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FPA: Dave Lewis and Neil Grayson return as guests for Northampton game

19 March 2019

Club News

FPA: Dave Lewis and Neil Grayson return as guests for Northampton game

19 March 2019

The Cheltenham Town Former Players’ Association will welcome back a deadly strike pairing that played in different eras as Dave Lewis and Neil Grayson return as guests against Northampton Town this Saturday.

Club record scorer Dave Lewis racked up a hugely impressive 290 goals for the Robins in two separate spells, spanning across 13 years between 1967-79 and 1982-83.

The clinical finisher, nicknamed the ‘flying pig’ due to a one-time cameo in goal against Altrincham, set a number of impressive records during his time in the red and white half of Gloucestershire.

Signing permanently and appearing for the first time in the league in 1970, Lewis was the club’s top scorer for nine consecutive seasons and also topped the Southern League goal scoring charts in 1974-75 with 33 goals.

That season he registered an astonishing 53 goals in all competitions from 56 games, a total which no other player in Cheltenham colours has achieved to date in a single campaign.

In what was a record-breaking season for the forward, he also netted five hat-tricks – another tally not matched by another Robins marksman since.

Lewis played a key role in the club’s 1976/77 Southern League promotion team and after a spell away from Whaddon Road, he returned in 1982 and a year later was part of the Southern League Midland Divison title winning side.

In total, Lewis made a remarkable 539 appearances for the Robins and 522 of those were starts.

Signing for the club in 1998 from Hereford United, Neil Grayson went on to make a similar impact in front of goal and similarly to Lewis became a hugely popular figure to Robins fans.

Manager Steve Cotterill brought the 33-year-old to Gloucestershire in what proved to be a masterstroke and Grayson’s years at the club conincided with one of the most succesfull spells in Cheltenham Town history.

After missing out on playing in the FA Trophy winning run in 1998 due to being cup tied, Grayson played an integeral role the following season as Cotterill’s men won the Conference title.

A scorer of some outstanding goals, Grayson wowed the Cheltenham crowd with some special strikes and quickly became a big game player.

The Yorkshiremen netted the winner in the final seconds after Mark Freeman’s equaliser minutes before as a packed away end witnessed the Robins come from behind to win 2-1 at Nene Park against title rivals Rushden and Diamonds.

He also scored the second goal in the 3-2 victory over Yeovil Town, where current Robins boss Michael Duff scored the winner to finally secure the club’s maiden promotion to the Football League.

A winner of Cheltenham’s Player of the Year and Conference Player of the Year, Grayson’s return to the Football League enabled him to score the Robins’ first ever goal outside of the non-League pyramid and he finished club top scorer that season too.

Also formerly of this weekend’s opponents Northampton Town, Grayson went on to finish as the club’s leading marksman for three consecutive seasons despite a spell of absence with a broken ankle.

In the 2000/01 campaign, Grayson scored the perfect hat-trick against high-flying Cardiff City, one with his right foot, his left foot and his head.

In his final season with the club, despite being more of a squad player, he still played an important role as Cheltenham won the League Two play-offs by beating Rushden at the Millennium Stadium.

That triumph proved to be Grayson’s final appearance for the club as he left in 2002 having made a huge impact in their rise up two divisions – making 195 appearances and scoring 59 times.

Please welcome two truly great Robins legends back against the Cobblers this Saturday, you can buy your tickets for the game by clicking here.

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