Filed: Sunday, 22nd January 2012
By: Paul Walker
They really donít make them like Ernie Gregory any more. Gone are the days when a man stays with his first club for over 50 years.
My euphoria at the current squad finally getting to the Championship summit this weekend was wrecked by the sad news of Ernieís passing.
He was the first goalkeeper I knew as a boy watching the Irons in the late '50s and early '60s, and there is a serious discussion to be had as to whether he was the greatest servant ever to turn out for the club, despite the glory and honours achieved by the Moore, Hurst, Peters era.
The next time we are all assembled at the Boleyn, and thatís for the Millwall game, I pray the club have mark the passing of a great servant properly, and that our Ďfriendsí from across the water can manage to take part in a fitting memorial. Iím sure they will.
It is also good that we have as owners now two men who remember the great days of our past and the players that made it possible. David Gold has already expressed his sympathies, Iím sure David Sullivan feels the same.
Big Ern in action
Articles elsewhere have recorded his history with the club, quite amazing. For me, I can only recall standing next to my dad and him telling me Ernie was the best goalkeeper heíd ever seen.
He was part of the side that took us back into the top flight in 1958, and had a genuine impact on young men coming through the ranks for many years after.
I was amazed to read a few years back when Ernie was taken ill, that he did not believe people would remember him. The deluge of good wishes that followed hopefully made him realise just how much he was held in our affections.
RIP Ernie. There are very few left now of that '50s side, and you will always stay in my memory and Iím sure many thousands of others.
Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.
03:08PM 30th Jan 2012
''I remember him well, my father, uncle and me all in the Chicken Run on winter Saturdays. The pitch looked like a WW1 battlefield. There he was, a magnificent sight commanding the penalty area, catching a ball that was wet, slippery as a wet bar of soap and as hard as marble. Perhaps the best uncapped goal keeper of the '50s in England. A great loss, but it was a privilege to have seen him play.''
by los matillos
09:42PM 22nd Jan 2012
''I watched Ernie play in the late fifties and had the privelege to meet him in the eighties whilst sponsoring the club with Avco. He was a true gentleman and great character, and always had time to talk to anyone interested in the club.
I will always have fond memories of him. If we had a few more footballers in the game nowadays with his integrity and loyalty it would be a far better sport to support.''
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