Gloucester City legend Chris ‘Towner’ Townsend has said he cannot wait to be back watching the Tigers against Alfreton Town this Saturday.
Speaking ahead of the Tigers clash with the Derbyshire side at Whaddon Road on Saturday, ‘Towner’ said “I can’t wait to be back! I’ve been invited up a few times and to finally come back is something I’m really excited for.”
Despite leaving the club over two decades ago, he said the fans are still following what he’s up to.
“A couple of the older fans have been following me on Twitter and it will be good to see them again. I am looking forward to seeing the side play, I keep in touch with Tim Harris, and I’m excited to see a few old faces.”
Despite being a legend at City, he did play for rivals Cheltenham Town and actually swapped Cheltenham for Gloucester for a then record £10,000 fee.
He said he didn’t receive anything distasteful from fans when making the switch.
“There was nothing other than good luck messages from fans, when I swapped Cheltenham Town for Gloucester City and everything was fine, so for that I am grateful.”
Looking back on his career he said the most memorable moment for him was the title winning team in 1988/89, more specifically the final game.
“The most special moment was being involved in the league winning team, the whole occasion was incredible, and we got cheered off at the end of the game; my wife and new born baby were there so it was quite special.
“We won the game 2-0 against Kings Lynn and I scored the second goal and it was a great feeling!”
Towner scored famous goals along the way in City colours, one memorable that sticks out for him was his goal against one of his former sides Cardiff City in the FA Cup.
“My goal against Cardiff City is a really good memory too. It came on the end of a bad run of injuries. Nobody knew I was playing and to score against my old club, a team I grew up local to, was something I won’t forget.”
He also admitted that the best goal in his career wasn’t scored at Gloucester but at Cardiff City.
“My best goal wasn’t actually in Gloucester City colours, as a schoolboy at Cardiff City I played in a testimonial. I scored a bicycle kick against none other than Peter Shilton who was probably the best keeper in the world at the time and that was incredible!”
Looking into more current affairs, Townsend said he was delighted to see Gloucester’s progression in the National League North this season.
“I think Gloucester have done exceptionally well this season. They don’t have the largest budget in the league but they are performing superbly.
“Tim has got them playing really well, the play-offs may just be a little bit too far but the team should be very proud of what they have achieved so far.”
He also said he had his eye on two players in particular, stating he wants to keep a look out for Joe Hanks and Zack Kotwica.
Having played at Meadow Park for the Tigers, the 50 year-old said the Tigers former stadium was just like home to him.
“Meadow Park for me was like playing in my living room to be honest. I felt so comfortable. The pitch was amazing, a really nice non-league football ground.
“It had a little bit of quality about it, the fans were very close and it was very modern. I think it will be massive for the club when they go back, they’ve been away for too long now.”
The former Cheltenham Town and Newport County striker continued, saying “Going to the game is killing two birds with one stone.
“Being a former Cheltenham player as well it’ll be nice to go back to Whaddon Road but I’m especially excited for the game. This is an area where I spent a lot of my career playing with Cheltenham and a club where I had my stellar years at Gloucester City.
“We’ll be having a meal when we get to Cheltenham, then going to the stadium which will hopefully be an entertaining occasion. I’ll be making a day of it and hopefully people will remember me!”
Another former Cheltenham and Gloucester player will be making the game with Townsend and hopes they get the right result: “I’m coming to the game with Neil Gough who also used to play for the Tigers. We are going to meet some of the old Cheltenham lot who he is friendly with, so hopefully Gloucester can get three points and I can go to the bar happy afterwards.”