1st Debut : Ashtree Highfield (A) - 10/12/88 Last Game : Bromsgrove Rovers (A) - 05/05/90
2nd Debut : Chelmsford City (A) - 09/11/91 Last Game : Crawley Town (H) - 24/03/92 (unused sub)
Chris Townsend is a modern day legend at Gloucester City. If they were to build houses on what becomes of the site of Meadow Park then Townsend Close would be one of the names that appears on the map.
He signed for the club in December 1988 for a then record fee of £10,000 from local rivals Cheltenham Town who were playing two divisions higher in the GM Vauxhall Conference. Despite not finding the net in a 0-0 draw on his debut at Ashtree Highfield, Chris went on to net eleven goals in the next six games and leading City to the title with 31 in 31!
The 1989-90 campaign again brought an impressive return of twenty-six goals but Chris missed a portion of the earlier games after he was sent off against Mangotsfield in the FA Cup for punching an opponent and then needing a lengthy layoff for a knee injury.
He made his return to the City team in the famous FA Cup tie at Cardiff where he faced one of his former clubs and netted City's second when he breezed past two defenders and slotted the ball past George Wood.
Another notable feat for Townsend from that season came during the 9-0 rout of Gosport Borough when he found the net five times, although as the Tiger Roar fanzine at the time reported none of his teammates congratulated him after the game!
Following a pre-season friendly match with Barnet in July 1990 Chris was all set to move to Underhill with Barry Fry agreeing a fee but the move was blocked by Chairman Stan Flashman who had a reputed fiery relationship with Fry. Dorchester Town stepped in and snapped up the City hotshot for a record fee of £18,000 but the distance from Chris' Newport home to Thomas Hardy country affected his form and within a matter of months he'd moved to Bath City for £12,000.
Despite his pedigree he was a major disappointment at Twerton Park, scoring just four times in fourteen appearances, all in one incredible game against Northwich Victoria. He was transfer listed just before the start of the 1991-92 season and after a two-month loan spell with Stroud (where he scored nine goals!) he returned to City on a free transfer, apparently much to the annoyance of then Bath manager Tony Ricketts.
Now under the guidance of Steve Millard Chris struggled to regain the form that had made him such a big hit with the Tigers fans and despite scoring nine goals at a rate of one every other game he was tempted to move to Chesham United who'd been signing up players from south Wales and bussing them to Buckinghamshire on matchdays.
Clubs: Cardiff City (5-0), Southampton, Newport County, Forest Green Rovers, Cheltenham Town, Gloucester City, Dorchester Town, Bath City (7-7-4), Stroud (loan) (xx-9), Bath City, Gloucester City, Ton Pentre, Chesham United
Appearances & Goals:
Page last updated : 9th February 2011
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