Former Pompey and Saints stars to take on Fareham Town old boys in charity match for Jon Gittens

A host of former Pompey and Southampton stars are due to take part in a charity match in memory of Jon Gittens.

By Simon Carter
Monday, 10th January 2022, 12:57 pm
Jon Gittens during his time as Fareham Town manager. PIC MICK YOUNG

The team of ex-professionals will face a Fareham Town old boys XI at Cams Alders on Sunday April 17 (2pm) with all monies going to Cancer Research UK.

Gittens played for both Pompey - 99 games between 1993-1996 - and Saints in a 15-year pro career as a centre half. He also played for Swindon, Middlesbrough, Torquay and Exeter City.

He managed Fareham Town between 2002-2004, guiding them to the Hampshire Senior Cup final in his last season, and later had spells in charge of two other Wessex League clubs, Team Solent and Blackfield & Langley.

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Jon Gittens, left, in FA Cup action for Exeter against Everton in 1999. Picture: Alex Livesey /Allsport.

He passed away in March 2019, aged just 55.

Former Pompey stars who have agreed to play in the charity game are Alan Knight, Chris Burns, Guy Butters, Deon Burton, Dave Waterman, Daryl Powell, Micky Ross, Guy Whittingham, Lee Bradbury, Robbie Pethick, Paul Hall, Lee Russell, Fraser Digby, Vince Hilaire, Paul Walsh and Jimmy Gilligan.

Saints legend Matt Le Tissier is the standout name among the former Southampton players who have agreed to play. Others include Glenn Cockerill, Micky Adams,Gerry Forrest, Mark Blake and Neil Maddison.

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Davis has also been added to the ex-pros squad list given to Gittens’ former Fareham skipper Bjay Green. Cockerill - who had his cheekbone broken by Davis in 1988, earning the latter a nine-game FA ban - and Butters will manage the team.

Green is part of the Fareham old boys squad also featuring Lee Webber, Gary Franklin, Mo Stuart, Darren Watts, Jonathan Keough, Danny Thompson, David Rowe, Fouad Hamodu, James Musselwhite, Wayne Boud, Robbie Savage, Phil Roscoe, Darren Clark, Rob Cox, Bill Coates, Ross Bottomley, Ian Rew, Stuart Hensman, Tim Brown, Paul Morby and Hope Sea.

Fareham’s squad will be managed by Marc Dack - who was Gittens’ best man at his wedding to Jayne - Mark Chamberlain, a former Fareham player-manager, and ex-Fareham assistant boss Anthony Adams.

Green said: ‘Jon was my manager at Fareham. He’d been a centre half and I played in the same position - I learnt a hell of a lot from him.

‘He was an honest bloke and a fantastic coach - his training was superb.

‘He got the best out of players, he was the best manager I ever played under.’

A lower-key charity match in aid of Gittens was first held at Test Park in Southampton - Team Solent’s former Wessex League ground - in 2019.

Green’s wish is for the friendly to now become an annual event at Cams Alders.

Organisers are asking for local businesses etc to donate prizes for a raffle being run on the day of the Cams Alders game in April. They are also searching for bouncy castles and face painters.

Anyone who can help can contact Green by email at [email protected] or at 07986 835110.