Gari Rowntree’s final interview: Part Two

On Boxing Day, Reds will say goodbye to a true club legend in player-coach Gari Rowntree.

The 33-year-old has accumulated almost 500 appearances in nearly 13 seasons with the club, first arriving in 2006 and remaining at Borough Park barring one year away in the 2013-14 season.

Speaking for the final time in the final instalment of our two-part interview, fan-favourite Gaz has revealed some of his fondest memories, how it will feel putting on the Red shirt one last time and much more.

Read Part One here for more on Rowntree’s decision to retire and step away from the club.

What have been your biggest ups and downs?

I’ve had a lot! Goals, for me, have been good memories.

Obviously, making play-offs and going on cup runs like when we beat Hartlepool. We’ve had good runs like a 16-match one and they’re the feelings and days you’ll remember most and miss.

As well as the craic with the lads, that’ll be big because I’ve done it and I’m used to it.

So definitely the play-offs, cup games against big teams like at Bury and winning at Wimbledon. They’re the ones that you’ll always remember.

Obviously, I’ve had my downs where it’s maybe been down to myself – being sent off and letting down the team – but that’s a part of me and how I play. I definitely won’t look back with too much regret.

Does anyone stand out as important to you over your time at the club?

Obviously, I’d like to thank everyone at the club, everyone involved for what they’ve done for me.

I’ve made lots of lifelong friends, who I’ll keep in touch with and still see after I retire.

How will it feel pulling on the Red shirt one last time on Boxing Day?

It’ll be brilliant. One last time and I might be a bit emotional but I’m sure I’ll enjoy it and do it as best that I can for the club.

Hopefully, there’ll be a good crowd down and a lot of family and friends will be there watching us sign off.

And finally, will you be back at Borough Park any time soon?

I’ll be down to watch and things, definitely!

I’ll still keep in touch with Ruddy, Danny, and the others but I just feel now‘s the right time to step away.

Show your support for Gaz in his final Reds outing on Boxing Day as we host Dunston at Borough Park, kick-off 3pm.

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