Published: 06:00, 21 November 2019
A former Gillingham manager has revealed he and his family were subject to death threats when he was in charge at Priestfield.
Ady Pennock was also spat on when he was with his young son after a game during his eight-month spell as Gills boss in 2017.
But, talking to the KM Football Podcast, he has lifted the lid on the astonishing hatred directed at him and his family while he was in the hotseat.
“On social media there were people threatening me and my family with putting a petrol bomb through the window, with my wife and children in the house, wanting to kill me and my family if I didn’t leave the football club,” said 48-year-old Pennock.
“(They wanted to) slash the brakes on my car with my wife and children and grandson in there, and that was the last straw for me. I was thinking if they really knew what was going on.
“I just thought ‘did I deserve all this?’ and then I said to my wife ‘that’s me done, I can’t deal with this’.
“I’ve got cameras on the house, alarms, security lights. People might say why didn’t you go to the police? I did. I spoke to them and showed them what four or five people had said if I didn’t leave the club.
“They said we could warn them but I said to my wife that there’s no point going through with it because I live here.
“My wife and children live here so for the rest of my life I’d have to look over my shoulder if I went further with it but that’s what social media does, it’s horrendous.”
Recalling the incident post-match towards the end of his tenure when he was spat on, Pennock said: “I was walking my son back to the car park and these lads, 19 or 20-year-olds, came behind me and spat on the back of my head.
“I had my young son with me and I thought if I didn’t have my young son there I would have knocked (them out), I didn’t care if I was manager of Gillingham or not.
“Nobody spits at you on the back of the head. People were saying stuff from cars, again I had my family there, and my family are my life.”
Asked if he would take the Gillingham job again if he could rewind the clock, Pennock replied: “Never. My family comes first.
“Why should I put cameras and alarms on my house? The things that people were saying were horrendous, I just couldn’t believe it.
“Anyone who really knows me knows I wear my heart on my sleeve, I give everything and I’m a genuinely nice fella. I didn’t deserve what they said about putting a petrol bomb through the window.
“It scared me, I kept it away from the children but they are older now.
“We’re talking about Gillingham, we’re not talking about Bayern Munich or Arsenal or Juventus.”
Pennock, who has just won the Singapore Premier League with Brunei DPMM, quickly took a job at Barrow within two months of leaving Gillingham.
“I wanted to get away from Medway,” he added. “I didn’t want to go out of the house because I was scared with what people were saying.
“Me going to Barrow took all that away because people knew I wasn’t around in Medway then, I was in Manchester and Rochdale where we trained.”
More by this authorMatthew Panting