Wycombe ex-players gathering for Saturday’s tenth anniversary party were sorry to hear news of the death of another great Wanderers stalwart. Charlie Gale, a regular between 1963 and 1971, passed away the previous night aged 78.
A member of the side’s elite 500 Club, he was only pushed down to fourteenth in the Blues’ all-time list of appearance-makers when Matt Bloomfield made his 503rd senior appearance recently.
Encouraged to leave Wokingham by teammate Peter Roystone, Charlie ensured the No 6 shirt was his own for nearly a decade and - along with John Fisher and Dave Thomas – made it a formidable half-back line-up.
Brian Lee converted him to left-back when took over as manager, and he was in the side that won the Isthmian League title in 1971 - his final season with the club when he played alongside such great colleagues as Tony Horseman, John Maskell, John Delaney, Keith Searle, Ted Powell, Geoff Anthony and Larry Pritchard.
A powerful player, he loved his time at Loakes Park where he made 413 competitive appearances and scored 25 goals. So much so that when the club switched grounds, he took home the old coal stove that used to heat the home dressing room. Late wife Anne never quite understood the fascination.
Charlie was a regular at WWEPA events until Parkinson’s Disease and dementia took a hold. He will be sadly missed and our thoughts are with son Clive and family. Funeral details are still to be announced.
With teammates Jackie Beck (left) and Paul Bates (right), Charlie Gale pictured in his beloved Loakes Park dressing room that was his home for eight years from 1963.