Twenty years ago today Playford kick off for the first time

On This Day 1998

Manic Street Preachers were number one in the charts and would be knock off that spot by All Saints in that nights run down.

But before that at 10:15am Playford Football Club kicked off their first ever competitive match, the opposition were Gipping Valley. The match was in the last division, Division 12, of the Sunday Morning League, a far cry from the five divisions there are today. Melvilles United were one of Playford's opponents that season and they still exist now, in the Premier Division, in the guise of Fat Cat.

Current Reserve team player Stu Goldsmith's three brothers were in the starting line-up including his 16 year old twin Dan. Talking of 16 year olds, Chris Jones, the club's leading appearance maker was also lining up in a central midfield position.

The match taking place at the home of Playford, Farlingaye High School, started like a dream of Playford as they found themselves one ahead in the first half. The cross-cum-shot from the right by Dave Wright eluded the 'keeper and nestled into the back of the net. The lead did not last long and Playford were behind 3-1 before Dan Goldsmith (pictured) scored his first of the season to give us a glimmer of hope. Alas it was inconsquential as Gipping Valley reached six before the 90 minutes were up.

Veteran right-back Vernon Blackmore was awarded the club's first ever Man of the Match award.

Later in the day Alan Sugar sacked Christian Gross as boss of Tottenham although due, we suspect, to his shambolic running of Spurs and not as a result of Playford defeat.

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