Gary Mabbutt




Gary Mabbutt was born in 1961. He was signed as an apprentice of Bristol Rovers in the summer of 1977 and turned professional with them in 1979. He made his League debut in December 1978 against Burnley and made the move to Tottenham in August 1982, making his Spurs debut at Wembley in the Charity Shield match against Liverpool.

Club men with the sort of service record that Gary Mabbutt boasts are few and far between. Mabutt made 17 seasons with Tottenham and in spite of other teams keen to have him - Mabbutt insists that Spurs is the place he wants to be. He enjoyed his football at White Hart Lane.
His career started with Bristol Rovers - the club where his father Ray played - and made his first appearance as an apprentice. His older brother, Kevin opted for Rovers' great rivals Bristol City and later played for Crystal Palace. Mabbutt managed over 100 appearances for Rovers before Tottenham signed him for what is now a laughable low figure of £105,00 in August 1982.

That has bought them well over 400 League appearances and numerous Cup games on top of that. In total he has made over 600 appearances in Spurs' colours. Mabbutt was the club captain for several years and a fine ambassador for his sport. But that is not the end of the story because he sufferes from diabetes but has managed to control the problem and perform at the very highest level on the pitch.

As skipper of Spurs he led them to the 1987 FA Cup Final against Coventry where he put his side 2-1 ahead but then suffered the misery of scoring an own goal which cost the north London side the cup.It was the first time they had been beaten in a final although Mabbutt was later to set the record straight when he led them to the 1991 final where we beat Nottingham Forest.

By that stage in his career he already had a UEFA Cup winners' medal in his trophy cabinet yet the one prize to elude him, the one he hankers after, is a League championship medal. "In all my time at Spurs it has been my ambition to win the League Championship but we have never really come close to it," he says. In fact his best chance of achieving that came in 1987 when his Spurs contract expired and Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool along with Athletico Madrid and Lyon were keen to buy him.
Not only was Gary legendary for his playing skills in the 80s. As a diabetic, he broke new ground in professional football by pursuing his career despite his illness.     

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