Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughGillingham's forgotten hero - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Gillingham's forgotten hero - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Gillingham’s forgotten hero

Today doesn’t just see the birthday of Paul Dickov but also that of Kevin Horlock. The statistics they share are amazing.

Both were born on the same day in 1972, both made their debuts for City in the same season and both scored goals in the Playoff Final against Gillingham!

Kevin moved to City from Swindon where he had become a regular starter and was Frank Clarks first signing. After his debut for City in February he went on to make eighteen appearances scoring four times in the remainder of the season.

The next season Horlock started and finished the season but missed twenty games in the middle and couldn’t do enough to help City avoid relegation.

In Division Two, Horlock missed only ten games as City attempted to bounce straight back to Division one and then, hopefully, the Premiership. City had a slow start to that comeback season and in the end could only manage a playoff place. After getting past Wigan, City travelled to the capital to take on Gillingham.

With only minutes left to go City were 2-0 down and their future was in the balance. Now if you ask City fans about their iconic moment of that game quite rightly the opinions will be divided between Dickov’s equalising goal or Weavers penalty save and then marathon run!

However you have to score the first goal before you can get the second and ‘Super Kev’ was the one that got that all important goal. Unfortunately due to the euphoria of what happened next Mr Horlocks contribution has been brushed away to the side somewhat. However it is important to note that Horlock took City’s first penalty and converted while Dickov stepped up for the second and failed. 

In the next season Horlocks goals were the difference between wins and draws against Ipswich, Grimsby and Bolton and a draw instead of a loss against Tranmere and QPR. In 36 starts Horlock scored ten times as City secured back to back promotions.

It seems that the return to the Premiership was the start of the end for City and after relegation with Horlock only netting two goals were followed up in the next season, under Keegan, with just seven. Horlock would stay with City for another Premiership campaign and after only 22 starts and no goals it was deemed time to move on and he was transferred to West Ham. 

His last season in a City shirt was also the last season City played at Maine Road. There is no doubt that Horlock was instrumental in City’s revival but unlike Goater and Schmeichel (who only was with City for one season) City didn’t make a public presentation to the player to acknowledge his contribution to the club.

Kevin currently runs a football coaching schooling Ipswich where children between the ages of 5 and 13 come to learn from one of the best.

PA Cityboy

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