Gavin McGowan

*Indicates unconfirmed information. Figures in brackets after English team names indicate all appearances made and goals scored in competitive matches for Football League clubs from 1888 onwards. For Scottish League clubs the figures show details of all competitive appearances and goals scored from 1946/47 onwards.

Gavin McGowan

Appearances: 15+7 Goals: 2

Date / Year of birth: 16th January 1976

Position: Midfielder

Season of first appearance: 2005/06

Season of last appearance: 2005/06

Also played for: Arsenal (4+4,0), Luton Town (60+10,0), Horsham, Bromley, Hornchurch, Braintree Town, Dulwich Hamlet, Tonbridge Angels, Croydon Athletic and Redhill

Tough-tackling 5' 11" tall midfielder born in Blackheath who started his career with Arsenal, initially joining the club in 1992 aged 16. Gavin progressed through the Gunners junior sides and played for England at schools and youth level.

On 6.5.93 Gavin made history when he came on as a 61st minute substitute to make his first team debut as Arsenal lost 1-0 at Sheffield Wednesday in the Premier League. He was aged 17 years and 110 days at the time and that made him the youngest ever player to appear in a league game for the Gunners. The record was later beaten by Cesc Fabregas who was seven days younger when he played his first league game. Gavin also made a sub appearance in a 3-1 home defeat against arch rivals Spurs on 11.5.93, replacing Pal Lyderson at half-time but that turned out to be his last senior outing for two and a half years.

During the 1993/94 season Gavin was part of the Arsenal team that won the FA Youth Cup and future Margate player Adrian Clarke was also in the side. Gavin played regularly for the reserves during 1994/95 and 1995/96 and on 13.1.96 he played the full 90 minutes as Arsenal won 3-2 at Middlesbrough in the Premier League.

He made one more first team appearance during the 1996/97 campaign before being loaned to Division 2 (later League One) club Luton in March 1997.

Gavin made his debut for the Hatters in a 2-0 win at Burnley on 29.3.97 and played once more before returning to Highbury at the end of the season.

Gavin went back to Luton on loan in August 1997 and made eight appearances during a two month spell at Kenilworth Road. On 9.9.97 he was sent off 44 minutes into a 1-0 defeat at Northampton.

After returning to Arsenal in October 1997 Gavin was a fixture in the reserves for the remainder of the 1997/98 campaign and he also played once for the first team - as a substitute in a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at Highbury on 21.2.98. That was his last senior outing and at the end of the season he was released. By then Gavin had played in around 100 reserve team games for the Gunners.

He joined Luton on a permanent basis in June 1998 and Gavin made 40 appearances without scoring for the Hatters during the 1998/99 campaign. He was sent off twice - in a 1-0 home defeat against Walsall on 26.9.98 and in a 1-1 draw at Oldham on 2.4.99.

A knee injury ruled Gavin out of the first half of the 1999/00 season but after making his comeback in January 2000 he featured in 13 games before the campaign ended.

The 2000/01 season turned out to be his last at Luton and it was again disrupted by injuries. Gavin only managed to make seven appearances and in April 2001 he was released by new manager Joe Kinnear.

Gavin surprisingly dropped down to the Isthmian League Division 2 to join Horsham in the summer of 2001 and after making ten league appearances there he moved on to Bromley at the end of December 2001.

Gavin featured ten times for Bromley in the Isthmian League Division 1 before the end of the 2001/02 campaign but then left the club.

He linked up with Hornchurch of the Isthmian League Division 1 North for the start of the 2002/03 season and Gavin scored three goals from 24 league outings (two as sub) to help the Urchins finish second in the table and win promotion to the Premier League.

He stayed at Hornchurch for the 2003/04 campaign and made a further 25 league appearances (two as sub) before leaving the club at the end of the season.

Gavin started the 2004/05 campaign with Isthmian League Premier Division club Braintree and he scored once in 16 league outings there before moving on to Division 1 outfit Dulwich at the start of January 2005.

Gavin played in five league matches for Dulwich and at the end of January 2005 he signed for Tonbridge.

He only featured in two Premier Division games for the Angels and in March 2005 Gavin rejoined Bromley where he scored once in eight Division 1 outings before the end of the 2004/05 season.

At the start of September 2004 Gavin left Bromley after scoring twice in a career total of 25 appearances for the club and signed for Margate. Manager Chris Kinnear told the Isle of Thanet Gazette "Getting Gavin was a result of one of the millions of phone calls I've made, talking to people who know people, and going from there."

He made his debut in midfield in a 1-1 draw with Fisher in the Isthmian League Premier Division at Hartsdown Park on 6.9.05 and Gavin became a regular in the side for the next month or so. The Thanet Times said he was "clearly committed" in midfield during a 4-0 home win over Cowes in the FA Cup on 10.9.05 and on 20.9.05 Gavin scored his first goal for Margate in a game at his old club Bromley when he struck an injury time equaliser to level the scores at 2-2.

Gavin was on the scoresheet again as Margate drew 1-1 with Billericay at Hartsdown Park on 4.10.05 and the Thanet Times praised him for some "strong tackling" but as October drew to a close he fell out of favour. After a spell where he'd only made one start in five matches Gavin enjoyed a good run in the side after returning to the midfield for a 1-0 home defeat against Dartford in the FA Trophy on 12.11.05. He started the next five games in the number eight shirt and the Thanet Times' report on a 3-2 home win over Hampton & Richmond on 26.11.05 said Gavin was "influencing games now at both ends of the pitch". The last match of his run of starts was a 2-0 defeat at Heybridge on 6.12.05 and after that Gavin missed one game altogether before featuring as a substitute in a 2-1 win at Hendon on 17.12.05. He came off the bench in Margate's next three matches too and the last of them was a 1-1 draw at Maldon on 7.1.06. Shortly afterwards Gavin was released having scored twice from 22 appearances (seven as sub).

He joined Dulwich immediately after leaving Hartsdown Park but Gavin's second spell with Hamlet was very brief and he only played once before moving on to Isthmian League Division 1 club Croydon Athletic in February 2006.

Gavin made his debut for Croydon in a 3-0 win at Corinthian Casuals on 7.2.06 and he went on to score once from 14 league outings (one as sub) before the end of the 2005/06 season.

After a short spell out of the game Gavin signed for Sussex County League side Redhill in October 2006 and one of his team-mates there was former Margate player Mike Azzopardi. In November 2006 Gavin was sent off in a match against Shoreham and he made a total of six appearances for Redhill before leaving the club at the end of 2006. Gavin then retired from football.

In 2011 he was working as a PE teacher at Edenham High School in Croydon.










2005/06 (MFC)

15 (51)