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Ablett, Gary

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Gary Ablett joined Liverpool directly from School as an apprentice and worked his way into the first team picture via loan spell at Derby and Hull. He made his debut against Charlton in a 1986 league match. The match finished goalless and Ablett cemented a first team place for the rest of the season.

He scored on his Anfield debut (and only his second performance) against Nottingham Forest.

The following season, Ablett switched to left back and Liverpool won the league. He also provided able cover to Hansen and Gillespie when called upon.

Ultimately Ablett found himself displaced from the side by Steve Staunton and was used more as cover at centre half. However, worse was yet to come.

After the resignation of Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness was appointed manager and the writing was on the wall for Ablett’s playing career. Not only did he lose his place to Nicky Tanner, but then to pour salt in his wounds, he was sold to Everton and his career never really recovered. After 128 games for the Blueshite and an FA cup winners medal, Ablett moved on again and played for such luminaries as Sheffield United, Birmingham, Wycombe, Blackpool, and the hilariously named “Long Island Rough Riders”. He hung up his boots in 2001 aged 35.

In 2002, Ablett was appointed head coach of Everton’s under-17 team. He worked there for four years before replacing Paco Herrera as Liverpool’s reserve coach.

In Ablett’s second season in charge, the reserves won their league. Ultimately though, he was caught in the middle of the power struggle over the academy and ended up being forced to use players who were bought in by Rafa Benitez rather than promoting younger players and results suffered in his third season.

In the summer of 2009, Ablett was a victim of Rafa Benitez’s overhaul of the club’s youth and reserve systems. His contract wasn’t renewed and he left the club to be replaced by John McMahon.

After leaving Anfield, Gary had a spell as manager of Stockport County before joining the coaching staff at Ipswich Town. Tragically he was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and despite a brave 16 month fight he passed away on 1 January 2012.

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