Gittens, Jon

Birth Date

22nd January 1964

Birthplace

Moseley, Birmingham

Occupation

Defender

Biographical Text

Jon Gittens, who signed from Torquay United, played two seasons for Exeter City at the end of a long professional career that most notably included stints with Southampton, Swindon Town and Portsmouth. He was later involved in the non-league scene in Hampshire before dying at the age of fifty-five in 2019.   

Jon started his career with Midlands Combination side Paget Rangers before joining Southampton in a £10,000 move in October 1985 for a fee of £10,000. After eighteen league appearances he was transferred for £40,000 to Swindon Town in July 1987 for whom he was to have 126 league outings before returning to Southampton for £400,000 in March 1991. Back at the Dell, Jon featured no more regularly than during his first spell with the club and, after a relatively brief stint at Middlesbrough, was at Portsmouth between August 1993 and August 1996 where he played around a hundred first-team games.

Jon then rather surprisingly dropped to the fourth-tier to sign for Torquay United who had just finished bottom of the league. Adding another ninety-odd games to his professional tally Jon was at Plainmoor for two seasons winning a player of the year award before making his final appearance at Wembley in a losing play-off final.         

Jon then remained in Devon when he agreed terms with Exeter City making his Grecians debut on 8 August 1998 at Swansea City. Playing regularly for the Grecians, Jon appeared in 51 league and cup games during his first campaign followed by another 47 in 1999/2000 to almost replicate the two years he had spent down the A380.       

He then took the decision to move back to the Midlands to sign for Nuneaton Borough, then playing in the Conference. However this was a short-lived arrangement and - having played for both Southampton and Portsmouth - Jon spent the remainder of his football career playing for, and later coaching, clubs such as Dorchester Town (on loan), Fareham Town, Team Solent and Blackfield & Langley ahead of taking on various roles with the Wessex League and the Football Association. .

Jon died on 10 May 2019 aged 55 and is commemorated at St George’s Park where the FA has named a pitch in his honour.  

Appearances

Exeter City

League 82; Cups 16 (98)

Goals

League 4; Cups 1 (5)

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