Andy Gray (footballer, born 1955)

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Andrew Gray
Andy Gray 2004-10-23.jpg
Personal information
Full name Andrew Gray
Date of birth (1955-11-30) 30 November 1955 (age 58)
Place of birth Glasgow, Scotland
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1970–1973 Clydebank Strollers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1973–1975 Dundee United 62 (46)
1975–1979 Aston Villa 113 (54)
1979–1983 Wolverhampton Wanderers 133 (38)
1983–1985 Everton 49 (14)
1985–1987 Aston Villa 54 (5)
1987 Notts County (loan) 4 (0)
1987–1988 West Bromwich Albion 35 (10)
1988–1989 Rangers 14 (5)
1989–1990 Cheltenham Town 20 (7)
Total 513 (185)
National team
1975–1985 Scotland 20 (7)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Andrew Mullen Gray (born 30 November 1955 in Glasgow) is a Scottish retired footballer who played for several clubs in Scotland and England. He also represented his country. He was a primary football pundit for Sky Sports, as well as a presenter on Andy Gray's Last Word and Andy Gray's Boot Room, until his dismissal in January 2011 following multiple allegations of sexism. Gray, along with fellow former Sky pundit Richard Keys, signed with talkSPORT in February 2011.

Club career[edit]

Gray started his professional career as a player with Dundee United where he scored 46 goals in 62 appearances.

In October 1975, at the age of 19, he moved south to Aston Villa (newly promoted to the First Division) and won England's golden boot in 1976/77 with his tally of 25 league goals. His 29 goals in the following season earned him the PFA Young Player of the Year and PFA Players' Player of the Year awards (a historic double not repeated until Cristiano Ronaldo won both awards 30 years later and Gareth Bale won both in 2013). At the time he was the youngest player to earn the Players' Player of the Year award, and the first player to win more than one of the official three player of the year awards in the same season.

Gray then moved to Villa's local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers in September 1979 for a then-British record £1.5m. After scoring the winning goal for Wolves in the 1980 League Cup final, he remained with the club through their relegation in 1982 (despite interest from Manchester United) and promotion a year later.

He moved to Everton in November 1983 for £250,000. He spent two seasons with the Merseyside club, winning the FA Cup in May 1984 (scoring in the final against Watford in controversial fashion by heading the ball out of Watford's goalkeeper's hands).

A year later, he won the League Championship and European Cup Winners' Cup, also scoring in the final of the latter. He also reached another FA Cup final, but this time he was on the losing side as Everton were defeated by Manchester United.

Then came the arrival of England striker Gary Lineker from Leicester City in the 1985 close season.[1] Despite angry petitions from Everton fans wanting to keep Gray at Goodison Park, he left the club on 10 July 1985, returning to Aston Villa in a £150,000 deal.[2]

Despite starting the decade on a high as league champions in 1981 and European Cup winners in 1982, they had now declined to mid table mediocrity and the return of Gray was unable to turn things around as his arrival at Everton had done. He scored five goals from 35 league games in 1985–86 as Villa narrowly avoided relegation to the Second Division, and the following season he failed to score a single goal from 19 league games as Villa fell into the Second Division. He began the 1987–88 season still with Villa, but was transferred to their local rivals West Bromwich Albion in September 1987 having not featured in a first team game for Villa that season. His spell at Albion lasted less than a year, and was uneventful as they narrowly avoided relegation from the Second Division.[3]

In mid-1988, he joined Rangers. He spent one season at Ibrox, helping them win the Scottish Premier Division title – the first of nine successive titles they would win.[4]

He dropped into non-league football with Football Conference club Cheltenham Town before retiring in 1990.

International career[edit]

Gray's Player of the Year accolades in England were not enough to convince Scotland manager Ally MacLeod to select him for the 1978 World Cup squad, as he was somewhat controversially excluded.

Gray won 20 caps for Scotland, scoring 7 goals for his country. He also won four caps at Under-23 level and played at schoolboy level. His full international debut came on 17 December 1975 in a 1–1 draw with Romania. He was not selected for any of Scotland's World Cup squads during his playing days. His final senior appearance for Scotland came on 28 May 1985 in a 1-0 win over Iceland in a 1986 World Cup qualifier. This had been his first cap for two years, despite him scoring twice in his penultimate appearance for the national side on 19 June 1983 in a 2-0 friendly win over Canada, and him excelling on the club level for Everton after his transfer to the Merseyside club later in 1983.[5]

International goals[edit]

(NB scores and results list Scotland's goal tally first)

Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 8 September 1976 Hampden Park, Glasgow  Finland 4–0 6–0 Friendly
2 8 September 1976 Hampden Park, Glasgow  Finland 6–0 6–0 Friendly
3 20 September 1978 Praterstadion, Vienna  Austria 2–3 2–3 ECQG2
4 26 March 1980 Hampden Park, Glasgow  Portugal 2–0 4–1 ECQG2
5 28 May 1983 Ninian Park, Cardiff  Wales 1–0 2–0 BHC
6 19 June 1983 Varsity Stadium, Toronto  Canada 1–0 2–0 Friendly
7 19 June 1983 Varsity Stadium, Toronto  Canada 2–0 2–0 Friendly

Honours[edit]

Aston Villa

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Everton

Rangers

Coaching[edit]

After hanging up his boots, Gray entered coaching as an assistant at Aston Villa, and spent six months at Sheffield Wednesday as reserve team coach under David Pleat before focusing full-time on his television work.

Commentary career[edit]

After retiring as a player, Gray became a football commentator, pundit, and analyst on Sky Sports, serving as a Scottish facet of its Premier League coverage since its inception in 1992, most notably alongside studio anchor Richard Keys and lead match commentator Martin Tyler. In addition, he reported for Sky from Euro 2004 in Portugal, although Sky did not have broadcast rights for the games. He commentated for BBC Radio 5 Live in the 2002 World Cup and for ESPN in Euro 2008. Gray also provides betting tips for Betfair,[6] and also provided commentary for EA Sports' FIFA series of video games until being replaced in the 2012 edition of the game series by Sky Sports pundit Alan Smith.[7]

In January 2011, Gray was forced to apologise for comments he made about a female assistant referee, Sian Massey, in a Premier League match. Believing that his microphone was switched off, Gray commented to co-host Richard Keys, "Can you believe that? A female linesman. Women don’t know the offside rule." Keys replied "Course they don't." The comments were criticised by Sky Sports, football fans and the Football Association.[8] On 24 January it was announced that both Gray and Keys would be banned for one game.[9] On 25 January 2011, it was announced his contract was being terminated for unacceptable behaviour.[10] Barney Francis, Sky Sports' managing director, said Gray was dismissed "in response to new evidence of unacceptable and offensive behaviour in an off-air incident that took place in December 2010". The Daily Telegraph suggested that the Sky statement refers directly to a clip of Gray and Charlotte Jackson in rehearsals for the Sky Sports Christmas Special. While Jackson is attaching a microphone pack, Gray lifts his belt and says: "Charlotte, can you tuck this down here for me?"[11]

In late 2011 Keys and Gray appeared in Smash It!, a show designed for the corporate hospitality circuit. The title of the show came from sexual remarks that Keys had made to Jamie Redknapp.[12] An earlier theatre tour in 2011 had to be cancelled due to poor ticket sales.[13] He is now presenting on Talk Sport mid morning show as sidekick to Richard Keys. His TV career is continuing alongside Richard Keys as a pundit on Al Jazeera Sport.

Gray's former team mate at Everton, Peter Reid, suggested that Gray's dismissal may have been connected to a legal battle between Gray and the former title News of the World (both it and Sky are owned by News Corporation) over phone-tapping.[14]

On 25 January 2014, Gray returned to commentating on British television on BT Sport for an FA Cup match between Stevenage and Everton. His one-off appearance occurred three years to the day since his dismissal by Sky.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Gray became infatuated with the former Olympic gymnast Suzanne Dando when she landed a job alongside him on Sky Sports in 1999. Gray told tabloid reporters that his womanising days were not over.[citation needed]

Until recently he was engaged to Rachel Lewis, an ex-model and the former wife of his long-time friend and agent[16] and he wants to return to live in Back, Outer Hebrides on the Isle of Lewis in the near future.

Gray has married twice, to Vanessa Taylor and Jacqueline Cherry. He has fathered five children, by four different women – his two ex-wives and former girlfriends Sara Matthews and Janet Trigg.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ToffeeWeb's Everton Hall of Fame: Gray, Andy". Toffeeweb.com. 2006-12-07. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  2. ^ "Football photographic encyclopedia, footballer, world cup, champions league, football championship, olympic games & hero images by". Sporting-heroes.net. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  3. ^ "Football photographic encyclopedia, footballer, world cup, champions league, football championship, olympic games & hero images by". Sporting-heroes.net. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "gray, Andy M. - Scottish Caps 1975-85 - Scotland". Sporting-heroes.net. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  6. ^ [2][dead link]
  7. ^ [3][dead link]
  8. ^ "Sky Sports pair criticised over female referee comments". BBC News. 23 January 2011. Archived from the original on 24 January 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  9. ^ Norrish, Mike (2011-01-24). "Andy Gray and Richard Keys suspended by Sky Sports over sexist comments". The Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Archived from the original on 3 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  10. ^ "Sky Sports sack football pundit Andy Gray for his sexist comments". BBC News. 2011-01-25. Archived from the original on 26 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-25. 
  11. ^ "Andy Gray sacked by Sky Sports following 'unacceptable behaviour' towards Charlotte Jackson". Daily Telegraph. 2011-01-25. Archived from the original on 5 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-25. 
  12. ^ Hyde, Marina (2011-12-15). "Smash it! The reinvention of Andy Gray and Richard Keys". Guardian (London). Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  13. ^ Bill, Joe (2011-10-26). "Richard Keys and Andy Gray cancel Kent gig". Kent News (London). Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  14. ^ "Andy Gray sacked by Sky for offensive behaviour". BBC News. 2011-01-25. Archived from the original on 26 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-25. 
  15. ^ Rumsby, Ben (2014-01-24). "Andy Gray to return as commentator with BT Sport". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  16. ^ The Life Ring stars at a glittering celebrity golf day The Life Ring, August 2006; accessed 4 October 2006
  17. ^ Exclusive: Randy Andy Rat It Again.. With Best Mate's Wife The People, 2 April 2006; accessed 4 October 2006

External links[edit]