9 December 2006

Keith Gillespie

Preceded by
Succeeded by
2003
Written-off several times during his career, Keith Gillespie's ability to bounce-back from set-backs earned him great credit, indeed it would be a brave man who would say to his face that his career is on the "wind down"...

Name: Keith Robert Gillespie
Born: 18 February 1975, Larne
Height: 5.10 st
Weight: 11.03 ft
Position: Right-Winger / Forward / Right-Back
.
Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 86 Full Caps / 2 goals (1994-2008), 1 Under-21 Cap (1994), 4 Under-18 Caps/2 Goals, 2 Under-16 Caps/1 Goal, 6 Under-15 Caps/2 Goals.
Club Honours: (with Man. United) FA Youth Cup Winner 1991/92, Runner-Up 1992/93; (with Blackburn) Football League Cup Winner 2001/02; Football League Division One Runner-Up 2000/01 (promoted); (with Sheffield United) Football League Championship Runner-Up 2005/06 (promoted); (with Glentoran) Irish League Cup Winner 2009/10.
Awards: NI International Personality of the Year 2003; Milk Cup Under-16 Player of the Tournament 1991; PFAI League of Ireland First Division Team of the Year 2012.

Club Career:
Teams
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
FL Cup
Europe
Other
St Andrews Boys Club
-
Youth
-
-
-
-
-
Linfield
-
-
Youth
0 (0)/ 0
-
-
-
-
Manchester.United
92/93-94/95
Feb-93
Youth
3 (6)/ 1
1(1)/1
3(0)/0
-
-
Wigan Athletic
93/94
Sep-93
Loan
8 (0)/ 4
-
-
-
2(0)/0
Newcastle United
94/95-98/99
Jan-95
£1,000k
94(19)/11
9(1)/2
7(1)/1
11(4)/0
0(1)/0
Blackburn Rovers
98/99-02/03
Dec-98
£2,350k
67(47)/ 6
6(4)/1
8(3)/0
0(3)/0
-
Wigan Athletic
00/01
Dec-00
Loan
4 (1)/ 0
2(0)/0
-
-
-
Leicester City
03/04-04/05
Jul-03
Free
26(16)/ 2
4(0)/0
0(2)/0
-
-
Sheffield United
05/06-08/09
Aug-05
Free
58(39)/ 4
2(1)/0
2(1)/0
-
-
Charlton Athletic
08/09
Nov-08
Loan
4 (2)/ 0
-
-
-
-
Leeds United
-
Feb-09
Trial
0 (0)/ 0
-
-
-
-
Bradford City
08/09
Mar-09
Free
2 (1)/ 0
-
-
-
-
Ferencvaros
-
Jul-09
Trial
-
-
-
-
-
Glentoran
09/10
Aug-09
Free
*34 (2)/ 4
-
-
-
-
Notts County
-
Jul-10
Trial
0 (0)/ 0
-
-
-
-
Shamrock Rovers
-
Aug-10
Guest
0 (0)/ 0
-
-
-
-
Darlington
10/11
Nov-10
Free
1 (0)/ 0
1(0)/0
-
-
1(0)/0
Longford Town
2011 - 2013
Mar-11
Free
-
-
-
-
-
TOTALS
-
£3,350k
-
-
-
11(7)/0
-
* all games

Biography:
Keith Gillespie was among a crop of young players to emerge at Manchester United in the early-1990s - including Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Nicky Butt - who were known as "Fergie's Fledglings". Although he impressed when given a chance at Old Trafford, a fact illustrated by goals against Bury in the FA Cup and Newcastle in the Premier League, these chances were always going to be limited by the presence of established international stars and his illustrious youth team colleagues.


And so it was, in January 1995 when Manchester United went after Newcastle's prolific striker Andy Cole that Magpies boss Kevin Keegan insisted on Gillespie as a £1million make-weight in the £7million deal. Another "Next George Best" left Old Trafford without living up to the mantle! Still, Gillespie hit the ground running at St James' Park.

Gillespie was a regular in the side that took the Premier League by storm in the 1995/96 season only to capitulate late on and hand the title to Manchester United. Newcastle continued among the top teams in England over the next few seasons, qualifying for the Champions League, without ever reaching the heights of 95/96 and Gillespie lost impetus as Keegan made way for Kenny Dalglish in 1997. Gillespie's most celebrated performance in black and white came against Barcelona as he set up two of Faustino Asprilla's three goals in a famous 3-2 win.

Well publicised gambling problems and rows with teammates, as well as an injury that ruled him out of the 1998 FA Cup Final, continued to weigh heavily on Gillespie and in December 1998 he left Newcastle to become Brian Kidd's first signing as Blackburn manager. With Rovers he suffered relegation in his first season, a first team exile, promotion back to the Premier League and a Worthington Cup win over Spurs.

More to follow...

Gillespie was without a club after being released by Sheffield United on 30 January 2009 until signed by Bradford City on 11th March. Unable to gain a long-term deal at Valley Parade, he had a trial with Ferencvaros in Hungary before joining Glentoran in August 2009. Shortly after he moved to the Oval Gillespie's dreams of an international recall were seemingly dashed as Nigel Worthington announced that it would take "exceptional circumstances" for him to be considered again. While with the Glens he became the only man ever to claim both English and Irish League Cup winner's medals.

Gillespie left The Oval after a season as Glentoran sought to reduce their wage bill and the two parties were unable to agree a new contract even though the player was willing to take an pay cut. As yet unable to secure a move to a new club, Gillespie guested for a Shamrock Rovers XI in a 3-0 friendly defeat by Manchester United Reserves on 15th August 2010. The United team contained Conor Devlin, Ollie Norwood and Joe Dudgeon. On 19th November Gillespie agreed a one month deal with Conference side Darlington after an initial trial. He played just three times during a snow-interrupted month and his contract was not renewed.

A move to Longford Town has seen Gillespie feature regularly in the League of Ireland First Division. In 2012 he was named in the divisional team of the year and received the Longford Player of the Year award as the team fell in the short of promotion at the play-off stage. It was announced prior to the commencement of the 2013 season that it would be Gillespie's last as a player. After two seasons, he scored his first League of Ireland goal in a 5-1 win over Cobh in May.

Gillespie was just the fourth Northern Ireland player ever to pass the eighty-cap mark, with Pat Jennings, Mal Donaghy, Sammy McIlroy and now David Healy the only men to have made more appearances.
.
Irish FA Website Bio
Wikipedia
Whiteside Can't Jump

Northern Ireland Cap Details:
07-09-1994 Portugal........... H L 1-2 ECQ
12-10-1994 Austria............ A W 2-1 ECQ 1 goal
16-11-1994 Rep of Ireland..... H L 0-4 ECQ
29-03-1995 Rep of Ireland..... A D 1-1 ECQ
26-04-1995 Latvia............. A W 1-0 ECQ
22-05-1995 Canada............. A L 0-2 FR
25-05-1995 Chile.............. N L 1-2 FR. sub
07-06-1995 Latvia............. H L 1-2 ECQ sub
03-09-1995 Portugal........... A D 1-1 ECQ
15-11-1995 Austria............ H W 5-3 ECQ
27-03-1996 Norway............. H L 0-2 FR
29-05-1996 Germany............ H D 1-1 FR
31-08-1996 Ukraine............ H L 0-1 WCQ
05-10-1996 Armenia............ H D 1-1 WCQ
11-02-1997 Belgium............ H W 3-0 FR
29-03-1997 Portugal........... H D 0-0 WCQ
02-04-1997 Ukraine............ A L 1-2 WCQ
20-08-1997 Germany............ H L 1-3 WCQ
10-09-1997 Albania............ A L 0-1 WCQ
25-03-1998 Slovakia........... H W 1-0 FR
22-04-1998 Switzerland........ H W 1-0 FR
15-09-1998 Turkey............. A L 0-3 ECQ
10-10-1998 Finland............ H W 1-0 ECQ
18-11-1998 Moldova............ H D 2-2 ECQ
27-03-1999 Germany............ H L 0-3 ECQ
31-03-1999 Moldova............ A D 0-0 ECQ
18-08-1999 France............. H L 0-1 FR. sub
04-09-1999 Turkey............. H L 0-3 ECQ sub
09-09-1999 Germany............ A L 0-4 ECQ sub
23-02-2000 Luxemburg.......... A W 3-1 FR
28-03-2000 Malta.............. A W 3-0 FR
26-04-2000 Hungary............ H L 0-1 FR
16-08-2000 Yugoslavia......... H L 1-2 FR. sub
24-03-2001 Czech Republic..... H L 0-1 WCQ
28-03-2001 Bulgaria........... A L 3-4 WCQ
02-06-2001 Bulgaria........... H L 0-1 WCQ
01-09-2001 Denmark............ A D 1-1 WCQ
05-09-2001 Iceland............ H W 3-0 WCQ
13-02-2002 Poland............. N L 1-4 FR
27-03-2002 Liechtenstein...... A D 0-0 FR
17-04-2002 Spain.............. H L 0-5 FR
21-08-2002 Cyprus............. H D 0-0 FR
12-10-2002 Spain.............. A L 0-3 ECQ
16-10-2002 Ukraine............ H D 0-0 ECQ
12-02-2003 Finland............ H L 0-1 FR
29-03-2003 Armenia............ A L 0-1 ECQ
02-04-2003 Greece............. H L 0-2 ECQ sent-off
06-09-2003 Ukraine............ A D 0-0 ECQ
(theGAWA)

10-09-2003 Armenia............ H L 0-1 ECQ
11-10-2003 Greece............. A L 0-1 ECQ
18-02-2004 Norway............. H L 1-4 FR
28-04-2004 Serbia & Montenegro H D 1-1 FR
30-05-2004 Barbados........... A D 1-1 FR
02-06-2004 St Kitts & Nevis... A W 2-0 FR. sub
06-06-2004 Trinidad & Tobago.. A W 3-0 FR. sub
18-08-2004 Switzerland........ A D 0-0 FR
09-10-2004 Azerbaijan......... A D 0-0 WCQ sub
13-10-2004 Austria............ H D 3-3 WCQ
09-02-2005 Canada............. H L 0-1 FR
26-03-2005 England............ A L 0-4 WCQ
30-03-2005 Poland............. A L 0-1 WCQ
04-06-2005 Germany............ H L 1-4 FR
17-08-2005 Malta.............. A D 1-1 FR. sent-off
03-09-2005 Azerbaijan......... H W 2-0 WCQ
07-09-2005 England............ H W 1-0 WCQ
08-10-2005 Wales.............. H L 2-3 WCQ 1 goal
12-10-2005 Austria............ A L 0-2 WCQ
15-11-2005 Portugal........... H D 1-1 FR
16-08-2006 Finland............ A W 2-1 FR
02-09-2006 Iceland............ H L 0-3 ECQ
06-09-2006 Spain.............. H W 3-2 ECQ
07-10-2006 Denmark............ A D 0-0 ECQ
11-10-2006 Latvia............. H W 1-0 ECQ
06-02-2007 Wales.............. H D 0-0 FR
24-03-2007 Liechtenstein...... A W 4-1 ECQ
22-08-2007 Liechtenstein...... H W 3-1 ECQ
08-09-2007 Latvia............. A L 0-1 ECQ
12-09-2007 Iceland............ A L 1-2 ECQ
17-11-2007 Denmark............ H W 2-1 ECQ
06-02-2008 Bulgaria........... H L 0-1 FR
26-03-2008 Georgia............ H W 4-1 FR
06-09-2008 Slovakia........... A L 1-2 WCQ
10-09-2008 Czech Republic..... H D 0-0 WCQ
11-10-2008 Slovenia........... A L 0-2 WCQ
15-10-2008 San Marino......... H W 4-0 WCQ
19-11-2008 Hungary............ H L 0-2 FR 

Summary: 77(9)/2. Won 22, Drew 22, Lost 42.

Northern Ireland Under-21 Cap Details:
22-03-1994 Romania............ H D 0-0 FR

Summary: 1/0. Won 0, Drew 1, Lost 0.

1 comment:

hnisc said...

Keith Gillespie became the 581st player to be capped by the IFA & 166th player to score.

Who was Northern Ireland's Greatest World Cup Player & Team? (select up to eleven players)

© NIFG 2006-2014