Gillingham Football Club
is an English professional football
club based in the town of Gillingham
, currently playing in the Football League One
. The only Kent-based club in the Football League
, they play their home matches at KRBS Priestfield Stadium
The club was founded in 1893 and joined the Football League in 1920. They were voted out of the league in favour of Ipswich Town at the end of the 1937–38 season, but returned to it 12 years later after it was expanded from 88 to 92 clubs. Twice in the late 1980s they came close to winning promotion to the second tier of English football, but a decline then set in and in 1993 they narrowly avoided relegation to the Football Conference. Between 2000 and 2005, Gillingham were in the second tier of the English league for the only time in their history, achieving a club record highest league finish of eleventh place in 2002–03.
The Isthmian League
is a regional football
league covering London
and South East England
. It is more commonly known by the name of its official title sponsor as the Ryman League
, and has in previous years been variously known (in chronological order) as the Rothmans Isthmian League
, Berger Isthmian League
, Servowarm Isthmian League
, Vauxhall-Opel League
, Vauxhall League
, Diadora League
and ICIS League
The league was founded in 1905, and was strongly dedicated to amateurism. The champions did not even receive a trophy, league policy being that the honour sufficed. Teams less able to compete financially thus gravitated to it rather than the Southern League, while those with ambition and money would move in the opposite direction.
Although the league established itself as one of the strongest leagues in the country, routinely providing the winners of the FA Amateur Cup, it was still seen as being at a lower level than the Southern League and Northern Premier League which were the top regional semi-professional leagues.