|Full name||Gary Thompson Gillespie|
|Date of birth||5 July 1960|
|Place of birth||Stirling, Scotland|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Gary Thompson Gillespie (born 5 July 1960) is a Scottish former professional football defender who played for Coventry City and later Liverpool, through much of their dominant period of the 1980s.
Gillespie started his career at his local club Falkirk, captaining the side at 17. Such was his rapid progression as a player, that after only playing 22 Scottish League Second Division fixtures, he was purchased by Coventry City for £75,000 on 10 March 1978, while still not yet 18.
He spent the rest of the 1977–78 season in the City reserves but was given his chance at the beginning of the following season, making his debut on 19 August 1978 in a 2–1 win over Middlesbrough at Ayresome Park. He went on to make a further 14 league appearances before the end of the season and made more League appearances for Coventry City than for any other club during his career.
Liverpool signed him on 8 July 1983 for £325,000. He was the first signing made by new manager Joe Fagan.
Gillespie took a while to settle in, mainly because defenders Mark Lawrenson and Alan Hansen were ahead of him, but eventually he got into the team, making his debut on 7 February 1984 in the 2–2 League Cup draw with Walsall at Anfield. He played 14 times in the 1985–86 season, scoring three league goals, as the Reds sealed the double of the league title and the FA Cup, beating their local rivals Everton into second place and also defeating them 3–1 in the cup final at Wembley. Gillespie played enough games to warrant a league title winner's medal, but did not make the squad for the FA Cup final at a time when only one substitute was permitted.
His three goals in that double winning season all came in the same game. Hat-tricks are rare for defenders, but Gillespie managed one against Birmingham City on 26 April 1986 at Anfield when he scored twice from open play and completed the threesome with a penalty, after the Liverpool fans chanted his name when it was awarded – normally he would not have taken it. Liverpool won the game 5–0 against an already relegated side, as they moved closer to the title, which was sealed on the final day of the season with a 1–0 win at Chelsea.
Gillespie firmly established himself in the first team the following year, when he missed just three league games all season. By 1988, when he partnered Hansen in all but five of Liverpool's games in the league, the Anfield club were a cut above every other side, losing just twice and coasting to the title. Gillespie weighed in with his share of goals too,[ quantify ] including one in a famous 5–0 hammering of Nottingham Forest, which critics, including Tom Finney, described as the finest domestic performance by any English club.
A week before Liverpool were scheduled to face Wimbledon in the FA Cup final to try to secure their second "double", Gillespie and teammate Nigel Spackman clashed heads when leaping for the same ball in a league game against Derby County. Both suffered deep cuts, but were deemed fit for the game at Wembley and were each given customised protective bandages with red and white stripes to wear during the game. Gillespie was regarded as one of Liverpool's better players on the day, but Liverpool surprisingly lost 1–0.
In April 1989, Gillespie joined his teammates in mourning the death of 94 Liverpool fans (the final death toll was 96) at the Hillsborough disaster, during a year in which he again was a regular feature in the team. This time fortunes were reversed – Liverpool won the FA Cup with an emotional victory over fierce Merseyside rivals Everton, but lost the League title to Arsenal with almost the last kick of the season. Gillespie missed that game, however.
Gillespie won another league title with Liverpool in 1990, though his role in the team was diminishing, owing to the arrival of Swedish defender Glenn Hysen. However, he still managed four goals from just 13 league games.
In 1990–91, with the absence and eventual retirement of Hansen due to injury, Gillespie was once again a regular in the centre of the Liverpool defence. He played 30 league games and scored once, remaining a regular player even after the resignation of Kenny Dalglish in February 1991 and the arrival of Graeme Souness as manager.
The arrival of Mark Wright at Liverpool during the close season made it clear that Gillespie would no longer be considered a first choice defender, and he was transferred to Scottish club Celtic for £925,000 on 15 August 1991. He was among manager Liam Brady's first signings for the Bhoys, who were being left behind by local rivals Rangers who had been champions for the previous three seasons.
His debut for the Glasgow club came on 17 August 1991, in a 4–1 league win over his former side Falkirk at Parkhead. Gillespie also managed to find the back of the net. He made 69 league appearances for the Parkhead club over three years, scoring twice, but failed to pick up any silverware. His performance was disappointing and he was not considered a good investment by Celtic's fans.
Soon after the appointment of Tommy Burns as Celtic manager in 1994, it became apparent that Gillespie was not part of the new manager's plans. On 23 August 1994 he returned to Coventry City on a free transfer, making three Premier League appearances during the 1994–95 season. However, he played just three FA Premier League games before a knee injury struck him down,and he finally retired from playing in 1997 after more than two years out of action.
Gillespie won 13 caps for Scotland. Andy Roxburgh gave him his debut on 14 October 1987 in the 2–0 UEFA European Championship qualifier victory over Belgium at Hampden Park. He was selected for the squad that went to the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy, but his only appearance came on 20 June against Brazil at the Stadio delle Alpi Turin, a game the Scots lost 1–0. They failed to progress past the group stages.
Since retirement Gillespie has served regularly as an expert summariser for Liverpool matches on BBC Radio Merseyside and is a regular member of the commentary team for Liverpool games on the official Liverpool TV channel LFC TV. He also continues to represent Liverpool in their veterans' side.
Gillespie is still held in high regard among the Anfield faithful, who voted him No.68 in the 2006 poll 100 Players Who Shook The Kop compiled by the official Liverpool Football Club website.
Sir Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish is a Scottish former football player and manager. During his career, he made 338 appearances for Celtic and 515 for Liverpool, playing as a forward, and earned a record 102 full caps for the Scotland national team, scoring 30 goals, also a joint-record. Dalglish won the Ballon d'Or Silver Award in 1983, the PFA Players' Player of the Year in 1983, and the FWA Footballer of the Year in 1979 and 1983. In 2009, FourFourTwo magazine named Dalglish the greatest striker in post-war British football, and he has been inducted into both the Scottish and English Football Halls of Fame. He is very highly regarded by Liverpool fans, who still affectionately refer to him as King Kenny, and in 2006 voted him top of the fans' poll "100 Players Who Shook the Kop".
Peter Andrew Beardsley MBE is an English former footballer who played as a forward or midfielder between 1979 and 1999. In 1987, he set a record transfer fee in the English game and represented his country 59 times between 1986 and 1996, once as captain, taking part in two FIFA World Cups and UEFA Euro 1988. At club level, he played for Newcastle United, Liverpool and Everton, having also had spells with Carlisle United, Manchester United, Vancouver Whitecaps, Bolton Wanderers, Manchester City, Fulham, Hartlepool United and the Melbourne Knights. He was briefly appointed as the caretaker manager of Newcastle United in 2010.
Alan David Hansen is a Scottish former footballer and BBC television football pundit. He played as a central defender for Partick Thistle, for the successful Liverpool team of the late 1970s and 1980s, and for the Scotland national football team. As a football pundit, Hansen became known for his outspoken views, particularly on teams' defensive performances, frequently criticising what he believed was "diabolical" or "shocking" defending. He made his name as a pundit on Match of the Day from 1992 to 2014.
Philip George Neal is an English retired footballer who played for Northampton Town, Liverpool and Bolton Wanderers as a full back. He is one of the most successful English players of all time, having won eight First Divisions, four League Cups, five FA Charity Shields, four European Cups, one UEFA Cup and one UEFA Super Cup during his eleven years at Liverpool. He later returned to Bolton Wanderers as manager, leading them to victory in the Football League Trophy before spells managing Coventry City, Cardiff City and Manchester City.
Ronald Andrew Whelan is an Irish former professional footballer player who played as a midfielder and sometimes as a defender. He played an integral role in the dominant Liverpool side that won a wealth of titles in the 1980s. He was at the club from 1979 until 1994, scoring a number of vital goals. In 100 Players Who Shook The Kop, a poll of 110,000 Liverpool fans conducted by Liverpool's official website, Whelan came in 30th.
David Edward Johnson is a retired footballer who played as a forward and won major trophies for Liverpool in the 1970s and 1980s. He also played for Ipswich Town, Everton and other clubs.
Stephen Nicol is a Scottish retired professional footballer who mainly played as a right back and occasionally played in other positions across defence and midfield. He played for the successful Liverpool teams of the 1980s. He was also a regular member of the Scotland national football team and represented his country at the 1986 FIFA World Cup.
Peter Barr Cormack is a Scottish former international football player and manager. His greatest success was with Liverpool in the early 1970s, for whom he played 178 times, winning two league championships, one FA Cup and two UEFA Cup medals.
David Burrows is an English former footballer. During his career he played for West Bromwich Albion, Liverpool, West Ham United, Everton, Coventry City, Birmingham City and Sheffield Wednesday as well as the England Under-21 and B teams. As a Liverpool player he won the Football League, the FA Cup and twice won the Charity Shield.
Gary McAllister MBE is a Scottish professional football coach and former player, who is the assistant manager of Rangers.
Mark Everton Walters is an English former professional footballer who played as a Midfielder from 1981 to 2002.
Kevin Richardson is an English former footballer who played as a midfielder. Richardson featured for English clubs Everton, Watford, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Coventry City, Southampton, Barnsley and Blackpool. He also had a spell in La Liga with Real Sociedad. He was also capped for the England national football team. During October 2009 he was appointed as the assistant manager of Darlington. Richardson is currently a coach at Newcastle United's academy.
The 1985–86 season was the 106th season of competitive football in England.
The 1981–82 season was the 102nd season of competitive football in England. It was also the first season that the three-points-for-a-win system was introduced.
The Merseyside derby refers to football matches between Everton and Liverpool, the two primary clubs in Liverpool, England. Named after the county of Merseyside, in which Liverpool is located, it is the longest running top-flight derby in England and has been played continuously since the 1962–63 season. Part of the rivalry is due to the two clubs' home grounds having less than a mile between them and being within sight of each other across Stanley Park, with Everton at Goodison Park and Liverpool at Anfield.
The 1989–90 season was the 98th season in Liverpool F.C.'s existence, and their 28th consecutive year in the top flight. This article covers the period from 1 July 1989 to 30 June 1990.
The 1987–88 season was the 96th season in Liverpool F.C.'s existence, their 26th consecutive year in the top-flight, and covered the period from 1 July 1987 to 30 June 1988.
The 1990–91 season was the 99th season in Liverpool F.C.'s existence, and their 29th consecutive year in the top flight. The season saw the club unable to defend its league title, and would not reclaim the title for another thirty years until the 2019-20 season.
The 1991–92 Liverpool F.C. season was the 100th season in club history and Graeme Souness's first full season as manager of the club. The manager needed heart surgery in April, only to be present at Liverpool won the final of the FA Cup the following month. However, it was a disappointing season in the league for Liverpool, whose sixth-place finish was their first outside the top two since 1981.
Stephen Joseph McMahon is an English former professional footballer, manager and current television pundit.