Notionally a buy for the future’ when included as ‘make weight’ in a joint £250.000 transfer deal with the more experienced Ali Mouchlen, attacking midfielder Gary very soon displayed a refreshing and remarkbly mature regard for the value of accurate passing to feet, and rapidly gained confidence to express a pleasingly ambitious range of skills on the ball as he adapted to regualr First Division football.
In his second City season he was justifiably attracting the attention of Scottish international boss Andy Roxborough, but with mixed results when getting honoured. Gary scored the equalizer on his debut for Scotland B against France in April 1987, but also picked up the injury which kept his much needed talent out of the City’s vital last three games piroer to the eventual relegation.
Given by Bryan Hamilton the rather backhanded tribute of being expected to function effectively in a variaty of midfield and forward roles, Gary found his form suffering for a while, but he perked up under David Pleat’s guidance, and his elegant playmaking abilities were soon drawing envious glances from serveral clubs of higher status.
A distinctly erratic successor to Steve Lynex as City’s regular penalty taker, he nonetheless boosted his goal tally to respectable levels with a number of blidingly executed strikes from rather less favourable positions.
The only ever present player in the 1988/89 season, Gary remained the nub of constant transfer speculation throughout the following term. A level headed young man, he was unimpressed by manager Brian Clough’s brusque and rude comments to him at a City Ground interview and memorably turned down a mooted £1.15 million move to Nottingham Forest and saw out his contract with City.
But after three full caps had boosted him into Scotland’s 1990 World Cup squad, Gary finally silenced the rumour machine by signing for Leeds, at a fee later set by tribunal at £1 million. His sinuous prompting alongside fellow Scot Gordon Strachan was a major component of the 1992 League Championship winning effort, and his subsequent key role at the hub of midfield earned him the captaincy of both his club and country. McAllister eventually left Leeds in 1996, represnting the club at Champions League level and also playing in the 1996 League Cup final, ending runners-up after a loss to Aston Villa.
Later in his career we did see Gary back at Filbert Street as a player for Coventry and Liverpool, spending his later footballing career, going on into his 40’s, combining it with coaching and management when with The Sky Blues.
He has since been seen in football as coach, caretaker manager, manager and today assistant to Steven Gerrard, being very successful at Rangers in Glasgow, Scotland.
- Full Name: Gary McAllister
- Position: Midfield
- Date of Birth: 25.12.1964
- Birthplace: Motherwell
- Nation: Scotland
- Caps / Goals: 57/5
- Major League Career:
- 1981-85, Motherwell (59/6)
- 1985-90, Leicester City (201/46)
- 1990-96, Leeds United (231/31)
- 1996-00, Coventry City (119/20)
- 2000-02, Liverpool (55/5)
- 2002-04, Coventry City (55/10)