Gary Gillespie

Gary Gillespie On This Day 26th April 1986

Gary Gillespie, like so many Liverpool players at the time, took a while to get established at Anfield. When he first signed for the club his path to become a first team regular was blocked by Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson. No mean feat to get in ahead of those two. Gillespie was a quality centre back in his own right. And he was a more than adequate replacement for either of those two in his early days. A classy, footballing centre back who liked to play out from the back.

Gary Gillespie

Gary Gillespie
Gary Gillespie

Liverpool signed Gary Gillespie from Coventry City in July 1983 for £325,000. And, as already mentioned, he took a while to settle in. He made his debut in February 1984 against Walsall in a League Cup semi final.

From there he was in and about of the team really. Until season 1986/87 that is when he established himself as a regular in Liverpool’s back four. In that season he only missed three league games. He stayed a regular really until the 1989/90 season. Glenn Hysen’s arrival saw him play only 13 league games that season. Although he still managed to net 4 league goals. Some return for a centre back.

However with Alan Hansen’s lengthy absences and eventual retirement in 1990/91, Gillespie found himself a regular again. He played 30 league games that season.

In all he played 156 league games for Liverpool and scored 14 times. His record in all competitions was 214 games and 16 goals.

His trophy haul in his time at Anfield included 3 league titles – 1985/86; 1987/88 and 1989/90 and a European Cup winners medal in 1984.

Gary Gillespie On This Day 26th April 1986

Arguably, Gary Gillespie’s finest individual moment for Liverpool came on this day 26th April 1986. Liverpool were on a roll at the time in the league. We had won 8 out of the previous 9 league games and Birmingham City were the opponents. Liverpool battered them that day 5-0.

With the score at 4-0 and with Gillespie already being on the score sheet twice, Liverpool were awarded a penalty at the Annie Road end with seven minutes to go. Jan Molby was our normal penalty taker but with the game seemingly won and on the insistence of The Kop, Molby passed penalty taking duties to Gillespie.

I remember being in The Kop when Gillespie’s name was chanted as soon as the penalty was awarded. Fair do’s a cracking penalty as well to make it 5-0. So, Gillespie bagged a hat-trick. Not many centre backs could claim to have done that.

I seem to recall that David Seaman was in goal for Birmingham that day. Without the ponytail!!!

I say arguably his finest individual moment although possibly not so. Gillespie was also in the side that battered Nottingham Forest 5-0 in April 1988. Gillespie scored in that 5-0 win as well.

As I say, a classy centre-back who could also get stuck in though. To be a member of one of Liverpool’s finest sides in that 1987/88 season he couldn’t have been that bad could he.

Nowadays he is still connected to the club as a pundit on the LFCTV Channel.

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