He may have won the Premier League title with Blackburn in 1995, but Tony Gale has admitted that his heart belongs to London.
Speaking at launch of the 2017 Campioni Kids Football Academy at Chia Laguna Resort, earlier this week, the West Ham and Fulham legend revealed:
“When Blackburn won the Premier League it was great, but I was only there for one season so you don’t have the same affinity you have or somewhere you spend 10 years.”
“I was at Fulham from 11 years of age until I left at 24, and I got into the team aged 16. I was then at West Ham for 10 years so they’ve got to be my two favourite clubs.”
Gayle started his senior career at Fulham, where he scored 19 goals in seven seasons from 1977-1984 - an impressive showing for a defender. He then spent 10 years with West Ham from 1984-1994, making over 300 appearances for the Irons, before winning the league in his single season with Blackburn. He also played for Crystal Palace and Maidenhead United.
The former defender, who was controversially sent off in an FA Cup semi-final, hasn’t slowed down since hanging up his boots back in 1998. Gayle is now a regular pundit on Sky Sports, chairman of non-league club Walton Casuals and has also found time to co-found Campioni Football Academy.
The academy will run week long soccer programmes at Chia Laguna Resort in Sardinia this summer, offering children aged 6-15 the chance to brush up their ball skills in the sun under the guidance of Campioni coaches including Andy Cole (the Premier League’s third highest ever scorer), Tottenham ace Darren Anderton and current Everton star, Yannick Bolasie.
“In the evening, these guys are going to be are going to around with their families - they’re approachable and they’ll talk to you. These are proper guys, proper footballers and you’ll be able to mix with them, ask them questions and enjoy the family atmosphere,” enthused Gayle.
“Throw in this spectacular resort and you can’t beat it. If I was choosing a holiday, this would be it.”