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1970-71 Div 3
Position 24th (out of 24)

For the third season in a row the team found themselves battling against relegation. However unlike the last 2 seasons there was to be no happy ending as they finished rock bottom and after over 5 years in charge Manager Basil Hayward was sacked during the summer. Goalkeeper John Simpson was ever present through the season and was rewarded for 14 years service to club with a Testimonial game in May against Crystal Palace. Rodney Marsh played up front for Gillingham and the game attracted a crowd of over 10,000.

Season 1970-71 results

Photos/John Simpson.jpg

John Simpson

1971-72 Div 4
Position 13th (out of 24)

Back in the 4th Division after an absence of 7 years the club turned to Andy Nelson to try and get promotion at the first attempt. Among his early signings were goalkeeper Peter Shearing, Terry Parmenter and Alan Wilks. The signing of Wilks was something of a surprise as he had only recently been playing for QPR in the First Division although mainly as understudy to Rodney Marsh. The first half of the season saw the Gills make a strong challenge but after hammering Northampton 4-1 on Boxing Day they fell away dramatically failing to win any of their last 11 games and eventually ended up in mid-table. Brian Yeo had his best season in a Gills shirt as he finished as top scorer with 22 goals but it was Alan Wilks who impressed the fans the most winning the Gills Player of the Year award.

Season 1971-72 results

Photos/Alan Wilks.jpg

Alan Wilks

1972-73 Div 4
Position 9th (out of 24)

Supporters were beginning to vote with their feet after a slow start to the season and when Doncaster came to Priestfield one wet Friday night in September only 1,575 bothered to turn up - the lowest ever crowd for a league game at Priestfield. Things had to improve and they did - mainly due to a trio of signings in November. Joe Jaques, Keith Lindsey and Irish international Damien Richardson all made an immediate impression and after a 5 match winning run in January and February the team were on the fringe of the promotion race. They couldn't quite keep it up though and finally finished in 9th place but hopes were now high for the following season.

Season 1972-73 results

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Damien Richardson

1973-74 Div 4
Position 2nd (out of 24)

It may have taken Andy Nelson a couple of years to assemble a team ready for a promotion challenge but it was certainly worth waiting for. The fans certainly thought so and attendances gradually improved until over 12,000 saw the home game with Peterborough. The signs were there early on as Swansea were beaten 3-0 at Vetch Field and then Scunthorpe were thrashed 7-2 at Priestfield 4 days later. Brian Yeo scored a hat trick in that game and was to end the season as the football league's leading scorer with 31 goals. Wilks and Richardson scored their fair share as well as the team set a new club record of 90 league goals in a season. It was a 3 way race for the title throughout the season between the Gils, Colchester and Peterborough and it eventually boiled down to a championship decider in the last game of the season at Peterborough's London Road. Gills lost a thrilling game 4-2 but they did finish runners-up and ensured a welcome return to the 3rd Division after a 3 year absence.

Season 1973-74 results

Photos/Brian Yeo.jpg

Brian Yeo

1974-75 Div 3
Position 10th (out of 24)

Season 1974-75 results

1975-76 Div 3
Position 15th (out of 24)

Season 1975-76 results

1976-77 Div 3
Position 12th (out of 24)

Season 1976-77 results

1977-78 Div 3
Position 7th (out of 24)

Season 1977-78 results

1978-79 Div 3
Position 4th (out of 24)

Season 1978-79 results

1979-80 Div 3
Position 16th (out of 24)

Season 1979-80 results