Burgess, Brian Gibbs, John Ballagher and George Francis all began to settle in. The harsh winter meant that after Boxing day there were to be no more games until the 16th February while the 3rd Round FA Cup tie with Port Vale was postponed 12 times. The promotion race went up until the last game of the season but unfortunately a late equalising goal for Mansfield at Stockport meant they were promoted on goal difference and the Gills finished in 5th Place. Yet another bribery inqury was launched during the close season - this time involving the Mansfield Town v Hartlepool match which Mansfield won 4-2. This time the allegations were proved after nearly 2 years and 3 players involved were jailed and banned from football for life.
1963-64 Div 4
Position 1st (out of 24)
After missing out on promotion the previous season Freddie Cox made only 3 major signings during the close season - Jimmy White, Geoff Hudson and Brian Yeo. While some supporters were not too sure of his P plan (P stood for possesion) the results soon won them round as the team made their best ever start to a season remaining unbeaten in the first 15 games. The crowds came flooding back with attendances peaking at 17,421 for the visit of promotion rivals Carlisle while the first ever floodlight game at Priesfield saw 14,979 turn up for the 2nd Round League Cup tie with Bury. After such a great start the second half of the season saw the team struggle slightly and they only won one game in January and February. However with the meanest defence in the football league they didn't lose many either and promotion was secured with 2 games left to play. They needed to win both those games to clinch the Fourth Divison title on goal difference from Carlisle which they did - with George Francis scoring the winning goal in a 1-0 win at Newport.
1964-65 Div 3
Position 7th (out of 24)
Despite winning the 4th Division chamionship the previous season it was quite obvious that the team needed to strengthen the attack if they were to make an impact on the 3rd Division and the manager broke the club transfer record to sign Rodney Green from Bradford City for £8,000. He also signed penalty expert Charlie Rackstraw from Chesterfield and he scored the club's first goal of the season in the 1-0 win at Walsall on the opening day of the season. The defence with Johnny Simpson in goal stayed much the same as the previous campaign and once again they proved just as difficult to break down. The team were in contention nearly all season largely due to another excellent home record. At the end of March 15,552 people saw the 2-0 vicory over Peterborough which was the team's 52nd home game without defeat. Unfortunately in the next game an own goal from Mike Burgess meant that Exeter City would end that record. It didn't do the promotion challenge much good either although with 3 games to go they were in joint 2nd. However 3 defeats in the last 3 games meant that they ended the season in 7th place. Brian Gibbs finished as the leading goalscorer with 21 goals.
1965-66 Div 3
Position 6th (out of 24)
Freddie Cox promised there would be a clear out and he was true to his word. Out went several of the championship side of 2 years ago - Alex Farrell, Geoff Hudson, Mike Burgess and Gordon Pulley along with Rodney Green who had only joined the previous season. Unfortunately their replacements weren't quite up to the same standard and the first half of the season was spent mainly in mid-table while in the FA Cup they lost 2-1 at home to Folkestone. After the successes of the last 3 seasons it was something of an anti-climax and there was no surprise when Freddie Cox handed in his resignation just before Christmas. Basil Hayward of Bedford Town was announced as the new manager and he wasted no time going back to his old club to sign centre forward Bill Brown. Despite a shaky start under the new manager results picked up at the end of the season and the team finished in 6th spot - an improvement of 1 place. Ron Newman was the clubs first ever substitute when he came on for Gordon Pulley in the first game of the season.
1966-67 Div 3
Position 11th (out of 24)
Mel Machin, Charlie Crickmore, Ray Bailey and Derek Bellotti (both from his old club Bedford) were manager Basil Haywards major signings during the summer. It was Crickmore though that captured all of the headlines early in the season when he scored the opening goal in the 2nd Round League Cup tie at Highbury against Arsenal. A late equaliser meant that game ended in a 1-1 draw and the replay at a foggy Priestfield attracted a crowd of 20,566. Despite going to extra time that game also ended in a 1-1 draw and although Arsenal won the 2nd Replay at Higbury hopes were high of a decent season. However despite one or two decent results they had to settle for mid-table.
1967-68 Div 3
Position 11th (out of 24)
A nine match unbeaten run in September and October meant the team were sitting in 4th place by the begnning of November. However a 3-2 defeat at Bury after being two goals up coupled with the transfer of Charlie Crickmore to Rotherham set the scene for the rest of the season and they eventuually finished in 11th spot again. There was some excitement at the end of the season though as they entered a team in the Daily Express 5-a-side championships. Not only did they win the South East group at Bracknell but a week later they battled through to the National Final at Wembley Arena before losing to a late goal against Charlton Athletic scored by Keith Peacock. Johnny Meredith set a club record of 192 consecutive league appearances before missing the Scunthorpe away game due to injury.
1968-69 Div 3
Position 20th (out of 24)
After losing Bill Brown during the summer and Brian Gibbs after only 5 games it meant that the main goalscoring duties this season were to fall to Brian Yeo and Carl Gilbert. Brian Gibbs in particular was a difficult act to follow as he had been the clubs leading goalscorer for the last 5 years and was the first player to score over 100 league goals for the club. As it happens Brian Yeo did manage 17 goals but he lacked support up front with midfielder Gordon Riddick the only other player to reach double figures. The season was a strugle right from the start and a particularly bad spell around Christmas and New Year ended with a 5-0 home defeat to eventual champions Watford. However they did improve after that and it came down to the very last game of season away to Shrewsbury to decide who would go down. However a goal early in the first half from Gordon Riddick calmed any nerves and despite a last minute equaliser the Gills were safe for another year.
1969-70 Div 3
Position 20th (out of 24)
After just avoiding relegation the previous season supporters were hoping that this would be a much better campaign. However with Ken Pound being the only major signing during the summer the prospects weren't good and after losing the first 6 league games they were positively bleak. Dave Galvin was brought in on loan from Wolves to try and bolster the defence but by Christmas the team were 2nd to bottom and 10 points away from safety. However 2 excellent wins over Christmas against highly fancied Fulham and top of the table Luton were followed by a third round FA Cup victory over Newport. Peterborough were then beaten 5-1 in the next round but the Cup dream was over after a 2-1 5th Round defeat at Watford. Back in the league though results were still erratic. One week they would lose at home to bottom of the table Barrow and the next they would win at 2nd placed Bristol Rovers. They were still in with a chance with one game to but they needed to win at Orient who had just been crowned Division Three champions. After going one goal down at half time things didn't look too good but an inspired 2nd half comeback saw the Gills equalise and then snatch the winner with 5 minutes to go. Relegation was avoided on the last day of the season for the 2nd season running. Mike Green who started the season as a centre half was converted to a centre forward and ended up as the leading scorer with 13 goals.