Gillingham FC – is this a great charitable start?
Last week saw us at Gillingham FC for the first game of the season. My husband is a great football fan and has been supporting Gillingham FC (the Gills) for 50 years. We always try to get to the first game of the season because it is a fresh start, new kit, new players and hopefully better results than the previous season.
As we live on the other side of the country to Priestfield, the home of Gillingham FC, every game is an away game for us. We try to make it a ‘holiday day’ so will stop for supper on the way back. However, on this visit and the last of the previous season in May, our journey to get to the game was fraught with delays. We missed the first half of the last game of the year thanks to hold-ups on the M25. It is a motorway that is known as the ‘Road to Hell’ and has even had a song written about it by Chris Rea in 1989. IT is also part of a proverb, the rest of which is ‘…is paved with good intentions’ I’m sure this is applicable of those who designed this motorway but they have sadly fallen short.
Our delay last week meant we only missed the beginning of the match but the Gills were uncharacteristically quick in scoring so we missed the first goal!
Once settled in my seat with my coffee, I could begin to relax and take in the atmosphere. As I’ve said, there is always a new kit and those keen fans will buy each edition. I’m not one to think about club merchandise but looking at the back of the shirt in front of me I noticed an addition
Gillingham FC and Take Heart Mercy Mission
Obviously, the players have their names on the reverse of their shirts but this advertising was different.
There was mention of ‘Take Heart Mercy Mission’ in the programme where the club chairman explained that this charity, created to support the work in Sri Lanka of volunteer doctors and nurses from Evalina Hospital in London, had been chosen as Gillingham FC charity of the year. To be honest I’m not aware of the club having one before but that doesn’t matter. It was so good to see this. Sales of kit and other memorabilia provide a major cash injection to all football clubs. Just ask all those Manchester United fans who subscribe to their international brand. Using it to spread the word for something other than football is a very positive move.
As for the game – well our opponents Sheffield United were obviously in a charitable mood too. They allowed us to score 4 goals whilst not bothering themselves. 4-0 to the Gills was a great start to the season!