Gillingham

The Medway 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: Macron
Home Kit: Royal Blue with White Trim
Away Kit: Red with White Trim
Third Kit: Black & White Stripes

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

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.

Away fans are mostly housed on one side of the Brian Moore Stand (on the Medway Stand side) where around 1,500 supporters can be accommodated. This stand is of a temporary nature, so be prepared to meet a wall of scaffolding when you walk through the turnstiles. This end is uncovered, so be prepared to get wet (although the Club does hand out free rain macs if the heavens open) and it is quite difficult to really create some atmosphere from this area. A better bet may be to head for one of the 200 covered seats that are made available to visiting supporters in the Gordon Road Stand. Although there is the odd supporting pillar at the back of the stand that could impede your view, it does have a roof, unlike the Brian Moore Stand. The stand itself 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. Sometimes 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 alleyways. However, there is never normally any problems with this although after the game the Police sometimes close off some of the surrounding streets to keep fans apart.

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. There is also the option of renting a private driveway near in the local area via YourParkingSpace.co.uk.

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.

Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:

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 £7
Medway Stand (Upper Tier): Adults £22, Over 65's £19, Under 18's £7
Rainham End: Adults £22, Over 65's £19, Under 18's £7
Gordon Road Stand (Centre & Wings): Adults £25, Over 65's £19, Under 18's £7
Gordon Road Stand (Outer Wings): Adults £22, Over 65's £19, Under 18's £7, Under 12's Free**
Brian Moore Stand: Adults £20, Over 65's £16, Under 18's £6, Under 12's Free**

Away Fans*

Brian Moore Stand: Adults £20, Over 65's £16, Under 18's £6, Under 12's Free**
Gordon Road Stand (Outer Wings): Adults £22, Over 65's £19, Under 18's £7, Under 12's Free**

* These prices are for tickets bought in advance of matchday. Tickets bought on the day of the game can cost up to £2 more.

** Maximum of one free Under 12 per paying adult.

Official Programme: £3

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.

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

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, 10th January 1948.

Modern All Seated Attendance Record

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

Average Attendance

2018-2019: 5,169 (League One)
2017-2018: 5,383 (League One)
2016-2017: 6,129 (League One)

If you require hotel accommodation in Gillingham then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will help towards the running costs of keeping this Guide going. 

Access their Gillingham Hotels pages.

Remember that you can use the above link to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, at home or abroad.

Booking.com

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: duncan@footballgroundguide.com and I'll update the guide.

Gillingham v Scunthorpe United
League One
Saturday 16th February 2019, 3pm
Christopher Lynskey (Scunthorpe United)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Medway Priestfield Stadium?
 
I was as this was my first visit to Gillingham and it would be a new ground visited for me.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
I travelled on the supporters coach and on arrival, it dropped us off opposite the railway station as we were told access around the ground is restricted. This wasn’t an issue as it was only a short walk to the ground.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I visited the Fleur De Lis pub and sat with some Gillingham fans discussing all things football.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Medway Priestfield Stadium?
 
The ground is in a residential area with from what I could see only residential parking only. The ground’s away end is built from a temporary scaffold which is open to the elements hence our decision to sit in the area allocated in the side stand on Gordon Road. The home stands looked quite impressive from where I was sat.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The game was poor from a Scunthorpe fans point as we lost 1-0 and the Gills hadn’t won at home for some time which made it more disappointing.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
An easy walk to the railway station where our coach was parked up opposite.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
An enjoyable day spoilt by the football my team produced and no traffic hold ups either going or coming back which always helps.

Gillingham v Barnsley
League 1
Saturday 9th February 2019, 3pm
David Crossfield (Barnsley)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Medway Priestfield Stadium?
 
My first ever visit to Gillingham and only my second visit to Kent. Barnsley were on a ten match unbeaten run and were second in the table. It was a chance to meet up with my Romford based friend. The fixture computer had thrown up three consecutive long distance away games, Gillingham, Pompey and Southend. I decided to go to one of them and this was the easiest to reach by train. Sky Sports then decided to televise the Southend game and subsequently spoiled lots of travel plans.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
I travelled down to Kings Cross by train from Doncaster using Hull Trains, which was the cheapest. The buffet had an excellent bottle of Newsome ale on sale. The train was late so I missed my planned connection from St. Pancras. There is a half hourly service which takes 45 minutes.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I met my friend in Rochester, which is two stops and 7 minutes from Gillingham on the train. He had been in a Wetherspoons and saw a few Barnsley fans in there. I know some coaches stopped off at Gravesend. We went to the Coopers Arms, a fantastic old pub which serves several real ales. We were the only football fans in there as most use pubs on the High Street. As I was late, we didn't get a chance to visit any more Rochester pubs, unfortunately. 
 
We got a train at about 2 pm to Gillingham to visit the Past and Present micropub. It's the opposite direction from the ground as you leave the train station, but worth finding if you like real ale. There was a good mix of home and away fans and friendly service. We set off for the ground about 2.40 pm and arrived just in time for kick off.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Medway Priestfield Stadium?
 
The open away end is okay if it's not raining, but it seems strange walking under the scaffolding to access your seat. The other three sides of the ground look fine for League 1. Some Barnsley fans were in a small seated area to our right. These were only available to families, disabled and older fans.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The stewarding was unobtrusive. As usual, we were patted down outside. Barnsley took 800 fans, which I thought was a bit disappointing, but over 1500 had bought tickets for the following away trip to Portsmouth, so they were obviously choosing games. 
 
Barnsley scored straight from the kick off. 15 seconds to be exact! By half time it was 2-0 and should have been more. It wasn't easy to see the action at the far end of the ground. It seemed a long way off, but I'm used to watching from the halfway line. Barnsley made it 3-0 in the second half before the Gills pulled one back.
 
Barnsley striker Keiffer Moore clashed heads accidentally with a Gills defender and was stretchered off after a 12 minute delay. Barnsley made it 1-4 in the 101st minute. It's suggested that meant they had scored the earliest and latest away goals in the club's history. The Reds fans were jubilant. Gill's fans were understandably subdued. I rarely have refreshments in the ground so I can't comment. The toilet facilities were adequate for the number of away fans.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
It was an easy ten-minute walk to the train station for the 17.21 back to St.Pancras.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
A good day out. Obviously, the result helped, but the injury to Keiffer Moore did take the shine off it. The journey was fine and not too long. Rochester looked good with the Castle and Cathedral.

Gillingham v Portsmouth
League One
Wednesday 26th December 2018, 1pm
Paul Woodley (Portsmouth)

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

I have not been to Gillingham before. I am also not a big fan of Christmas, so being able to get out and watch football on Boxing Day was a bit of a treat. Was meant to come last year but the game got switched due to television coverage so couldn't attend. Portsmouth were still top of the league and having beaten Sunderland on the Saturday before, so this game was a guaranteed late Christmas present, a three-point banker........

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

Pretty easy journey until getting to Gillingham when traffic became really heavy and pretty slow. Someone had obviously left all their roadworks out over Christmas making travel through the town difficult. We parked near the train station, quite cheap and plenty of spaces.

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

We found a chip shop between the car park and the away end. There's also a small Sainsbury's nearby as well for snacks for the kids. No conversations with the home fans today and the stewards were pretty strict entering the ground. There was a large away fan following and the stewarding numbers matched this.

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

The away is a temporary stand. It was a cold and windy day, so typical December weather. We were in the upper part of the stand and view of the pitch was okay. It's amazing that the stand has been there for so long and nothing a bit more permanent has been installed instead. The toilet facilities were in pretty good shape which made a nice change.

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

Less said about the game the better. Not what we were expecting. Although Pompey dominated the first half no goals meant that when Gillingham eventually put an attack together on half-time and scored it was clear it was going to be one of those days. The second half was worse as every opportunity created was wastefully missed. A triple-substitution by Pompey to try and brighten things up, went really wrong when we were reduced to ten men with 20 minutes to go through injury. A stoppage time penalty gave Gillingham a 2-0 win.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

It was about a ten minute walk back to the car from the ground with cold children upset about losing at Christmas time! Once in the car a slow departure from Gillingham itself but once on the main carriageways and motorways a smooth and safe trip back.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Would have preferred a better performance from Portsmouth. The ground, not bad, seen worse.

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.......

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 26th August 2019

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