MEMS Priestfield Stadium

Capacity: 11,582 (all seated)
Address: Redfern Avenue, Gillingham, ME7 4DD
Telephone: 01634 300 000
Fax: 01634 850 986
Ticket Office: 01634 300 000 (Option 3)
Pitch Size: 114 x 75 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Gills
Year Ground Opened: 1893
Undersoil Heating: No
Shirt Sponsors: MEMS
Kit Manufacturer: GFC Leisure
Home Kit: Blue With White Trim
Away Kit: Red With White Trim
Third Kit: White With Red Trim

Looking Towards The Rainham End
Looking Towards The Rainham End
Rainham End and Gordon Road Stand
Rainham End and Gordon Road Stand
Medway Stand
Medway Stand
Rainham End
Rainham End
Looking Towards The Brian Moore Stand
Looking Towards The Brian Moore Stand
Brian Moore Stand
Brian Moore Stand

Priestfield Stadium has been virtually re-built since the current Chairman Paul Scally took over in 1995. On one side of the ground is the impressive looking Medway Stand. Opened in 2000, it is two-tiered, with a large lower tier and a small upper tier. In-between these tiers are a row of executive boxes, which also have seating outside. Opposite is the Gordon Road Stand. Opened in 1997, this is a much smaller single tiered stand, which is partly covered (to the rear). It contains a number of supporting pillars running across the back of it, plus it also has an unusual looking TV gantry perched on its roof. The Rainham End was opened in 1999. It is a single tier cantilevered stand, which replaced a former terrace. Opposite is the Brian Moore Stand. This is in fact a temporary seated stand that has been situated on top of an existing terrace. When I say temporary (considering that it has been there since 2003) I mean that the stand can be easily dismantled and re-assembled. This is the only open area at the stadium. This stand is named in memory of the legendary commentator and lifelong Gills fan, Brian Moore.

The Club have re-announced their desire to move to a new stadium. Land near to the Club's Beeching's Cross training ground has been suggested by the Club as a possible new stadium site. The scheme which is being referred to as the Medway Village is dependant on obtaining a retail partner to provide finance into the scheme, plus getting the agreement of Medway Council. It is still very much at the feasibility stage. If the Club were to move then Priestfield would be re-developed for housing.

Away fans are housed on one side of the Brian Moore Stand (on the Medway Stand side) where around 1,500 supporters can be accommodated. Like last season the stand is of the temporary variety i.e. the type that you would see around the 18th hole at the British Open Golf Championship, although it is of a good size and height (you can get some great views of the surrounding area at the very top of it), plus the views of the playing action are fine. Unlike most temporary stands though the facilities are surprisingly good, being of a permanent nature behind the structure. However it is uncovered, so although the Club hand out free rain macs if it rains, still be prepared to get wet! The absence of a roof also dampens the atmosphere somewhat, even considering that the end is shared with home fans. However supporters in this area do try to make some noise by stamping on the metal rows of the stand. One unusual aspect of visiting Priestfield Stadium is that away supporters have to walk down a very narrow terraced street to reach the away entrance, or if coming from adjacent streets down very tight alley ways. However, there is never normally any problems with this although after the game the Police sometimes close of some of the surrounding streets to keep fans apart.

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The Fleur De Lis pub on Gillingham Road, which is around a ten minute walk away from the Priestfield Stadium, has been designated by the local Police as an away fans pub. This pub shows Sky & BT Sports, has hot and cold snacks and is family friendly. To find this pub, then with away entrance behind you, walk down to the bottom of the street. Turn left and on reaching a roundabout (where the Livingstone Arms used to be and where there is a handy fish & chip shop) turn right onto Gillingham Road. The pub is up on the right. Otherwise, the ground is walkable from the town centre, where there are a fair few pubs to be found. Paul Kelly a visiting Preston fan adds; 'we have used the 'Will Adams' in the town centre. The pub is in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and does good cheap food. Plus a very friendly crowd of football locals happy to indulge in friendly banter - the landlord is a Gill fan too!' Also located not far from the Will Adams on Skinner Street, is the small Past & Present micropub, which serves real ale and cider. Otherwise, alcohol is made available to away fans to buy inside the stadium. 

Leave the M2 at Junction 4 and take the A278 towards Gillingham, going straight across two roundabouts. At the 3rd roundabout turn left onto the A2 towards Gillingham town centre. At the traffic light junction with the A231, turn right into Nelson Road and passing the small bus station take a right turn into Gillingham Road, the ground is down on your right. 

Alternatively Roger Blackman provides an alternative route from the M2; 'At the start of the M2 keep left and follow A289 towards Gillingham. Continue towards Gillingham and go through through the Medway Tunnel (Priestfield Stadium is signposted from here). Continue on the A289 ignoring the turn off for Gillingham town centre, until you reach the Strand roundabout after about a mile. Turn right at this roundabout and up the hill and over the level crossing. Take the second left past the level crossing into Linden Road and the ground is along this road on the right'.

Car Parking

There is a residents only parking scheme in operation around Priestfield Stadium, so if you want to street park, this will mean driving a bit further away to do so. Chris Bell a visiting Northampton Town fan adds; 'There is a cheap pay and display car park (£2.50 for four hours) on Railway Street near Gillingham station, which is less than 10 minutes walk from the ground'. Parking is also available at a cost of £3 at the Our Lady Of Gillingham Catholic Church on Ingram Street (ME7 1YL). Again it is only a ten minute walk from the church to Priestfield.

Post Code for SAT NAV: ME7 4DD

Priestfield Stadium is about a ten minute walk away from Gillingham Railway Station, which is served by trains from London Victoria (every 15mins), Charing Cross (every 30mins), St Pancras and Stratford International (both located on the same line, every 30mins). It is worth noting that the quickest trains leave from St Pancras (journey time around 45mins) and Stratford International (journey time 37mins).

Robert Donaldson provides the following directions; 'Turn left out of the station and follow the road until you come to a crossroads. Go straight on into Priestfield Road. The visitors turnstiles are at the far end of Priestfield Road. Allow ten minutes to get from the station and into the ground'. To get to the home areas, turn right at the crossroads and then first left into Gordon Road for the Gillingham End Terrace home area, the Gordon Road Stand and the Rainham End. For the Medway Stand or an alternative route to the Rainham End, turn left at the crossroads and then first right. At the far end the road turns right and then left.

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Robert Donaldson adds; 'If you arrive by official coach the Police will escort the coach to a bus park, a ten minute walk from the ground. To get there, walk from the parking area to the main road, turn left and follow this road until you come to Gillingham Road. Turn right and follow this until you come to the crossroads mentioned above, only this time Priestfield Road is on the left'.

Home Fans

Medway Stand (Lower Tier centre): Adults £25, No Concessions
Medway Stand (Lower Tier wings):  Adults £22, Over 65's £19, Under 18's £11, Under 12's £8*
Medway Stand (Upper Tier): Adults £22, Over 65's £19, Under 18's £11, Under 12's £8*
Rainham End: Adults £22, Over 65's £19, Under 18's £11, Under 12's £8*
Gordon Road Stand (Centre & Wings): Adults £25, Over 65's £19, Under 18's £11, Under 12's £8*
Gordon Road Stand (Outer Wings): Adults £22, Over 65's £19, Under 18's £11, Under 12's £8*
Brian Moore Stand: Adults & Over 65's £16, Under 18's £11, Under 12's Free**

Away Fans

Brian Moore Stand: Adults & Over 65's £16, Under 18's £11, Under 12's Free**

*When accompanied by a paying adult.
** Maximum 2 x Free Under 12's per adult.Additional Under 12 £6.

Official Programme: £3

Gillingham FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website)

With a lack of other league clubs in the area, Gillingham fans have focused on Millwall, Charlton and from a bit further afield Swindon Town.

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the  Level Playing Field website.

Record Attendance

23,002 v Queens Park Rangers, FA Cup 3rd Round, January 10th, 1948.

Modern All Seated Attendance Record

11,418 v West Ham United Division One, September 20th, 2003.

Average Attendance

2016-2017: 6,129 (League One)
2015-2016: 6,316 (League One)
2014-2015: 5,694 (League One)

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Gillingham v Bristol Rovers
Football League One
Friday 14th April 2017, 3pm
Yaz Shah (Bristol Rovers fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Priestfield Stadium?

Rovers had a very slim chance of getting the last play off place with four games left but needed a win to keep going. Gillingham were one point above the relegation zone and needed the points to ease their relegation worries.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Simple journey from my home in Harrow in North West London. I drove via the A1 North to M25 J24 at South Mimms. Then all the way round M25 clockwise across the Dart Crossing to A2 then A289 at start of M2 all the way to the Priestfield Stadium. Just over 60 miles each way and a £2.50 Dart Crossing Charge each way. I left at 11:10 giving myself plenty of time as it was Good Friday and to find parking. I got to the ground around 13:10 and parked for  free on Railway Street as I was lucky enough to find a free spot. It was a ten minute walk to the ground across the level crossing and left into Linden Road and to the club/ticket shop to get a ticket. I was informed that away tickets could be purchased at the away turnstiles from 13:30 so had to go back down Linden Road and take the next left into Priestfield Road (the alleyways were locked and remained closed all day, much to the frustration of some home fans).

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Did not talk to any; I think they were worried about the final result and it's implications for them if they lost. Waited for refreshments inside the ground.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Priestfield Stadium?

The scaffolding for the away end could be seen from the outside while waiting to buy a ticket. The ticket only cost £10 which was the cheapest all season. If I had ordered from Rovers earlier, it would have cost £20! The three stands were quite good for home fans. The away seating was okay and one could sit where one desired. It was a crowd of just under 6,000 with probably up to a 1,000 Rovers fans.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The pitch was very wobbly, similar to the Coventry and AFC Wimbledon pitches. The wind played a big factor due to the openness of the ground. Also, the ball seemed to go a long way when kicked. Atmosphere was tense with very few chances in the first half most of which were put wide. The game opened up in the second half with lots of chances and the Gills eventually won 3-1 with 2 breakaway goals in the last few minutes. A draw would not have helped us. Stewards were friendly if spoken to. Tea at £2 tasted okay.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

As soon as it was 2-1, I left to get to the car and get away. I am glad I did and was on the A289 within 15 minutes. The journey back took one hour and was hassle free.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Not a good result for us; our season is now over with Southend and Millwall winning. Plenty of effort from both sides and lots of chances which were wasted. Referee was reasonable and fair. Would I go again - only if it was critical for us as although sunny and dry, there was no atmosphere that the away fans could generate. Also, it seemed a very grey, dour area around the ground (hope I am not being too unfair).

Gilliingham v Southend United
Football League One
Saturday 25th February 2017, 3pm
Will (Southend United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Priestfield Stadium?

It was my first away game outside of the Essex derby and I was excited to be going to another stadium other than Roots Hall or away at Colchester United. I had also never been to the Priestfield Stadium.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

It was pretty easy. I have family living near by who dropped us off and picked us up outside the ground.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

We headed straight for the stadium as the traffic getting out of Southend wasn't great and lunch over ran so it was about 2.30pm by the time we were seated.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Priestfield Stadium?

From the outside Priestfield Stadium looked okay until we got to the away end. This area was pretty poor, with no roof and built mostly from scaffolding with seats bolted on. Luckily it didn't rain too much, only for about 5-10 minutes. However one upside was the the stewards were friendly and approachable when we had to move seats as the view we originally had wasn't great.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

It was a poor refereeing display as well as a poor show from the linesman. Their first goal was from a dubious penalty and their second was about a yard over the touch line in the build up which was failed to be seen by the linesman. We did get a goal back through Nile Ranger and should have got a penalty in the closing moments of the game, but the referee wasn't having any of it. We ended up losing 2-1. The atmosphere was lacking and this wasn't helped by the absence of a roof and the only way of making noise was to stamp on the metal walkways which generated barely anything.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Again we were picked up from a road close to the stadium, but the gates through the alleyways in-between houses, which were open before the game were now closed so we were left with a long walk around to get to our lift.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Other than the poor refereeing that spoiled the game for us, it was a good day out at the Priestfield Stadium.

Gillingham v AFC Wimbledon
Football League One
Tuesday 21st February 2017, 7:45pm
Jamie (AFC Wimbledon fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Priestfield Stadium?

A clash between two teams towards the bottom of the league meant we stood a good chance of getting our first away victory since October! I have never been to the Priestfield Stadium before. So despite the open top away end which doesn't help the atmosphere, I was looking forward to it.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Easy to get there by car from the M25 but parking on the streets in the surrounding area a nightmare. Parked in Gillingham Railway Station Car Park which is only £1 for the evening and about a 15-20 minute walk away from the ground.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Went to a local chippy around the corner before the game and home fans were friendly.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Priestfield Stadium?

The Priestfield Stadium looks to be a good ground from the outside. It is very close to the town centre with residential houses surrounding it on all four sides. The away end, as you may know, is open to the elements as it lacks a roof. It is also made of scaffolding, but it can hold a fair amount of away fans.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Despite it being a 2-2 draw, it was a very entertaining game for the neutral. The home fans were mostly quiet and only really being heard when they scored. The facilities were basic but did the job! Atmosphere can be hard to create in the away end with the stand being completely open but there was good leg room, however most Dons fans stood throughout the game. Although the stand is shared with home fans there were very few stewards situated between the two sets of fans which is nice to see. Stewards were friendly and very helpful.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away from the ground was easy and we were out of Gillingham within half an hour of the final whistle.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

It was an enjoyable evening and a good game of football - was the Dons first point on the road since October so that was a positive for us. Overall, despite the open away end, the other positives of the stadium make up for it.

Gillingham v Oxford United
Football League One
Monday 2nd January 2017, 3pm
Craig Lambert (Oxford United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Priestfield Stadium?

Doubling the trip up with seeing an old friend who is a lifelong Gills fan. Hadn't been to Priestfield Stadium for some years so was due a revisit.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Simple journey. The M25 behaved and the sat nav took me straight to car park at a local church hall which cost £3. From there it was ten minute stroll to Priestfield.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Visited The Dog and Bone pub in the town. Not the best but a beer is a beer! Didn't encountered any home fans here despite wearing Oxford colours and didn't receive any unwelcome attention from the locals. Walked to the ground past the two pubs allocated to away fans, lots of Police around but didn't see any trouble at all.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Priestfield Stadium?

This is a throwback to how football grounds used to be. The Priestfield Stadium is nestled between tight knitted houses in a mainly residential area and alleyways leading to the away end. This consisted of the infamous 'temporary' scaffolding that has become a permanent fixture at Priestfield. The Rainham End opposite and the stands on both sides of the ground looked impressive and the ground itself was compact and very tight to the pitch.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Although seated on an open scaffolded stand, it was unreserved seating and the view was great. Gills were struggling and Oxford won the game 1-0, with Gillingham ending the game with ten men after having a player sent off. Most of the atmosphere and noise was being generated by the 1,300 Oxford supporters. The stewarding was very overt and officious which didn't go down very well with some fans but I tend to keep a focus on the football whereas some don't! Food was terrific, tastiest pre match pie I think I've ever had! Toilets deserve a mention, very clean and warm!

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Again, ten minutes back to the car, no problems experienced despite mingling with home fans. Once in the car, straight out and before we knew it we were on the M25 home. Easy!

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A very pleasant day. Not sure the town itself offers much, seems to be very dreary but then we went for the football and not shopping. Overall, a good experience at Priestfield and despite the scaffolded stand, I would go again.

Gillingham v Charlton Athletic
Football League One
Saturday 22nd October 2016, 3pm
James Butler (Charlton Athletic fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Priestfield Stadium?

Trips to Gillingham are few and far between so not be missed. For myself and many Charlton fans it's as easy to get to Gillingham as it is to The Valley.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I took the supporters coach as usual, bit of a strange decision as I can drive there in 30 minutes and the train only takes little longer. However my mate convinced me that the parking around Priestfield Stadium was shocking, which it is. Plus knowing South Eastern trains, they were bound to get us their in time for the final whistle, not the start! So coach it was. We ended up parked at the only viable car park by the Railway Station, a ten minute walk to the ground. Still it gave us time to soak up the pre-match atmosphere.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Strolled up to the ground mixing quite happily with home fans. Why wouldn't we? A lot of Charlton fans live in North Kent. The only odd moment was the Police videoing the away fans entering the ground. Why?

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Priestfield Stadium?

Having been before I knew what awaited us. The three home sides of the ground are a neat and tidy mix of old and new. The home end and Main Stand appear to offer unobstructed views, whist the third, a bit of a blast from the past, adds a bit of character. The thing I really like about this ground is that it sits among rows of terraced houses and not on the edge of an out of town retail park. This is how it used to be, but rapidly becoming a thing of the past. The away end? Oh dear. It's a temporary scaffolding stand with no cover what so ever. Priestfield is situated quite high above Chatham and Gillingham, on a wet windy day you would have a very unpleasant time. On a positive the view is not bad, both of the pitch and of the town from the back of the stand. We took nearly 2,500 to this match, but its almost impossible to generate any kind of noise. Not that we tried that hard. Oh and why the Police felt necessary spend a bit of time videoing us I never quite worked out. Credit where its due however they did wave back when we smiled and waved for the cameras.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Game from our point of view was a shocker. The first half we were poor beyond belief, Gillingham should have been out of sight by half time, but 1-0 still seemed more than enough. Second half we improved, but we did have the assistance of the referee would gave us everything, including two penalties, and Gillingham nothing. Having said that the penalties probably were correct, but then he denied the home side at absolute stonewall pen. Anyway after missing the first penalty we scored the second in 90 + 1. To take a draw was an absolute mugging!. Home fans created a lively atmosphere throughout and were a credit to their team. We only broke our silence to give the manager and team tactical advise at half time, and the manager a few home truths at the end.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Just as before the match. Felt that some Charlton fans, angry at our performance and general rubbish surround of the Club these days, were looking for trouble, but I didn't witness any thankfully. We got back to the coach in reasonable time given the distance involved.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Not great I am afraid. Although Charlton through and through I would like to visit Gillingham from a home fans perspective as I think it would be a far more positive experience. Having said that I will always go as it just so convenient. Would I travel far to Priestfield. No.

Gillingham v Southend United
Football League One
Saturday 24th October 2015, 3pm
Sam (Southend United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Priestfield Stadium?

Apart from Colchester this is one of the more local sides in our league. Having gone once before, a friend was keen on attending himself in his bid to visit all 92 League Grounds, so I thought I would tag along.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Again having been before it was pretty simple, but having to pop into Canterbury first to pick up my mate from University made it a bit longer. Priestfield Stadium is very well sign posted, parking near the railway station was available from what I can remember was around £5.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

As mentioned on this website, we went to the designated away fan pub, the Fleur De Lis. Friendly and reasonably priced. Didn't encounter many home fans so didn't cause an issue.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Priestfield Stadium?

As many people have said the ground itself looks decent. But once you see the away stand it looks terrible. It feels as unsafe as it looks and you are very open due to no roof. Considering it was pouring with rain, then it wasn't to great for the 1000+ travelling Southend fans.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game was okay. Southend went ahead with a cheeky loft from McLaughlin. But was denied all three points in the 89th minute by a howler by Daniel Bentley. Rather devastating to be leaving with just one point but that's football. Atmosphere was rather annoying due to the amount that couldn't be generated from the away stand. Home fans were average. Stewards seemed alright when the rain got too much and offered us rain macs. Didn't eat food in the ground.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Pretty simple, took longer than usual to get out the car park but that was expected.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

After generally looking forward to the game, the mood was dampened by the weather and the result.

Gillingham v Doncaster Rovers
League One
Saturday 5th September 2015, 3pm
Jim Burgin Team (Doing the 92)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Priestfield Stadium?

Gillingham's ground was the closest of the 92 that I had yet to visit, despite living not that far away in Sussex.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

It was a simple train journey. Eastbourne to Ashford , then up to Ebbsfleet and then straight onto Gillingham. The ground was only ten minutes walk from the station, being one of the closest in the top four flights.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Walked along the High Street, had a beer in the "Edge" pub. There were a few home shirts wandering around but with family so probably doing the weekly shopping before the game. Once at the ground a very low key atmosphere with pockets of fans milling around. Had a look in the club shop.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?

It is a nice ground, being compact with four different stands but blending in together nicely. There is a large two tier Main Stand with a smaller single tier stand opposite. The home fans stand behind the goal was a high single tiered stand with the infamous open uncovered stand for the away fans at the opposite end.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

It was a low key game decided by a single goal. It was one of those "was it over the line or not," at the opposite end to where I was sitting. Atmosphere was sparse with neither sets of supporters making much noise. Gillingham dominated the early part of the game but could not score. Doncaster came in to the game more in the second half, but against the run of play Jake Hessenthaler had his effort given as a goal after the referee had first consulted with his assistant. The win meant Gillingham would go top of the league after only six games played.

I did not partake of food and drink inside the stadium; the £7.10 burger and beer deal seemed a trifle high, and the tiny portion of chips for £2 was a bit of a rip off, but saying that, most football stadium food is notorious for being expensive. Stewards were a delight, male and female were very helpful and willing to chat, every block had a steward with constant visits by supervisors. Would just say that in the Main Stand where I sat, that the only toilets are on the lower level, so if you have problems with stairs it may be unwise to get a seat on the top tier.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

It was a doddle, nip out with 5 mins to go and at train station in 10 minutes before the masses arrive and clog up the platform.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Easy journey, easy to find stadium, lovely staff. Would like to go to Gillingham again, although the town itself I felt was a bit drab. As another compliment to the club staff, I ordered my ticket online on a Sunday and it arrived Tuesday morning, with an admin cost of only 75p.

Gillingham v Coventry City
League One
Saturday, January 17th 2015, 3pm
Alex Smith (Coventry City fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I had never been to Gillingham before so Priestfield was a new ground to tick off (Bringing my tally up to 82 out of the current 92)

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We left Coventry railway station at 8:32am on the London Euston bound train and arrived in the capital at around 9:50am. We took a walk down to St Pancras station stopping off at a pub called 'The Rocket' (which is a very good pub) on the Charlton Road halfway into our walk - We arrived at St Pancras to catch our 11:05 train to Gillingham which was a Dover bound train. However on arrival we found that our train had been delayed by a considerable amount of time due to trouble at St Pancras with the Eurostar. The train finally pulled off,  but almost an hour late and then to compound matters it seemed to stop at every station possible enroute!

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

We eventually arrived in Gillingham at around 12:45 and we walked to the Southern Belle pub just across the road from the station. We walked into the pub and the atmosphere was a fairly unwelcoming. Plus there was no food on offer and a very limited availability of snacks. In view of this we decided to stay for just one drink and continue on towards the ground. We found a pub called the Fleur De Lys and it looked like the main match-day pub in Gillingham. The bar staff were much better than the previous pub. I ordered some chips which were home made and delicious. The only Gillingham fans in there kept to themselves. I was surprised to find on our walk through Gillingham that the town seemed quite run down. I was even starting to think that Coventry didn't seem that bad after all....

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

My first impressions of the Priestfield Stadium, were that it looked quite smart until I approached the away stand (The Brian Moore Stand) which looked like a construction site. The other sides of the ground were okay but our stand had no roof and  must let down the overall look of the stadium. I kept everything crossed that it would not rain and luckily it didn't.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Surprisingly The Brian Moore Stand had some very good facilities I ordered a burger which was very nice and the toilets were in a good condition. We took to our seats which were on the back row of the stand and I just did not feel safe at all. It was so high up, that I felt that the stand was almost swaying in the strong wind. This 'temporary' stand has been there for 10 years now - Gillingham FC really need to sort that out. Stewards were no problem - The match was a fairly dull one until Coventry received a penalty which Gary Madine converted, It looked like we had stole 3 points somehow. Until 83 minutes when John Marquis for the home side equalised. Then on 86 minutes Gillingham were awarded a penalty which ex Sky Blue Cody McDonald scored. Gillingham wrapped up the match on 94 minutes when Jermain McGlashan scored a lovely goal, to make it 3-1. Gillinghams turn around led to a few unsavoury scenes outside the ground but nothing too serious.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Easy - As it is a straight road leading to the train station, which was not far to walk (10 minutes). Priestfield was very simple to get away from.

7. Summary of the day out:

I would not go back to Gillingham in a rush if I am honest, I didn't really enjoy the place. If I did go again then I think I would stay longer in Central London, before going out to Gillingham.

Gillingham v Preston North End
League One
Tuesday, October 21st 2014, 7.45pm
Paul Willott (Preston North End fan)

This was not really an encounter I was looking forward to I have to be honest, and for a good few reasons.  Firstly, the Priestfield Stadium has never been a happy hunting ground for North End, and the memories of heavy 4-0 and 5-0 thumpings coupled with an excruciatingly cruel 1-0 play-off semi-final defeat are permanently etched in my battle-scarred mind. Furthermore, for reasons totally unexplained, an unexpected eruption of violence at a match up in Preston in the mid 90's set up the fixture to be a real grudge encounter which was only exacerbated as the two clubs rose through the divisions simultaneously through the late 90's and early noughties. Other people may have found the Priestfield a fairly welcoming place, I found it, its fans, and the local constabulary anything but friendly. Finally, the two clubs went down different routes and although I lost a fixture on my doorstep as I live in Chatham, I didn't shed a single tear.

I wasn't even going to go this season, as I am none too keen on being fleeced of cash to be forced to sit in a plastic bucket on a scaffold, especially in a location such as the Gillingham ground, where the away stand sits up fairly proud of the local geography and is therefore vulnerable to the wind and rain that has hurried down the North Sea till it reached landfall and whipped itself up the Medway estuary. No thanks, not for me.

However, rules are there to be broken, and when an old school colleague based in London said that he was going to go, I felt shamed into going along. After all, if he could make the effort on a mid-week evening, I had no excuse, and I was also acutely aware that the midweek nature of the fixture would preclude many fans from attending given the distance involved.

Even the news that Gillingham had reduced the ticket prices to a mere £15 didn't raise my mood much; I was still contemplating the evening as much as one would anticipate a visit to the dentist. Being buffeted by the elements on a temporary stand, not many away fans, any chance of atmosphere being dashed by the lack of a roof and gusting wind, can any-one really be surprised that I wasn't too keen?

The arrival of the tail-end of hurricane whatsisname walloped much of the UK during the day, which really didn't help my demeanour, I have to admit, but it did enthuse me to ensure that both my partner and I were wrapped up like eskimos........ Thus the witching hour arrived, that appointment with the dentist to have fillings and teeth extracted could be delayed no more, and in the company of another friend we took the short train ride from Chatham to Gillingham and set up camp in the
"Southern Belle" pub which is right opposite the station.

I have to admit, the pub was quite a chilled environment, and we settled down to sink a few whilst the 3 of us awaited my school-colleague to join us. Indeed there was some consternation as to
whether he would even make it due to trees falling on various railway lines around Kent that afternoon and evening. Good conversation and good beer was perfect medicine, and I forgot my "bah humbug" attitude towards the match ahead, and luckily my school-colleague Phil was still able to arrive in time to quench his thirst with a lager.

Thus with ten minutes to kick off, 35 we supped up and wrapped up and walked briskly down to the ground, where the four of us were very pleasantly surprised to find that despite our worst fears, we actually weren't going to be left to the mercy of the elements and made to be feel grateful for the plastic mac! Instead, the Preston fans were to be allowed to use part of the covered Gordon Road Stand, where the home fans had been "compressed" down a couple of blocks, so that we Preston fans would at least be undercover! This was indeed a great bonus, and the couple of hundred or so Preston fans happily made use of the roof to try to make an atmosphere of sorts that we wouldn't have dreamed possible beforehand.

My friend Andy was indulging in his first ever Preston game, and as the game got underway was quite happy to confess that every other game he'd ever been to up till now, including internationals, had ended 0-0!  Whether this would prove to be a good omen or not, I didn't dare comment.....

Given that we were now sharing a stand with sets of fans who would have quite happily attacked us back in the 90's, the atmosphere and the stewarding was quite low-key. The years of not playing each other has taken the hatred and edge out of this encounter, thank goodness. In fact at one point, as I'd called out encouragement to our lads about the feasability of beating our opponents, one of the senior stewards joked up to me saying that "they needed the points more, if we didn't
mind!"  I countered that if I ever got 3 points on my driving licence, I would willingly donate them to Gillingham FC if we were to win!

The match itself, just kicking off as we squeezed in, was a good contest. Preston clearly capable of the better football and created more chances, but it was the home side who had the best chance of the first half as they rattled the woodwork with one chance. Also, for a club with a reputation for just playing the poor-mans football of kick and rush, or the "long ball" game (aka "effective" football), the young Gillingham side were also actually trying to play proper passing football. A certain Danny Kedwell was in their ranks, notable for me as he had been a stalwart in the Chatham Town side of the early Noughties before gaining a berth with the up and coming AFC Wimbledon.

As the second half kicked off, we hoped for more of the same in terms of good quality football, and maybe goal action too, and we were not disappointed. The football continued to flow, despite the weather, and the home sides goal soon bulged after a cross had been headed in by an unlikely hero , our defender Paul Huntington.  Andy's face was a picture!!! He couldn't believe he'd finally broken his duck and witnessed a goal !!

The Preston side, no doubt boosted by the goal, imposed themselves on the remaining half-hour, and could have scored a hatful; the woodwork came to the rescue of Gillingham on at least 3 occasions that I counted, and amongst other scrambles I could only deduce that some sort of force-field was in operation around their goal in front of the Rainham End.

The final whistle was a really golden moment. In 12 previous encounters that I had travelled to (home and away) I had never seen us beat Gillingham. 13 is lucky for some I guess; but more encouraging than that, was the manner in which it had happened. A good side, in the pack chasing a promotion doesn't really get tested till it has to travel half-way across the country mid-week, when most of the fans cannot, to play in a small, hostile place such as Gillingham, especially on a wet and windy night. I'm sure many fans will be nodding in agreement when (and if) they read that line, because those are the circumstances where you really see just how much the players really want it. On this occasion, Preston North End had risen to the challenge and emerged with 3 precious points.

Upon returning home, I raided the fridge for some beers to toast a most unexpectedly enjoyable match and evening, and the league table made for pleasant reading over breakfast the following morning, as of the 3 clubs above us before kick-off, Bristol City and Peterborough had both only drawn their respective matches, and Swindon Town had lost at home to lowly Rochdale.

The lows and highs of football. Thats the beauty of it. Just when you least expect it, you get a golden gem of an evening.

As a postscript, I will commend the Gillingham officials for actually not treating us like excrement that we were accustomed to in the 90's, and allowing us to use part of the Gordon Road Stand on that wet and windy night ; but if the club really does aspire to climb the pyramid, then either a proper away stand needs to be built, or the much talked about relocation needs to happen.

As for my friend Andy, he is now considered a "lucky mascot" and will be kidnapped to attend future games when we feel we may need a bit of luck.......

Gillingham v Bristol City
League One Saturday, August 31st 2013, 3pm
Paul Mason (Bristol City fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Although I had visited Gillingham before as part of my attempts to visit the 92 I couldn't miss the opportunity to watch my team on a lovely August day, I would eventually like to do the 92 watching City games so this was a chance for a nice day out whilst ticking off ground 43 with the cider army.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Travelling from Bristol Parkway it was a simple 1.5 hour train journey to London Paddington and then a 15 minute tube ride to St Pancras on the Circle Line. It's then a 45 minute journey on the high speed train (but with many stops) to Gillingham. I got there in plenty of time and Gillingham station is just under a 10 minute walk to the ground.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Having been before I had a quick look around the ground before going in. There's not much immediately around the stadium but the town centre is not far with some fast food places including a Mcdonalds.  I wore club colours and had no problems with the Gillingham fans.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

The ground is dominated by the Medway Stand a two tiered stand housing the media facilities. As per the Football Ground Guide website, the away end is as described; a temporary stand which does let down the overall look of the ground as its basically scaffolding. The other stands are the Rainham End opposite - a reasonable and new stand - which having previously sat in, is a nice stand with a good view. The other stand is an older traditional stand. The away end does offer decent views and good leg room but we were lucky it was a nice day as it is totally open.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game was a game of two halves. First half City started slowly and Gills whilst not looking dangerous did cause some problems from set pieces and long throws and beast mode Bayo Akinfenwa scored with a flick on after 22 minutes. City equalised right on half time against the run of play through a header from Marvin Elliott from a Wagstaff cross. Interestingly there was an unusual substitution in the first half - the referee!!!

Gillingham were kind enough to tell us at half time that his groin injury was being treated with ice - too much information!

The kiosk was slow at half time, prices were standard £2 for hot and soft drinks, £3-£3.50 for burgers, pies etc I just had a bovril and water because it was so hot and because the cider - Bulmers and lager - Fosters was 3.50 for a 330ml bottle - far too expensive for my liking. The programme cost £3 and was 76 pages and a reasonable read with normal features. Half time and before the match they had the cheerleaders the GFC Gems who also have a programme segment. Stewards were fine letting people stand at the back - although they were all handed out their payslips during the match! So seemed more interested in that.

Atmosphere was a tad disappointing  not much noise from anywhere but the open away end is not conducive to it.

2nd half City bossed it and had several chances to win but unfortunately wasted these opportunities and in the end it petered out to a 1-1 draw.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Simple walk back to the station and a comfortable reverse of my journey, no issues amongst the fans.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall a continuing improvement for City despite a disappointing start to the season. I would recommend Gillingham as a decent day out easy enough to get to, friendly enough but just hope if you visit it doesn't rain.

  Gillingham v Dagenham & Redbridge
League One
Monday, April 9th 2012, 3pm
Jonathan Bennett
(Dagenham & Redbridge fan)

Easter Monday is either warm and sunny, or cold and wet. Unfortunately it was cold and wet for my trip to Gillingham. As a ‘local’ match I thought it was worth the trek. With Dagenham on a five match unbeaten run to avoid the drop, and having beaten Gillingham earlier in the season at Victoria Road I fancied our chances, predicting a 2-1 win.

I do my match day travelling by train. Purfleet (where I live) to Gillingham was just under 2.5 hours each way on a Sunday service timetable. I would imagine from Dagenham on any other day it would not be much quicker. Got c2c to Barking then West Ham, Jubilee Line to London Bridge where I got the Southeastern Charing Cross to Gillingham Service. Time from London Bridge to Gillingham was 1 hour 12 minutes.

At Gillingham Station the exit on the left hand side handily has a signpost for Priestfield Stadium directly outside. There is another one further down the road, but by then the stadium is nearly in sight. The walk from station to stadium is approximately 10 minutes. So to be exact, you exit the station and turn left onto Balmoral Road. At the crossroad with Gillingham Road you can continue straight on to Priestfield Road which leads directly to the away turnstiles, or turn right for the Livingstone Arms pub just a few minutes down the road.

The pub is away friendly and is where I found the ‘Barmy Army’ as I call them, basically the guys who go to every single game. Selection and prices in the pub were average, and although there were a few Gillingham supporters there as well there was absolutely no trouble. An interesting feature of the pub is the wide collection of football shirts pinned to the walls and ceilings.

Entrance into the ground is simple enough as is finding your seat, with stewards on stand-by to assist. The stand itself is nothing more then a scaffolding structure with seats. All the seats were wet with the rain still coming down. Although some fans came prepared with towels and plastic covers I opted to stand, as did most fans. The away stand is in complete contrast to the rest of the ground which is quite modern all seated covered stands.

View From The Away Section

 View From The Away Section, Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham

We did not have much trouble making noise, but given there is no surrounding structure there is nothing for the noise to bounce back off, so some away supporters could have trouble generating an atmosphere...Dagenham fans never fail to create an atmosphere. I could not hear much off the Gillingham fans, but given their most vocal supporters were behind the opposite goal that was understandable.

First half was a pretty even affair. We had to voice our disapproval a few times at Dagenham when they tried the long ball when there was no one to receive it, and also at the ref when he gave a goal kick despite the Gills keeper getting his hand to a Brian Woodall shot. However on the 37th minute Dagenham took the lead. Mickey Spillane fed through Josh Parker down the right flank who from a tight angle just inside the 18-yard box tried his luck. The keeper spilled Parker’s effort and Woodall was lurking to put away the rebound. Cue chants of ‘Who are you?’ from the Dagenham fans.

Half time Dagenham 1 Gillingham 0 and time to see what refreshments were on offer. Burgers and Hot dogs were available for £3.30, bottled drinks were a bit steep at £1.70, but given the hot food was freshly prepared rather then kept warm like some other grounds I have been too I did not grumble too much.

Second half and as you were team wise, but we grew restless as Dagenham started to take their foot off the accelerator and let Gillingham take control of the game. We were punished in the 57th minute when Rouen Vine curled a fine effort round Chris Lewington into the corner of the net...gutted. But we deserved that for letting them play the way they wanted. However it was a wake up call for the Dagenham players to get on with it.

Changes were afoot as the underwhelming and slip prone Parker was replaced by Dominic Green. Suddenly we were much livelier down the flanks, and Green was nearly straight on the score sheet when Medy Elito broke from a Gillingham attack and fed him through the middle, but the Gillingham defence got back well to limit Green to a long range punt at goal. However on 72 he did better. Sprinting down the right he beat a couple of defenders before cutting inside to his favoured left foot and drilling the ball into the back of the net. Suddenly we were all doing The PoznaƄ! Mainly I think to rock the stand as it was prone to shacking if we jumped en-masse.

Full time Dagenham 2 Gillingham 1. Unbeaten run now stood at 6 games, and while not mathematically safe it would take a miracle from Hereford or Macclesfield to see us take the dreaded drop to non-league.

Had no trouble getting back to the station, but with the roads surrounding Priestfield mainly backstreets I would not like to try getting home by car! I even ended up chatting to a couple of Gillingham fans on the train before they got off at Rochester.

For Away fans, Priestfield is a bit disappointing. When the wind picked up it was cold and we all got wet when it rained. Like I mentioned before the rain made all the seats wet so if you needed to sit down you would get a wet backside. However the fans were good mannered, the staff helpful and the ground is easy to get to by train. If Gillingham are to stay at Priestfield I would hope they build a new away stand because that is the only area I will mark them down for.

Gillingham v Northampton Town
League Two
Saturday, November 5th 2011, 3pm
Simon Turner (Northampton Town fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Being a student in Canterbury and living in Norfolk I don’t often get to see the Cobblers. With Gillingham being a 45 minute drive away I thought I would convince my house mate (Reading fan) to give me a lift and that we would make a day of it. Also it was another ground to tick off on my list.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Journey from Canterbury was relatively easy and finding the ground wasn’t too bad and there are a couple of good places to park nearby. We chose somewhere on the other side of the railway tracks costing  £3.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

We decided to do a walk around the ground (with no abuse from the local fans) and get a feel for the place and then went straight in where we got some pretty good pies (personally I recommend the Balti).

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

The ground itself is a rather nice one but the away stand was a bit grim as it was essentially scaffolding and it was very open to the elements but fortunately the heavens remained closed for the match.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game itself was a very mixed bag and a great way of experiencing every possible emotion in the space of 90 minutes. Gillingham were 2-0 up until Northampton made it 2-1 but a penalty on the stroke of half time gave Gillingham a 3-1 lead at half time. With it all to do Northampton managed to peg it back to 3-3 and came very close to winning it but Gillingham then got another penalty in the last minute and won 4-3 and left me feeling gutted but my house mate thoroughly enjoyed it. Gillingham’s support was very good especially for a club which tends to have been quite unlucky in recent years.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away wasn’t too bad although to get onto the M2 you have to take a different way out then how you came in.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A good day out and I look forward to doing it next season and hopefully it won’t rain.

Why not write your own review of the MEMS Priestfield Stadium Gillingham and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

Updated 9th January 2018