EXCLUSIVE: 1970s warrior Gow works nights in Tesco
Published 22:29 17/11/11 By Alan Nixon
Mention the name Gerry Gow and Bristol City fans still shiver with pride 30 years on - while old rivals wince about the old Scottish midfield warrior.
Now one of the club’s all-time great players is set for a tribute night to remember as part of the testimonial he missed out on because the Robins had to sell him to survive.
Gow would be a millionaire by now if he was playing today, but instead he works the night shift at a Tesco store in his adopted home of Portland.
But there is no regret in the Glaswegian who is overcome with the warmth of affection that means a sell-out crowd for his ‘night’ on Friday and tributes from Sir Alex Ferguson among others.
Gow said: “I knew I was popular at Bristol City as a player, I knew I was in their hearts, but I didn’t know how much. It’s brilliant.
“I was out of touch for a few years and missed the players and especially the supporters. But then I started doing the odd ‘Evening with’ and now there’s a testimonial year.
“It’s amazing when you meet fans for the first time in years and it feels like you’ve just come off the pitch at the end of a game again.”
Gow was a key part of Bristol City’s golden era in the last 1970s. But they reached too far and he had to go to Manchester City in a fire sale while other players, the infamous ‘Ashton Gate Eight’ had their contracts torn up.
He said: “I had to be sold along with Tom Ritchie and Clive Whitehead or the club would have gone completely. I’m still surprised that people remember. But it was a special time for us.”
Gow has not had much luck since he stopped playing.
He was boss at Yeovil and then drifted out of football before a call from old pal Paul Hart at Portsmouth.
He said: “I was scouting for Paul, really enjoying being back at games. But then they went into admin and we were the first to go.”
Gow has also paid the price for a long and sometimes too social career. He said: “I’ve had a replacement knee put in.
“I went to kick off a charity match a few years ago. I had my boots on and got carried away, so I played for 20 minutes and could barely walk. That was the end for me.
“I’m quite happy working in the supermarket. It doesn’t worry me at all. I was lucky enough to have played and I’m grateful for the time I had.
“It was the best life that anybody could have. It wasn’t a case of being under-paid when I was playing. If I hadn’t enjoyed myself as much off the field and been more sensible I could be sitting pretty now.”
Gow is also loved at Manchester City - despite only a fleeting stay - and veterans from the two clubs are due to meet for a game for him too.
He said: “It would be great to find some of the lads who still manage to play a bit. I think we would all enjoy that one.”