Experienced centre-back signs until the end of the 2016/17 season
Defender Zesh Rehman has today joined Gillingham FC until the end of the 2016/17 Sky Bet League One season.
Pakistani international Rehman, 33, brings great experience into the club having played in the Premier League, Championship and League One during his career to date.
A Fulham Academy product, he signed professional terms with the West London side shortly before he made his debut in their League Cup fixture against Wigan Athletic in September 2003.
His maiden Premier League start came at Anfield against Liverpool the following April, as Rehman became the first British Asian player to appear in an English top division fixture.
The Birmingham-born centre-back, who can also play as a right-back and holding midfielder, went on to play 49 times for QPR between 2006 and 2008, and has also had loan spells with Brighton & Hove Albion, Norwich City and Blackpool.
After leaving Bradford City in December 2010, Rehman went on to play for Muangthong United in Thailand, Kitchee in Hong Kong and, most recently, Malaysian Super League Side Pahang FA.
“I had a chat with the head coach, I was really impressed with what he had to say, and I’m hoping I can use my experience to help the team,” said Rehman. “I’ve spent six years and clocked up over 200 games playing overseas, so it’s good to be back in England.
“I’m looking forward to rolling my sleeves up and helping in the fight to move the club up the Sky Bet League One table. I watched Tuesday’s draw against AFC Wimbledon and thought the boys did enough to win, so it’s clear I’m joining a talented squad of players. If we all pull in the same direction and never give up, I’m sure we can get a few wins on the bounce.”
He will wear the number 31 shirt for the Gills and, subject to international clearance, will be eligible to play in the club’s next Sky Bet League One fixture against Southend United at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Saturday.
“As everybody knows, I’ve been after an experienced centre-back for a few weeks and I’m very pleased to get Zesh on board,” said Gills head coach Ady Pennock. “He’ll give us his experience and brings with him great knowledge of this division.”
Rehman is the club’s second signing this week, following midfielder Ollie Muldoon into the MEMS Priestfield Stadium.