Ex-Gillingham and Brentford keeper returns to Cirencester after 23 years

STUART Nelson has returned to Cirencester Town for the 2023/24 season, 23 years since he was last at the football club. 

41-year-old Nelson, born in Stroud, played for The Centurions from 1998-2000 after coming through the Academy side at Cirencester College. 

The keeper would go on to made a couple of appearances for Doncaster Town before he signed for Brentford in 2004 from Hucknall Town for £10,000.

Nelson played over 100 games for The Bees and captained them during the 2006/2007 season. He was eventually released in 2007 after a lengthy time out of the game with a ligament injury. 

Nelson flitted between clubs for a few years, making appearances for the likes of Leyton Orient, Scottish Premiership side Aberdeen and Notts County. 

The keeper then found home at Gillingham in 2012 and won the League Two title in his first season, as well as coming second in the end-of-season awards.

Nelson stayed with Gillingham for six years in total and reached third place on the all-time goalkeeping appearance list for the club on December 5, 2017 when making his 223rd competitive appearance.

Only Ron Hillyard (1st) and John Simpson (2nd) have played more times in goal for the club.

After coming to the end of his contract, Nelson went on to play for Yeovil Town in League Two and Dorking Wanderers in the National League South.

In the last couple of seasons, Nelson played for Sutton United (again in League Two) as well as Dover Athletic in National League North last season. 

Over his career, he has amassed almost 500 Football League appearances and comes back to Cirencester after 23 years away. 

He made his second debut for the club on Saturday in the 4-0 pre-season win at Malmesbury Victoria. 

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