Sunday 29th May 2005

Gladwish: Football was my escape during tough upbringing

OUTGOING Whitstable Town chairman Joe Brownett paid tribute to the club at the Kent League presentation night at the Ramadam Hotel in Hollingbourne, writes Stephen McCartney.

The Belmont outfit picked up a hatful of awards, including the first team, who knocked in 71 goals in 30 Go Travel Kent League Premier Division.

They also won the fair play award and banked a cheque for finishing third place in the table.

Whitstable Town's reserves also secured the second division title, securing promotion to  division one with Bromley, having only conceeding eleven league goals in the process.

Brownett told the club's website: "It was a great night for the club.  Nice that we came so close to winning the league, played some football and in the process outscored the next highest club by 19 goals.

"The reserves winning the league, success of the under 18's winning their league and the under 15's cup victory, capped off a great season for the club.

"I am very much looking forward to the changes about to happen at Whitstable Town, we are definitely a club which is on the up."

Victor Gladwish, however, whose company GLS Football will be sponsoring the club next season, spoke of his love of the game of football.

Playing on the worldwide known venue Hackney Marshes in east London, the man who has pumped thousands into non-league football, arrived as a young Belgium boy in the Jewish quarter in London at a very young age just after the war, speaking German.

"It was a very difficult time for me, and to some extent football helped me through some very hard times, it was my form of escape," admits Gladwish.

"I have loved football, from very early age and organised the hire of a pitch of the marshes, we shared the cost, which was a penny each.

"I then found that I had a gift for statistics.  I was never very good at remembering the players' names, but statistics just seemed to click with me.  That, and my love of football, which has stayed with me to the present day."