Gittens’ match raises thousands for charity

By Connor Steel

RIVAL football players from Portsmouth and Southampton came together on Easter Sunday for a charity match at Cams Alders in memory of ex-defender Jon Gittens following his death in 2019; raising £6000 during the afternoon for Cancer Research as they celebrated the life of a Hampshire football stalwart who managed the Creeksiders for two successful years between 2002 and 2004.

As previously reported the charity match was played between ex-professionals that played alongside Gittens and a team of Fareham players who featured as part of his team as a manager at Cams. Kicking off at 2pm the match was divided into three periods of twenty-five minutes with regular breaks and unlimited substitutes allowed, given the age of the stars on display and the competitive nature.

Ex-Southampton players included Jo Tessem, who still plays aged fifty for Wessex League side Hythe & Dibden; featuring alongside Neil Maddison, Reuben Agboola, Steve Baker, Jason Dodd, Dave Puckett, Glenn Cockerill, Nicky Banger, and Mark Blake. They joined former Portsmouth FC stays such as Lee Bradley, Deon Burton, Andy Cook, David Waterman, Guy Butters, Paul Walsh, and David Birmingham as rivals combined for a worthy charity cause affecting many.

Former Fareham Town players included the likes of James Musselwhite, Danny Thompson, Gary Franklin, Mo Stuart, Ian Rew, Tim Brown, Hope Sea and Jonathan Keough; who all featured during Gittens’ successful tenure that saw the Creeksiders finish high in successive Wessex League seasons alongside runs in the Hampshire Senior Cup and FA Vase over the two years.

And indeed the result didn’t matter as the crowd raised thousands of pounds for charity; organiser BJ Green, who captained Fareham under Gittens, told the Portsmouth News it should be an annual event for many years to come. He said: “Fareham have been absolutely brilliant, they have given it the all-clear again”.

PICTURED BY KEITH WOODLAND: Two sides of ex-players join forces to raise money for cancer charity.