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FPA: Steven Gillespie and JJ Melligan return against Stevenage

3 September 2019

Club News

FPA: Steven Gillespie and JJ Melligan return against Stevenage

3 September 2019

The Cheltenham Town Former Players' Association return this weekend for the first time this season with Steven Gillespie and JJ Melligan their guests for the match against Stevenage.

Prolific striker Gillespie had three spells with the Robins and spent three years in Gloucestershire during his first and seconds spells before being sold for what was previously the club record outbound fee before Mo Eisa smashed that record with a move to Bristol City last summer. 

The Liverpudlian attracted interest from John Ward, who was manager of Cheltenham at the time, long before he first moved to the club.

Gillespie impressed in loan spells from Bristol City during 2005 before Ward finally got his man permanently in January 2006, as he penned a two and a half year deal at Whaddon Road. 

Despite injury niggles, Gillespie played a key part in Ward's promotion campaign that season and a stroke of tactical genius saw him selected ahead of Kayode Odejayi in the League Two play-off final versus Grimsby Town - it was a move that paid off and the Robins were promoted to the third tier. 

The former Liverpool youngster scored some important goals in helping Cheltenham stay in League One for two years before he moved to Colchester United for a £350,000 fee in 2008 - which was a transfer record for both clubs at the time. 

Gillespie linked up with Ward when the latter eventually managed Colchester and the pair were reunited once again at Bristol Rovers, but the tricky forward still managed another return to the Robins on loan from Fleetwood Town for a month in 2013. 

In total, Gillespie scored 35 goals in 100 appearances for Cheltenham, averaging nearly one goal per two starts. 

Irishman JJ Melligan played with Gillespie for a part of his first spell with the Robins and was another popular figure amongst fans. 

Ward was the man who also brought Melligan to Whaddon Road, as the club paid a £25,000 fee to Wolves for his signature in 2004 and the winger netted on his debut against Southend United.

The pacey wide man was another key figure in the promotion winning side of 2005/06 and although featuring in the FA Cup Fourth Round tie against Newcastle United, he missed the play-off final through injury. 

Leading the club's assist charts that season, Melligan continued to impress in League One and eventually joined Leyton Orient in 2007 before returning to Cheltenham on loan in 2010 as Mark Yates brought him back after a spell in his native Ireland with Dundalk. 

Melligan made 164 appearances for Cheltenham in total, scoring 18 goals. Please welcome two great servants and promotion heroes back to the club this weekend against Stevenage (7th Sept, 3pm kick-off). 

Tickets can be bought for Saturday's match at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium by clicking here, as Michael Duff's side look to make it 14 unbeaten at home. 


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