My First XI- Anthony Mercer, Tilbury

By Ian Townsend

Anthony takes us through a decade of Dockers

I’ve been working and following the club from 2011 when I took over as Secretary. After a lean period for the club, my second season saw us miss out on promotion in a playoff thriller, going down 4-3 to Needham Market. We remained a mid table side, before a good season in 2015/16, when we went 17 matches undefeated in the league and saw off a National League South side in the FA Trophy, before going out 4-3 to National League Premier side Welling United. The last 2 seasons have seen Tilbury go close in the league, before Covid 19 hit non league football.

I am going with a 4-5-1 line up. I can't wait for Dockers fans to tell me where I have gone wrong!

Goalkeeper - Jack Giddens

Only played 22 times, but a keeper who I am surprised did not play at a higher level. Just pipped play off hero James Marrable between the sticks.

Right Back - Conor Mead

Played 200 games for the club over 7 seasons. Respected full back in the Isthmian League. Popped up now and again with a goal.

Left Back - Danny Glozier

In my opinion, the best signing since I have been at the club. Played just under 40 times but was sheer class. Came to the club with successive Essex Senior Cup winners medals and came close to a hatrick, helping the side to a late semi-final defeat to rivals East Thurrock United.

Centre Half - Simon Peddie

The best player I have seen at non-league level. A brilliant reader of the game and a loyal person. Popped up just once with a goal for the Dockers and would be the first name on my team sheet. Approaching 40 years old and still going strong.

Centre Half - Lee Burns

Only played for the Dockers over the last 2 seasons, after over 700 games at Isthmian League level. Super fit player in the twilight of his career. Peddie and Burns would be the oldest centre half pairing in most teams.

Midfield - Matt Game

A hard working midfielder picked up from Canvey Island. One of the hardest working players you could wish to meet. Just short of 70 appearances for the club. A born winner.

Midfield - Gary Henty

A club favourite at all the clubs he played at. Held in high regard at Billericay Town. Made just short of 100 appearances for the club and would be the captain of this side. Scored 8 times for the club, but will be remembered for his double away to Enfield Town. Also managed the club.

Midfield - Lee Noble

In his first season for the club, he has made an instant impression after 12 years at National League South level. Despite Covid-19 hitting football, Lee was one of the reasons Tilbury sat top of the league when the season was suspended. Work rate is phenomenal.

Wide Right - Emiel Aiken

A consistent performer over a number of years. Played just over 200 games scoring a healthy 56 goals. In his time at the club, he was pretty much ever present. Received more 7 day approaches than any player that has played for the club.

Wide Left - Lewis Smith

A dazzling player. 51 games for the Dockers scoring 29 times. A very hard player to defend against. After a long term injury, is back to his best. Had to pick him otherwise Ben Pearce (Committee member) would be having words with me!

Forward - Neil Richmond

Has been a prolific scorer at non league level, but did not score as many for the Dockers as we hoped. Was a selfless player who brought other players into the game. Just short of 100 appearances for the club. Will be remembered for 2 belters away to Norwich United.

I have also chosen two subs

Danny Smith - Played 269 times for the club and is still a fans favourite at the club, as he continues his journey playing non league. Former Assistant Manager who is hard to leave out. Showed his loyalty to the club over a number of seasons.

John Easterford - Did not play as many games as he should have, but as club captain in 2018/19 changed the mentality of other players around the club and taught team mates how to win. A loyal player on and off the pitch.

Right, let’s have your First XI! Email your squad to Ian at and you’ll see it appear here.

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