FORMER Swindon Town midfielder Kevin Horlock said the 1993-94 campaign under John Gorman was pivotal in his long and successful career as a professional footballer.

The 48-year-old was talking to Vic Morgan as part of the Swindon Town Official Supporters Club’s most recent ‘On the sofa with…’ event. The personable and chatty Horlock discussed his career at the County Ground as well as further stories on and off the pitch in a career that spanned over 20 years.

Discussing his spell at Swindon in particular, Horlock explained how after John Gorman had recommended the versatile midfielder be signed by Glenn Hoddle, a slow start at the County Ground ultimately turned into his role as a fan’s favourite once Hoddle departed for Chelsea and Gorman led Town into the Premier League.

Horlock said: “From a selfish point of view, I was so excited going into that season.

“I’d had a few games in the previous season, but I knew John Gorman was the one who wanted me in the first place. In my mind, I thought now that John was manager, I could get a real fair crack of the whip.

“I was so looking forward to it – nervous too because you always question yourself, but it was exciting, it was daunting, it was scary at times, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. At times, it was upsetting as well because we lost a lot of games and conceded a lot of goals.

“But that season really gave me the footing to kick on and improve. If you can nearly deal with all of that as a young player who is finding his feet, you’ve got half a chance.”

Though things turned out well for the then left-back, a first season saw Horlock play just 13 times as Swindon were promoted to the Premier League courtesy of an unforgettable 4-3 victory over Leicester City at Wembley.

But as most know by now, Hoddle’s departure to Chelsea shattered confidence and left Town with a gaping hole in their playing and management staff.

Horlock admitted he was “devastated” after learning the news, but thankful the coach that wanted him in the first place didn’t follow suit.

On Hoddle’s departure, Horlock said: “As a group, and as a young player myself, I was devastated.

“We all know that happens in football – managers move on – but with us being promoted to the Premier League, I was hoping Glenn was going to be there for that first season to bed us in and help take us that step further.

“It was a big disappointment, I must admit, but I thought John would leave to. That would have been a big blow as well because for me, John Gorman is the best person I’ve ever met in football.

“He’s an unbelievable human being, and I was delighted that he stayed. It was a tough season after of course, but that initial news of Glenn going to Chelsea was a big blow.”