Horsham boss Di Paola hails club legend for equalling long-standing record

Manager Dominic Di Paola heaped praise on club legend Gary Charman for equalling Horsham's appearance record.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 2:20 pm
Gary Charman equalled Horsham's all-time club appearance record in Tuesday night's 1-1 draw with his former club Bognor Regis Town. Picture by Lyn Phillips

The evergreen defender came off the bench in Tuesday's 1-1 draw at home to Sussex rivals, and Charman's former club, Bognor Regis Town to make his 614th Hornets appearance.

Charman, who made his senior debut for Horsham in 1998, has drawn level with fellow Yellows legend Mark Stepney.

The winger turned defender, who is currently on his fourth spell with the Hornets having spent time at Walton & Hersham, Lewes, Eastbourne Borough and Bognor, could break Stepney's record in tomorrow's FA Cup clash at Kingstonian.

The K's themselves have been toasting a club legend this week. Last Saturday saw former Horsham keeper and 2007-08 FA Cup hero Rob Tolfrey break Micky Preston’s all-time Kingstonian appearances record of 557.

Speaking on Charman's achievements, Di Paola said: "I think you’ve just got to congratulate him for hitting that landmark. It doesn’t happen very often in football.

"He looks after himself and he’s in good shape. In fact, he’s probably in the best shape he’s been in since he’s been back with us at Horsham,

"We know for certain now that he’s going to break the record at some stage.

"But if I’m honest, I didn’t expect him to play as much as he has done, but he’s played really well.

"You have to give him his due, he’s come in and he’s smashed through the games early on, and he’s got to this record.

"It’s a nice one for Gaz and the club. He’s a local boy, a Horsham lad.

"He’s probably the only player, while I’ve been at the club, that’s properly come through the youth system and really made an impact on the first team.

"But for Gaz that’s brilliant. He’s a local boy that’s come through the youth team and he’ll end up the record appearance holder.