Longford announce new sponsorship deal and Gillespie decides to give it one more season
Three days after his 38th birthday Keith Gillespie has said that the coming season with Longford Town will be his last as a player. “It would be nice to go out on a high and achieve promotion,” says the former Manchester United and Newcastle star.
“We looked like doing it for long periods last year but unfortunately we came up short. Tony (Cousins) has new players and a good squad; we really feel this could be the season.”
Gillespie was speaking in Dublin yesterday as Longford announced a new shirt sponsorship and stadium naming rights deal with City Calling, a company owned by the player’s long-time agent, Phil Munnelly.
The agreement marks the end of a 15-year association with Flancare. “We’re hugely grateful to Flancare for their support down the years,” says Longford chairman Jim Hanley, “but delighted to have City Calling on board. It’s a very good day for the club but a slightly sad one too because of Keith’s announcement.”
Highs and lows
The former Northern Ireland international admits to having had his share of lows during a career that spans more than two decades but points to wins over England and Spain as especially fondly remembered games and the season Newcastle lost out in the title race to Manchester United as, odd though it might seem, a particular highlight.
“Not many people remember the team that came second two years ago,” he says, “but everyone remembers that Newcastle team because of the style of football we played. That was a big high.”
The aim now is to help Longford finish first in the race for promotion, ahead of the likes of Waterford United, Finn Harps and Athlone. “The First Division is a culture shock but you get used to it. It’s been all change for me but I’ve enjoyed it. We had a successful team for most of the season but fell short. It would be great to mount a challenge and get back into the Premier.”