It seems every player that leaves a football club is a legend these days.
It’s become the most overused term in a world of football and social media clichés that get trotted out willy-nilly when a departure or retirement takes place.
On the odd occasion, the word is rightfully reserved for the person that is heading for the exit door. And in the instance of King’s Lynn Town this week, it was the correct terminology for two players saying goodbye.
Michael Gash and Ryan Jarvis have had a seismic effect on the fortunes of the Linnets since their arrival in 2017. Yet it isn’t just the back-to-back promotions to the National League or Gash scoring the winner in the Super Play-Off final that has cemented their legacy. ‘Jarvo’ and ‘Gashy’ are much more than that.
Arriving with a wealth of higher-level experience, neither came for an easy pay day – nor did they think they were better than they are; which, in truth, is almost impossible as they’re two of the greatest players to pull on the famous blue and gold.
They set standards on and off the pitch about how to conduct themselves. Their consistency levels and work-rate were admirable and inspiring and their quality never dropped.
Jarvis controlled games from deep in midfield like he’d popped his slippers on and gone out for a walk around his garden. A player for the purists, he remained calm, always seemed to have enough time to pop out a cigar while playing, and displayed supreme positioning.
Gash was more old school in his approach. Physical, tireless – but with an incredible touch – he led the line in a way that saw him become a terrace icon.
The adulation for both, especially Gash, continued to grow as they helped Lynn soar to previously unseen heights. And their absence now will only make many hearts grow fonder.
The love only grew because both really got Lynn – they connected with the fans, immersed themselves in the culture and became Linnets.
Gash felt the heartbreak of the devastating passing of much-loved fan Lee Calton and acted in an exemplary and caring manner in the weeks that followed on quite a few occasions in person and online.
That provided happiness and comfort at a time of serious pain for so many of Lee’s friends.
The farewells to Gash and Jarvis on Saturday showed just how much the pair meant to everyone involved with Lynn.
The emotion the duo showed proved what Town means to them – a club where they will be considered legends forever.
Linnets supporters say thank you
@linnet1976: Two of the best to wear the Blue and Gold. Gashy a proper number 9 who never knew when he was beaten and Jarvo always played the game at his own pace. Will be greatly missed by all.
@Speedball74: Two legends who have played a massive part in Lynn’s rise to the National League. Gash is quite simply my favourite ever player in the Blue and Gold. Gives everything each and every game and was the perfect partner for Marriott.
@RobertPalmer10: Two of the best to wear the shirt. Jarvis could play in slippers and still be the best on the pitch. Gash gave us all the memory of a lifetime with the winner in the Super Play-Off. His work rate up and down the pitch is unbelievable. KLTFC will miss them both dearly.
@Lordmilson85: Two great club players and the appearances and stats don’t lie. Boy does this hurt. What Jarvis and Gash have done for this club is incredible and we will always have Warrington away. Gashy is without doubt the best striker I’ve seen play for the club. Jarv is a great club man.
@Graceful_Gashy: Two of the best players I’ve ever watched at The Walks. So many memories from the both of them. Probably some of the best players I’ve watched in non-League football. Both their presences will be missed massively at the club by fans and the players.
Rebuild is going to be a big one
It’s not been the National League season us Linnets fans dreamed of.
Almost all the games behind closed doors, players on furlough, loans aplenty and lots of player exits to boot.
These Covid times haven’t helped Lynn adjust to their highest ever level of football.
It’s pretty clear that the fortress Walks – so often an incredibly happy stomping ground for Ian Culverhouse’s side over the past four seasons – lost some of its edge as a result of lockdowns.
The three times fans have been allowed in, a trio of draws have followed. Put simply, Lynn are unbeaten at home in front of fans. Their presence next season should no doubt help lift the Linnets reach greater heights.
Player turnover is often pretty high in non-League football for a variety of reasons. After their defensive struggles this campaign, it was pretty clear that reinforcements would be needed. If Culverhouse’s troops want to avoid relegation next term they need to tighten up – and then some.
But this summer’s rebuild will be even bigger than usual because the Linnets are going full-time. It requires a different type of commitment from players – many of whom earn well from having two jobs or are coming to the end of their careers and need to think about life after football.
Expect lots of ins and outs as a result, with plenty of loan arrivals from the Football League.