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Paul Harper My Match

My Match: Paul Harper

Rattling through some Maidstone memories, My Match continues with Paul Harper…

I attended my first Maidstone United game during the 1976/77 season, against AP Leamington.

Stones won 7-1 and from the age of 7 or 8 I was hooked.

I went to the game with my late father who was a ‘Scots Corner’ regular.

I can remember the club shop behind the stand, it was the first thing you saw coming through the gates. At half time I went there to get a scarf and to try and get a football clapper/rattle. I was told by the lady behind the counter to try Mothercare!

I continued to attend home games, with my dad caving in and getting me my first season ticket, as he didn’t want to keep paying the 30p to get me in.

My first away day was Bromley at Hayes Lane, where I can remember going on the coach run by Paul Thompson. I think we owned our own coach as it was always parked nearby.

My earliest player memories/favourites were Glen Coupland, Derek Balotti, Barry Watling (the Manager) and Chris Kinnear. But my all-time favourites are Frank Ovard, Steve Butler and Warren Barton.

My all-time favourite game has to be Watford away. I can remember getting up really early to go to Maidstone East with Keith Piles (pictured above). Dressed head to foot in the Maidstone clobber, including a ski hat and flags. We were on the first train of four and were escorted to the ground via some allotments. The noise in the Maidstone end was electric, especially when Galloway scored!

The FA Cup has been very special to me. I have so many memories at Gillingham, Charlton, Darlington, Sheffield Utd, and even Ramsgate and Newport IOW when we reformed.

What’s your favourite Maidstone United game? Tell us all about it with My Match. 

Perhaps it’s the first Stones game you watched, your first away day, the first you took your child to – whatever it is, we’d love to hear from you.

Become an online journo for your club and send in your article. There isn’t a set word count and if you have a picture that’ll be great. Send your draft to