Monday 6 January 2020

West GillingHam United: A Combined Gills-Hammers XI

As the mighty Hammers of East London return home after a 2-0 win over mighty League One Gillingham at the Priestfield Stadium last night, to celebrate the first ever FA cup clash between the sides we consider the finest players to have served for both Gills and Hammers: West GillingHam United!

Darren Randolph: Top Irish International Keeper, Randy enjoyed a decent spell at West Ham before a £5million switch to Middlesboro in 2017. Back in 2006 Dazzler was at the Gills for a short three game loan stint. Rumoured to be on his way back to West Ham this January and he'll be very welcome as back up for Lucasz Fabianski. 

Paul Konchesky: A West Ham youth, he enjoyed an excellent two year spell between 2005-7 including 'that' FA cup goal 9and a subsequent penalty miss) in the 2006 final. Moved on to Liverpool and Leicester before a decent 25 game season at Gillingham in 2016. 

Steve Walford: Skillful centre back who made over 100 appearances for the Hammers in a successful 6 year spell between 1983 and 1989. He also managed to slip in a 4 game loan spell at the Gills in 1988. Decent coaching career after he retired. 

Gary Breen: Enjoyed an excellent two year spell at the Gills between '94 and '96 before moving on to Peterboro and then the top flight. Disappointing relegation year spell at West ham in 2003. Amazing to think he failed a  medical at Milan and was once linked with a move to Barcelona!!! A popular pundit on Irish Radio these days.

Kenny Brown: Tenacious right back who made 60 odd appearances for the Hammers between '91 and '96, including a titke-wrecking goal vs Man Utd in 1992. His dad was also a decorated Hammer. Fitted in a 4 game spell at the Gills in '98-'99 season. 

Steve Lomas: Had a successful eight year period at the Hammers from 1997 to 2005 during which he patrolled midfield with his determined and abrasive style. Won the Intertoto cup in 1999 but relegated in 2003. Moved to QPR and then on for an 8 game spell at the Gills. Then endured an up and down managerial career that included a stormy time at Millwall! 

Matt Jarvis: Spent his early career at Gillingham where he amassed 110 appearances before the transfer to Wolves and then a £10 million move to West Ham. Never quite delivered upon expectations at Upton park where it was hoped he could provide the ammunition for Andy Carroll to fire. Moved on to Norwich in 2015 and then Walsall in 2019.

Olly Lee: Spent 3 years on the West ham books from 2009 to 2012 but never made the step up to full appearance. Moved to the Daggers and then on to Gillingham for a first spell on loan in 2012. Since then has journeyed through Birmingham City, Hearts and Plymouth with a three year stint alongside brother Elliot between 2015 and 2018 at Luton. Back at Gillingham and enjoying a creative midfield role. 

Manny Omoyinmi: Another who never quite stepped up to the top tier. Five year spell at the Hammers where he made 13 appearances before moving to Oxford where he enjoyed his best period from 2000 to 2004 scoring 9 goals in 67 appearances. Had a 9 game loan period at the Gills in 1999 where he scored three goals. 

Frank Nouble: Another who didn't quite step up to the first level. At the Hammers between 2009 and 2012 where he made 13 appearances and scored a a single goal. Pacy forward. He has had two spells at Gillingham - 2011 (13 games, 5 goals) and again in 2016-17 (12 games, 1 goal). At Colchester for the past two seasons where he is enjoying his most prolific period.

Fred Corbett: West Ham’s first ever black player, who made his debut for Thames Ironworks (where he was employed as a labourer) in a 1-0 defeat at Reading on 16th September 1899! Scored 13 goals in 33 games during West Ham's first season (1900-01) and then enjoyed spells at Bristol City and Brentford before a final season in 1911 at New Brompton who became Gillingham FC in 1912. Died at just 43v years of age, cause not documented.

So there we have it - There is a pattern of players going on loan to the Gills from the Hammers or seeing out their careers at Gillingham after an earlier spell at the Hammers. 

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