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A milestone match for Charlie this weekend

The skipper reflects on starting out in his pro career ahead of 400th appearance on Saturday

15 March 2018

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A Scottish FA Cup tie between Dundee United and Aberdeen back in January 2006 may not mean too much for Rovers supporters, but for skipper Charlie Mulgrew, it was the start of his journey into the world of professional football.

That clash between the two sides saw a then 19-year-old Mulgrew make his pro debut and turned into a memorable occasion for the Glaswegian, who was on loan at United from Celtic.
Little did Charlie know back then that the cup game was to be the beginning of a career which would see him represent his country over 30 times, beat a Barcelona side which included Lionel Messi in the Champions League, and, of course, potentially appear for a 400th career appearance at Gillingham - if selected, of course!
Now 32, Mulgrew has plenty of experience behind him and has bittersweet memories from that occasion at Tannadice 12 years ago.
“I remember I was on loan at Dundee United for the first game," he reminisces. "I signed on the Thursday and made my debut on the Saturday. There is a bit of rivalry in the games against Aberdeen and I remember we were 2-0 up at half time.
“We ended up losing the game 3-2, but it was a great atmosphere and a bit surreal to be thinking of playing for years and then being a part of the professional scene in a big match.
"I remember that in my first three games I had three different managers! That was a bit different," the skipper joked.
"I got the buzz of playing a first team game and really wanted more. I do look back on moments I suppose, and I imagine when I have finished playing I’ll bore the life out of my grandkids with the rubbish stories that I’ve got!"
So what will it mean to reach that milestone at Priestfield Stadium on Saturday for the Scotsman?
“When you think of 400 games, it’s certainly a big number and I’m definitely proud to have appeared that amount of times. 
“When I set out as a young kid, I wanted to play football, play professionally, and you never ever think you’ll make it to that amount of games so it’s a proud moment for me."

Five Scottish Premiership titles, a Scottish Player of the Year award, numerous international caps and hopefully a League One promotion. We can't imagine the tales will be that bland, Charlie!

We've nine games to go and the next one comes at Gillingham's Priestfield Stadium next Saturday. Tickets remain for the clash and you can purchase yours by clicking here

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