Bognor means ‘a huge amount’ to Rocks hero Gary Charman

Rocks hero Gary Charman bids his former clubs a fond farewell when he takes to the field for the final time this weekend.

Horsham FC host a testimonial match for Charman on Saturday (3pm) with Hornets and Bognor players past and present turning out to take part in the Nye Camp favourite’s match.

A host of Rocks legends will lace up their boots for the occasion, including current managerial duo Robbie Blake and Jamie Howell, plus Dan Beck, Jimmy Muitt, James Crane, Sami El-Abd and Harvey Whyte.

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Charman became a Nye Camp hero in two spells at the club. He helped Bognor reach the FA Trophy semi-finals in 2016 before helping them to promotion to National League South a season later.

Bognor hero Gary Charman bids his former clubs a fond farewell when he takes to the field for the final time this Saturday in his testimonial at Horsham. Picture by Chris Neal

Charman retired from football in March at hometown club Horsham after amassing a club-record 616 appearances. But the Rocks will always have a place in Charman’s heart.

He said: “The club means a huge amount. Bognor were so good to me – memories that will stay with me forever.

“I had an incredible three, four year relationship with them. We got to the semi-final of the FA Trophy, beating some unbelievable teams, in the first year I was there.

“And in the second year, which was my particular favourite because I took part in 50 games, we got promoted but we did it the hard way through the play-offs. It was incredible. I got Player of the Season that year as well.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been as emotional as I was when we beat Dulwich in the play-off final. Because of my age at the time, I think I was 35 or 36, and to achieve what we did with that set of players, and I’m sure Bognor won’t mind me saying this, not on the largest of budgets was incredible.

“On the last day we could have gone up and got promoted automatically, and to bounce back and to win the semis and the final at home in front of 2,500 people… what a day!”

For Charman’s testimonial, tickets are £11 for adults, £6 seniors, students and under-16s, £2 for under-16s.