Farewell Robert! The Gunslinger makes his Exit!

All great stories come to an end sometime and for the the sharpest gun in the West the sun has set over his Gibraltar United Career on the pitch.


Robert joined us for the start of the 2015/16 season as our marquee signing in the attacking area of the pitch, leaving Second Division side Europa Point as the lure of working with former Boss Manolo was too strong for Robert to resist. He set the tone for his Red and White career by scoring his first goal in his first match against a feisty Britannia.

That set him off on a remarkable scoring streak that saw him net 15 times for the first team and a further 8 times for the Reserves. His goals against Man 62, Lynx FC and most notably Glacis and Angels FC saw the club safe in a difficult first season in the top flight. The moniker John Wayne was to serve Robert well in his first season as almost every ball he touched in the area was converted into a goal. His connection with Pitu was deadly as one can appreciate below.

Scoring 15 league goals in a struggling side, add to that 9 for the Reserves, brought Robert to the attention of Jeff Wood and the clamour for him to get capped was immense. Roberts prowess on the pitch made Mr Wood’s selection easy. A local forward getting regular game time and scoring regularly could not be left out despite the club’s standing in the league. As it was Robert earned his two UEFA caps in the home friendlies against Latvia and Leichtenstein in March 2016. He was to carry on being a regular call up for the following year as Gibraltar begun its FIFA journey as well; just rewards for his efforts.

The following season was much like the last as we fought at the wrong half of the table but yet again Robert ended the season as our top goalscorer, netting six times. It was with a heavy heart that he approached the club informing us of his decision to step down as age has finally caught up with him. His sharpness in front of the goal has not blunted and it will be Olympique 13 that will benefit from this poacher extraordinaire as he is sure to set the 2nd Division alight!

His eagerness to help with our youth has seen him become a coach and will continue that role. Though he leaves the club as a player he still works tirelessly passing on his experience and wisdom to the young strikers in our youth ranks. Indeed Robert has certainly become a Gibraltar United man through and through!


Farewell Capitan!


Credit to Christopher Milan, Christian Correa, Core Photography and Snaprimages for the photos.

Season in Review

30th June is a marked day in many football calendars around the world as it sees the end of one season and the start of another with many contracts traditionally finishing on this date. As such it is fitting that we post our 2016/17 season review today as the football world begins to turn its attention to the 2017/18 season.

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United moved fast and quick in the heady days of the summer of 2016 to secure several marquee signings. GFA regular Jamie Bosio joined from Lincoln FC after completing his studies and he was joined by the Hernandez brothers from Man 62. Jason Pusey, Paul Podesta, Ashley Rodriguez, Aymen Mouehli, Erin Barnett Dani Wink and Jesse Victory all signed for the club in a bid to challenge for a place higher up in the league.

A mixed preseason saw an inconsistent run of results as Manolo gelled in so many new faces into the squad. So many new players in key positions meant that there was an unfamiliarity and lack of chemistry that takes time to foster. Yet as is his want, the manager drilled the squad hard in preseason to have them ready for a late September kick off against Manchester 62.


United’s first game of the 16/17 Season

Robert Montvio promised to carry on where he had left off the previous year by netting a brace that earned United a point when perhaps they should have got three. After one game the league took its first hiatus for International Football and Jeff Wood called up a number of United players and its also provided an opportunity for new players to gel with their new team mates. Games against recently crowned European Champions Portugal and the first FIFA World Cup Qualifiers for Gibraltar followed.

The league continued mid October with United facing tough opposition in champions Lincoln, 3rd placed St Joseph’s and in Mons Calpe the surprise package of the season. 3 defeats left us 7th hovering above Europa Point, Lions and Lynx FC. Our first win of the season came against the latter with yet another Montovio goal. United had showed great maturity in their play and the results against Lincoln in particular showed the progress made.

United were dealt a major injury blow early in the season when defensive stalwart, Brad Power, succumbed to a major injury that was to leave him out of the game for a long time. Jason Pusey stepped into the breach and became the defensive rock Manolo built his defence. Erin Barnett was his constant companion flanked by Pishu and Perez. A dour 0-0 draw against Lions FC augured what was to come however.


Robert in action vs Lincoln Red Imps

The Red and Whites next tasted ‘victory’ in a forfeited match in early December but broke off for the Christmas with a tremendous morale booster of a 3-1 win over Man 62 in which Paul Podesta scored a spectacular long range effort to seal the win. The Red and Whites however entered a very negative spiral of results that threatened to unhinge the whole season.

In a run of 12 matches from January to April, United garnered two points and went 6 games without scoring as the dependable John Wayne (aka Robert Montovio) found that his powder had gone somewhat dry. A 93rd minute loss to basement club Europa Point saw United at their lowest ebb as the spectre of relegation loomed large. January had also seen club stalwarts Jared Buhagiar and Carl Thomas leave the club, they had a combined appearance total of 125 and would now don the claret and blue of Glacis United. EL Andalussi and Marquez were transferred to Mons Calpe while evergreen Robba resigned for the club alongside Paul Grech.

Gibraltar United also showed that it was committed to its civic duties when it supported a charity initiative by Stuart Felice and joined him for his Dip a Day on a cold, wet but fun March afternoon at Camp Bay.

April 2017 however brought the most momentous news in the Club’s recent history. News broke that former Real Madrid and Spain international Michel Salgado, alongside Dubai based banker Pablo Dana, had bought the club. There was an immediate stir of excitement, not only among United supporters, as Michel Salgado landed on the Rock on the 4th April 2017 to announce not only his purchase of the club but also a partnership with Turicum Private Bank as the club’s main sponsor. Michel met all the teams in the Youth Division as well as the Senior squad. Morale was on the up and the effect was immediately felt on the field.

Turicum Logo 2016, white on blue background, two lines - 2 June 2016

United had rediscovered their form. A battling point against St Joseph’s was followed by two more draws and a much needed victory against Glacis United that pulled United away from the relegation places and into safety. Both Hernandez brothers scored against Glacis United with Pishu showing a composure beyond his years to seal the win very late on. Despite a catastrophic result against Europa FC, United saw the season out in 7th place, an improvement on last season and with solid foundations being laid for a more promising 2017/18 season as the Salgado era began.

The club finished the season with a massive recruitment drive and held youth trials at the stadium for over 130 young  players and held a charity Gala night in which £5,000 was raised for the Calpe House trust. Club legend Adolfo Ramriez was named the Club’s Life Honorary President. Oh yes and just the small matter of a World Cup and Champions League Winner, Brazil legend called Roberto Carlos being the club’s guest of honour!


Vi et Animo, Ad Victoriam!


Michel was also keen to meet the senior squad and staff. He was introduced to First Team Manager, Manolo Sanchez Nuñez; Assistant Manager, Javier Sanchez Alfaro; Physio, Gavin Viñales; Coach, Chris Currer and goalkeeping coach Edgar Harrison.

Captain Robert Montovio also introduced Michel to every player in the squad and Michel also directed several words to the players extolling the virtues of sacrifice, dedication, hard work and effort.

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Senior squad, staff and club officials.


Skipper Montovio introduces the squad.

Michel meets the Youth Divisions

After the formalities were over Michel was keen to get to the pitch to see our Youth Divisions at work. He has already stressed the importance of the grassroots level of football in his press interviews and he spent a whole training sessions with our youth teams, from Pre Leagues to Under 11s. As the President introduced him to our Youth Coaches Michel stopped here and there to shake hands or give pointers to some star struck boys and girls. He certainly had caused a sensation if the avalanche of photograph and autograph requests at the end of the session is anything to go by.


The Future of Gibraltar United


Michel passes on some tips from on defender to another.


Star struck youngsters meet the new owner


A New Chapter!


The news broke around 14:30 on Tuesday. Gibraltar United had gone into partnership with 2 time Champions League winner Michel Salgado of Real Madrid and Blackburn Rovers fame and Italian, but Dubai based, banker Pablo Victor Dana. President Paul Collado hosted a press conference at the HQ if Turicum Private Bank who were also unveiled as the club’s main sponsor.


Paul, Michel and Pablo at the press conference.

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Paul stressed the club’s ambition in moving forward and the partnership that has been established is primarily focused in creating an Academy and fostering Youth Football. He also highlighted the possibilities that would open for the Senior side to and the benefits that a partnership with Mr Salgado would bring at a sporting level through his contacts and know how.

Michel was also keen to stress how excited he was to be involved in the project indicating the strength of the Gibraltar United brand and he felt this was ‘the start of something great’.  Mr Dana also stressed that the idea was not to ‘buy trophies’ but to earn them through hard work and grit; mirroring Michel’s career on the field of play.


Michel and Pablo being presented with their Gib Utd strips.

After some interviews with local media and press Michel took his leave to meet with both the Senior and Junior squads at Pitch No 2.


Certainly the news quickly set local twitter and international twitter feeds alight.

An Interview with Adolfo Ramriez

Adolfo Ramirez is a well known and well loved football personality here in Gibraltar. He has had a long, established career in the game as player and manager. He is a recognised Gibraltar United Legend and we are very grateful that he took some time to talk to us.


Adolfo holds the 2014/15 GUFC Shirt

Adolfo holds the 2014/15 GUFC Shirt

Adolfo began his playing career with Shamrock FC until the end of the 1953 season. He then joined Gibraltar United who went on to enjoy a long period of success. Adolfo remained with the club until 1966. He then proceeded to help found Lions FC. More recently Adolfo is more well known for his stint as GFA manager between 1994 and 1997. Indeed, he was at the helm during the successful Island Games held here in Gibraltar achieving the silver medal in front of the home support.


Adolfo reminisced about his time with the club. He told us he decided to join as his brothers also played for Gibraltar United. Pepe and Jaime Ramirez already played for the club and later his brother Frank also joined Gibraltar United.Indeed it was the first time that four brothers played at the same time for the same club and the GFA selection.

From Left to Right: Pepe, Frank, Adolfo, Jaime

From Left to Right: Pepe, Frank, Adolfo, Jaime

Among his many memories and anecdotes from his time as a Gibraltar United player several were at the forefront of his mind. He fondly remembers the different clubhouses at Bombhouse Lane, Turnbull’s Lane and the 1772 Club. His team mates like F.Felices and H.Fabre, ” the best dribbler Gibraltar has ever seen” in his own words. He was very proud of a 4-0 victory over Desportivo Fairense, the Portuguese Division 2 Champions at the time. There was certainly a glint in the eye as he recalled these matches of yore. Likewise, Adolfo was keen to stress that at his time at Gibraltar United the club remained undefeated every time the club participated in a trophy that pitched the League Champion against a team made from the Rest of the League.

He told us that the club’s original name was Gibraltar United Social and Athletic Club and that it was so named because due to the Evacuation during WW2 and the emigration of lots of players as a result, it was decided to form a club for those players that stayed behind hence the name Gibraltar United. Its first Presidents being Mr Henrich and Mr Danino. He also reminisced about his time as manager and how Mr Pepe Asquez kept the club going, later the baton passing on to his son Kenneth.

But perhaps the memory he was proudest of was the 1959-1960 season when Gibraltar United went undefeated through the season and won a total of 11 trophies. Illustrious names in Gibraltar’s football, Prince of Wales, Britannia FC, Europa FC and Rosia Rovers (now St Joseph’s FC) were brushed aside as Gibraltar United, with the Ramirez brothers reigned supreme. Indeed Adolfo brought a specially minted medal presented to each member of the squad that season; each also engraved with the recipient’s name and club crest.

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Reverse of 1959-1960 commemorative medal showing club crest and Adolfo’s name.

We also touched upon contemporary football matters and Adolfo expressed his desire for Gibraltar to put up a good show against the stern opposition coming their way!

In conclusion Adolfo approved of the club’s return and he was visually emotional when I handed over a shirt for him to pose for. An invitation was extended to Adolfo to attend our first official match of the season on the 17th September against Gibraltar Phoenix. Indeed in his own words, “it is a dream of mine to see Gibraltar United once again on the pitch.” So hopefully we will see him down at Victoria Stadium. A massive thanks to one of our ‘viejas glorias’ for his time.