‘Curly’ Gosden: a talented and much sought after defender

Mick 'Curly' Gosden in his playing days for Hailsham
Mick 'Curly' Gosden in his playing days for Hailsham
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He was a ‘dedicated, talented defender who could turn on a six-pence and was a great ambassador for football.’

Mick ‘Curly’ Gosden died in the early hours of August 8, aged 69, after living with cancer.

He was a well-known and popular figure within the football community of Sussex as he represented Hailsham School, Hailsham FC, Hellingly Lions, Punnetts Town, Holt Rangers, Polegate, GEEBRO and Magham Down FC.

As a left-sided defender, Mick played well into his 40s and was always more than a match for the tricky wingers he would come up against.

Even in the later stages of his playing career, when his pace had gone, his knowledge and ability to read the game was a tremendous asset.

“You don’t get any faster when you hit your 40s,” said his son, also named Mick. “But what he had was skill. He always seemed to be in the right place and not many forwards would get the better of him.

“Off the ball he was a great defender but when he had the ball, they thought they had him covered but he could turn on a sixpence and he would be off.”

Mick retired from football on a few a separate occasions but he couldn’t stay away from the sport he loved.

He called time after Hailsham but a chance meeting with the goalkeeper of Magham Down saw him agree to another season - he played for another four.

This time he had definitely hung up his boots but another chance meeting, this time with the manager of Punnetts as he filled up his car at petrol station, saw him return for just one last hurrah - he played five more seasons!

His son Mick added, “He loved the game so much and he gave a lot to the sport. He retired but he just could not stay away.

“It was unbelievable, clubs always wanted to him to play for them and then he would play another season. He just loved football.”

During his playing career he received players’ player of the year on numerous occasions - this was not solely down to his skill and ability but also for his kind nature, sense of humour and sportsmanship - this was mirrored outside of football where he was described as ‘a true Sussex gentleman who would go out of his way to help others.’

Mick was born and schooled in Hailsham and away from football worked for Bibby’s Agricultural Feed, Green Brothers and as an agricultural contractor.

He was a loving family man and is survived by his wife Sally, two sons Mick and Neil and three grandchildren Maisie, Thomas and Tegan.

Mick’s funeral will be held at Eastbourne Crematoriam on Thursday, August 18. (3.15pm) All are welcome.

Hailsham Town FC will also hold a one-minute silence on Tuesday night ahead of their match with Eastbourne United at the Beaconsfield on Tuesday, August 16.