Sunday, September 01, 2013


Like most people, today`s announcement of the death of Sir David Frost came as a complete shock....and to me as another 74-year old, as Sir David was, it came as yet another stark reminder of the frailty of life.   Now there have already been heartfelt tributes to him and many more will follow and so it isn`t necessary for me to write a long obituary here.   However, there are local connections with Sir David here in deepest Kent, so I may be forgiven for mentioning one in particular.

David Frost was born in Tenterden when Kent was still the Garden of England and moved to Gillingham for much of his school days.   It was then that his love of football and consequently his lifelong support for Gillingham Football Club took hold and already the Gillingham chairman, Paul Scally, has paid tribute to him, recalling his visits to Priestfield Stadium as an `ordinary supporter,` but one who was always welcome.

And so the picture above shows the stadium in all its traditional glory, surrounded on all sides by the urban charms of the Medway town which the club represents.   It`s a proper, old fashioned stadium with its four `stands` - the Gordon Road Stand, the Medway Stand, the Rainham End and at the bottom of the picture the Brian Moore Stand named in memory of another lifelong Gillingham fan and renowned TV commentator who also died too young some years ago.

Now I`ve had the `experience` of sitting on the Brian Moore Stand to which supporters of visiting teams are consigned;  the occasion being when Southampton lost to the Gills in a League One game a few years ago before the Saints` clawed their way out of the darkness.   It teemed with rain all afternoon and we teetered on the rickety seating, exposed to the elements and the incessant deluge and it occurred to me at the time that the `facilities` hardly did justice to the memory of a truly influential `football man` and I suggested that perhaps the club might rename one of their more `fashionable` stands after Brian Moore.  Nothing came of it, however.

So now with Sir David having passed away and with Gillingham`s chairman already expecting a minute`s applause in his memory at the next home game, surely this is the time for the club to rename both the Gordon Road and the Medway Stands, one in honour of Sir David and the other in honour of Brian Moore.  I`m not sure even the most traditional of Gillingham fans will see it as anything other than a fitting tribute to two of the club`s most distinguished supporters.

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