Brentford | Peter Gelson
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Peter Gelson

Position

Defender

Pen Pic

Peter Gelson - by Newport Pagnell Bee

(Disclaimer - My first Bees match was home to Luton in Feb 64. I was 6 years old. I can remember standing on a small stool in the Braemar Rd, monkey nut sellers & the smell of linament from the players. The place seemed packed. I'm not sure if Gelson played that day. All I know is that we lost 2-6 & I cried. For years I thought we'd lost 1-6 & that John Dick had scored. 100 years of Brentford told me I was wrong on both counts. So my memory might not be entirely correct on Gelson either)

I was the youngest of four boys & Dad couldn't afford to take us all. My appearances were therefore sporadic in those early days. However, when I did go, one player stood out for me. He was dark & swarthy, almost mediteranean in appearance & that of course was Peter Gelson. Although Gelson was around 6ft 1 (ish), he always seemed to be marking a taller forward. Pete was outstanding in the air, his timing ensured that he outjumped those taller players. He was strong & brave, both in the air & on the floor, prepared to put his body on the line for the cause. A hard man but not a dirty player. He was the best slide tackler I have ever seen. Again, his timing was immaculate as was his reading of the game.

I have a number of memories of an opposition player beating Alan Hawley only to find himself up against a sliding Gelson & the ball being taken off his toe.

The other thing that made you notice him was the way he ran. He led with his head & neck, almost like how a chicken runs. Very distinctive.

However, I think his major quality though, was his consistency over the years he played for BFC. You always knew what you were going to get. 100% effort, bravery, & nearly always an outstanding performance (see exception below).

There was only one player from those days that I can recall who always gave Pete a tough time, Jack Howarth of Aldershot. A tall strong ginger haired centre forward who was a nightmare to play against. I hate to say it, but I think big Jack got the better of their encounters.

Talking of Aldershot, Nov 69 just before my twelth birthday. Bees are losing 2 - 3 at home with not long to go. Dad & me are going towards the exit at the Royal Oak end. The Bees get a penalty. Up steps my hero & whacks the ball miles over the bar & maybe even over the roof of the stand. Aldershot go up the other end & score. Not for the first time, I cried!! Unfortunately, I'm still a bad loser to this day, despite all the years of practice!

To counter that, my brothers told me of a Gelson free kick from inside his own half that sailed into the opposition net. I wasn't there unfortunately. Anyway, it was thanks to Pete that led to me becoming a centre half & taking a keen interest in the centre backs at BFC. Pat Kruse was another good one as was the outstanding Terry Evans. However, the one who most reminds me of Peter Gelson is a certain Leon Legge. Not in Pete's league as yet but Leon has that same strength & dominance in the air & the ability to pull off a clean tackle when an opposition player looks through on goal.

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