Bobby Folds

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Robert James "Bobby" Folds (born 18 April 1949) is an English former association football player, who had a short and injury-affected professional career but played at a semi-professional level for nearly twenty years.

Career[edit]

Born in Bedford, he joined local club Bedford Town of the Southern Football League while still at school. Bedford manager Basil Hayward took over as manager of Gillingham of the Football League Third Division in 1966 and recruited a number of players from his former club, including Folds, who joined the "Gills" as the club's first ever apprentice-professional.[1]

In March 1967, shortly before he became a full-time professional, Folds broke his leg playing for Gillingham's reserve team against Chelsea and missed eight months of action.[1] In January 1968 he was loaned to Hastings United in a bid to regain match fitness. He eventually made his first team debut in a match away to Barnsley at the start of the 1968-69 season, but played irregularly for the first team, amassing only 44 Football League appearances in four seasons. His only goal for the "Gills" came against Brighton & Hove Albion in September 1969.[2] Nonetheless, his ability to operate in many different positions on the field of play was considered important to the squad.[1] In August 1971 he was released from his contract at Priestfield Stadium and joined Northampton Town of the Fourth Division.[1] After just one season with the club, however, he dropped back into non-league football with Telford United. He rejoined Bedford Town in October 1972 and played for the club for eight years. His later clubs included Hitchin Town and Buckingham Town. In 1985 he joined Kempston Rovers, where he remained well into the 1990s, going on to serve as the club's assistant manager and manager.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Triggs, Roger (2001). The Men Who Made Gillingham Football Club. Tempus Publishing Ltd. p. 118. ISBN 0-7524-2243-X. 
  2. ^ Brown, Tony (2003). The Definitive Gillingham F.C.: A Complete Record. Soccerdata. p. 79. ISBN 1-899468-20-X.