Michael Gilkes (footballer)

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Michael Gilkes
Personal information
Full name Michael Earl Glenis McDonald Gilkes
Date of birth (1965-07-20) 20 July 1965 (age 51)
Place of birth Hackney, England
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Playing position Left midfield
Youth career
1983–1984 Leicester City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1984–1997 Reading 393 (43)
1986 Mikkelin Palloilijat (loan) 17 (4)
1992 Chelsea (loan) 1 (0)
1992 Southampton (loan) 6 (0)
1997–1999 Wolverhampton Wanderers 38 (1)
1999–2001 Millwall 32 (2)
2001–2003 Slough Town 83 (11)
National team
2000 Barbados 5 (0)
Teams managed
2015–2016 Basingstoke Town
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Michael Earl Glenis McDonald Gilkes (born 20 July 1965 in Hackney, London) is an English former footballer. He played left wing, most notably for Reading, and was also a Barbados international.

Playing career[edit]

Gilkes played more than 550 times as a professional and made his name with the Reading side that nearly won promotion to the Premier League in the early 1990s. A fast, tricky winger, he made over 400 appearances in all competitions for the Berkshire club as they went from the old Fourth Division to the very edge of the top flight. They finished second in the new Division One in 1995 (only missing out on automatic promotion due to the streamlining of the FA Premier League from 22 clubs to 20) and reached the playoff final, surrendering a 2–0 lead held until the 75th minute before losing 4–3 in extra time to Bolton Wanderers.

On 2 March 1988, Gilkes scored in the Simod Cup (Full Members cup) semi-final v Coventry City, in extra time of a game that was delayed due to crowd congestion. The goal, timed at 10.38pm, broke the record for the latest goal in British first class football. –He went on to score Reading's first in the Final on 27 March 1988, where they beat Luton Town 4–1.[1]

Gilkes spent nearly thirteen years with the Royals, scoring 52 goals, before he was sold to Wolves in March 1997, managed by Mark McGhee who had departed from Reading to Wolves 16 months earlier.

He spent two seasons at Molineux before manager Keith Stevens signed him for Millwall. His time at the Molineux was less successful than it was at Elm Park, scoring just once in 38 league appearances, though he did come close to reaching the Premier League with them just as he had done at Reading. He joined Wolves just weeks before the end of the 1996–97 season, as they were edged out of the automatic promotion places to Barnsley and lost to Crystal Palace in the playoffs. A year later they finished ninth, missing out on the playoffs, but enjoyed a run to the FA Cup semi finals where they narrowly lost to Arsenal.

In a vote to compile the Royals' best-ever eleven, Gilkes was voted the best left-winger with 80.6% of the vote.[2] Gilkes played at the Madejski Stadium in the Royals Legends game on 1 May 2006.

Later career[edit]

Since retiring from the game, Gilkes Is employed as a Mortgage Consultant for a Reading-based estate agent. Gilkes joined the firm in November 2008 and is now a fully qualified mortgage consultant working out of the Reading branch. He was recruited by his former boss Mick Gooding – the Reading midfielder who went on to manage the club from 1994 to 1996. Gooding is now responsible for the day-to-day running of the estate agency.

Gilkes was Head Coach of Southern league Division One South & West side Hungerford Town alongside newly appointed manager Bobby Wilkinson until November 2012.

In November 2012, Gilkes was appointed assistant manager at Conference South side Basingstoke Town.[3] In November 2015, Gilkes was appointed First Team Manager for the remainder of the 2015–16 season,[4] after Jason Bristow agreed to step down from the position, with Basingstoke Town FC at the bottom of the Conference South. Gilkes was sacked as Basingstoke manager in March 2016[5] and now concentrates on his academy role at Reading.


  1. ^ The Little Book of Reading FC, Alan Sedunary
  2. ^ "Gilkes voted our best-ever left winger – vote now for the central midfielder". readingfc.co.uk. 9 August 2005. Retrieved 29 November 2006. 
  3. ^ "New assistant appointed". Basingstoke Town FC. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "Gilkes named First Team Manager for the remainder of the 2015/16 season". Basingstoke Town FC. Retrieved 21 December 2015. 
  5. ^ "Michael Gilkes released as manager of National League South strugglers Basingstoke Town". Daily Echo. 21 March 2016. Retrieved 28 July 2016. 

External links[edit]