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29 September 2007

Gary Fleming

Name: Gary James Fleming
Born: 17 February 1967, Londonderry
Height: 5.09½ ft
Weight: 11.09 st
Position: Right-Back

Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 31 Full Caps (1986-1994), 1 Under-23 Cap (1989), 7 Under-18 Caps.

Club Career:
FA Cup
FL Cup
Tristar Boys
Derry Athletic
Nottingham Forest
Manchester City
Notts County

Gary Fleming was a teenage prodigy with Nottingham Forest in the mid-1980s. A stylish right-back, his attacking displays from defence earned glowing praise from both Billy Bingham and his boss at Forest, Brian Clough.

Having graduated through the apprentice ranks at the City Ground, Fleming’s chance came as an 18 year-old away to Arsenal in April 1985. Ironically the Arsenal side included Viv Anderson, a player whose departure had given Fleming his first-team chance. In that first season he made just one other appearance, but the following season saw him play 16 matches, and after that he was largely established in the Forest side.

Fleming's form for Forest so impressed Billy Bingham that, in October 1986, he put the 19 year-old straight into the starting eleven for a European Championship qualifier against England at Wembley. From then on, injury permitting, and despite the continued availability of the much more experienced Jimmy Nicholl, Fleming was Northern Ireland’s first-choice right-back.

Unfortunately injuries were something Fleming was to suffer badly with. An injury in closing months of the 1988/89 season, combined with the arrival of Brian Laws that same season, saw Fleming lose his place at Forest, and he was subsequently sold to Manchester City. Although the Forest fans didn’t rate Fleming in the same class as either his predecessor or successor in the right-back role, it should be noted that the team never finished lower than ninth in the First Division during his four years as a first team regular.

City had been freshly promoted to the First Division prior to Fleming's arrival and he was a regular in the side during the opening months as they struggled to acclimatise to life at the higher level. A mid-season managerial change saw Mel Machin replaced by Howard Kendall who's first signing was right-back Alan Harper, who had previously played under Kendall at Everton. Fleming was sidelined from December through to the following February, only returning to the field of play during a brief loan spell at Notts County.

In March 1990 Fleming made a cut-price move to Barnsley, by then managed by Machin. He was appreciated more by the Oakwell fans than at any other time in his career. Described as "a spendid defender", he appeared in the centre of defence and as a wing-back as well as in a more traditional full-back role during 271 appearances. For several seasons he was joined in defence by Northern Ireland colleague Gerry Taggart. In 1996 Fleming's career was ended by a knee injury.

With his playing days over Fleming trained as a physiotherapist and joined the staff at Nottingham Forest in 2000.

Northern Ireland Cap Details:
15-10-1986 England...... A L 0-3 ECQ

18-02-1987 Israel....... A D 1-1 FR
01-04-1987 England...... H L 0-2 ECQ
29-04-1987 Yugoslavia... H L 1-2 ECQ
11-11-1987 Turkey....... H W 1-0 ECQ
17-02-1988 Greece....... A L 2-3 FR
23-03-1988 Poland....... H D 1-1 FR
26-04-1989 Malta........ A W 2-0 WCQ
26-05-1989 Chile........ H L 0-1 FR
06-09-1989 Hungary...... H L 1-2 WCQ
11-10-1989 Rep. Ireland. A L 0-3 WCQ
27-03-1991 Yugoslavia... A L 1-4 ECQ
28-04-1992 Lithuania.... H D 2-2 WCQ sub
02-06-1992 Germany...... A D 1-1 FR
09-09-1992 Albania...... H W 3-0 WCQ
14-10-1992 Spain........ H D 0-0 WCQ
18-11-1992 Denmark...... H L 0-1 WCQ
17-02-1993 Albania...... A W 2-1 WCQ
28-04-1993 Spain........ A L 1-3 WCQ
25-05-1993 Lithuania.... A W 1-0 WCQ
02-06-1993 Latvia....... A W 2-1 WCQ
08-09-1993 Latvia....... H W 2-0 WCQ
13-10-1993 Denmark...... A L 0-1 WCQ
17-11-1993 Rep. Ireland. H D 1-1 WCQ
23-03-1994 Romania...... H W 2-0 FR
20-04-1994 Liechtenstein H W 4-1 ECQ
03-06-1994 Colombia..... N L 0-2 FR
11-06-1994 Mexico....... N L 0-3 FR
07-09-1994 Portugal..... H L 1-2 ECQ
12-10-1994 Austria...... A W 2-1 ECQ
16-11-1994 Rep. Ireland. H L 0-4 ECQ

Summary: 30(1)/0. Won 10, Drew 6, Lost 15.

Northern Ireland Under-23 Cap Details:
11-04-1989 Rep. Ireland. A L 0-3 FR

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

1 comment:

Limavadylawyer said...

he played for Limavady United as well beofre leaving for Forest

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

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