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Red of the Day - Gary Gillespie

by Phil Matthews

 

Scottish defender Gary Gillespie was Joe Fagan’s first signing as Liverpool manager and was instantly met with a huge challenge – to find a way to break into the hugely successful Hansen-Lawrenson defensive partnership.

 

Gillespie was no stranger to challenges though having captained Falkirk as a 17 year old and having been part of a Coventry side which had constantly battled the odds against relegation.

 

It took Gillespie almost an entire season to make his full debut after a series of injuries, but finally he was given a chance in the League Cup against Walsall. Liverpool ended up as League, League Cup, and European Cup winners in his first season although Gillespie had not played enough games to qualify for a medal.

 

During the 85 season, Gillespie completed a rare achievement for a defender. He scored a league hat-trick in Liverpool’s 5-0 defeat of Birmingham. He was getting plenty of game time as Hansen and Lawrenson both succumbed to injuries and two surging runs into the box saw him with two goals, when Liverpool were awarded a penalty. Jan Molby stepped aside to allow Gillespie to take it and he completed his hat-trick.

 

Lawrenson’s premature retirement in 1988 saw Gillespie cement his place alongside Alan Hansen, and Liverpool won the league again. By the end of the 89/90 season, Gillespie was losing his place to Gary Ablett and Glenn Hysen, although he did score the winner against Derby County to seal the title for The Reds.

 

When Kenny Dalglish resigned in 1991, the writing was on the wall for Gillespie and he was sold to Celtic for £925,000.

 

Lawrenson and Hansen may have taken all of the plaudits, but Gillespie was every bit as important to the Liverpool side of the late 80’s. He is still heavily involved with the club and represents us in the Masters tournament, as well as being part of the commentary team for the Liverpool TV channel.

 

 

Date of Birth: 05/07/60

Nationality: Scottish

Postition: Centre back

Games: 214

Goals: 16

ClubHons (Lpool): League Championship 1985/86, 87/88, 89/90, European Cup 1983/84

Int Hons: 13 Scotland caps

Other Clubs: Falkirk, Coventry (twice), Celtic, Aylesbury United (amateur)

gillespie_gary_profile.jpg
Gary GILLESPIE 1983-91

 

 


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I like Gary. He was one of the last players  from Kenny's team to still play good football (albeit briefly) once Souey took over. And I always smile when he's on that sofa on LFCTV because it looks as though someone had to lift him out of a wheelchair to get him settled. He has strangely stiff and immobile legs.

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I like Gary. He was one of the last players from Kenny's team to still play good football (albeit briefly) once that arrogant, self-serving twat, Souness took over. And I always smile when he's on that sofa on LFCTV because it looks as though someone had to lift him out of a wheelchair to get him settled. He has strangely stiff and immobile legs.

Souey? fucking Souey?

 

Fixed it for you.

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Was a really good player who played a lot of the games in the run up to winning the league in 86. If memory serves me right I think he got ill on Cup Final day meaning Kenny didn't have to make a huge decision on who was going to partner Hansen. Being honest I think most reds were glad he did get ill, not because he would of let anyone down only that Lawrenson was world class and it was Everton after all.

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