Saints Legends You Have Never Heard Of Part 10
Tuesday, 3rd Jul 2012 15:00
Today we take a look at a player who was tipped to be the Saints keeper for many years until injury cruelly struck, Gerry Gurr.
Many would assume that Gerry Gurr was a product of Saints youth system, but the truth is he wasnt, growing up in North West London he had originally signed to Arsenal as a schoolboy centre forward before being converted to a goalkeeper, after failing to make the grade at Highbury he had trials at QPR, Leicester and Northampton before signing for Guildford ity where he came to Saints notice in January 1964 still short of his 18th birthday.
But there was a lot of competition between the sticks at the Dell at the time and Gerry had to compete with several other glovesmen for even a reserve team spot let alone a chance at the first team, initially Godfrey and Hollowbread blocked his way and then the arrival of Campbell Forsyth but by the start of 65/66 Gerry was pretty much a permanent fixture in the second string and was learning his trade and biding his time.
He finally got his debut in a 4-4 home draw with Leicester in January 1967 some three years after his arrival at the Dell, saving a penalty in the game, however Ted Bates obviously wasnt sure he was quite ready to be exposed in a Saints side that in 66/67 had scored more than every side in the top seven apart from champions Man Utd, but had conceded more than any other team in the division, only weeks after Gerry's debut Eric Martin was signed and plunged straight into the ultimately succesful relegation battle.
It would be another 18 months before Gerry got another chance and this time he took it with both hands, after Martin was dropped after only 8 games of the 68/69 season Gerry was in and kept his place for the remainder of the season as Saints put two difficult top flight campaigns behind them and finished 7th in the league their highest ever league finish in their history up to that point.
But an old injury came back to haunt him, he had dislocated his shoulder in a reserve fixture and it was starting to trouble him, threatening to come out of joint at the slightest movement, his Saints career was over just as he had started to put in a display of consistent goalkeeping not seen for a while at the Dell, he soldiered on but found himself in the reserves perhaps because with no sub goalkeepers in those days and indeed only one sub overall, the club felt they couldnt risk him in the first team, he left the Club in the summer of 1970 perhaps feeling a little peeved that the club had not given him enough support when it became clear that there was a problem .
Certaily after leaving the club he had an operation and this appeared to fix the problem and his ex team mate Jimmy Melia then managing Aldershot offered him a contract and he seemed to be back playing over 50 league games for the Shots, but he was still a little disalussioned and he quit football all together to become a professional musician as well as a spell working in Mike Channon Sports shop in Southampton.
Gerry Gurr only played 49 times for Saints, yet supporters who were around at that time will tell you that had it not been for that injury he would probably have played ten times that amount .
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