Andy Gray (footballer, born 1964)

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Andy Gray
Personal information
Full name Andrew Arthur Gray
Date of birth (1964-02-22) 22 February 1964 (age 50)
Place of birth Lambeth, England
Height 6ft 2'
Playing position Midfielder, Striker
Youth career
1980–81 Crystal Palace
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
198?–198? Corinthian Casuals 34 (1)
198?–1984 Dulwich Hamlet ? (?)
1984–1987 Crystal Palace 98 (27)
1987–1989 Aston Villa 37 (4)
1989 Queens Park Rangers 11 (2)
1989–1992 Crystal Palace 90 (12)
1992–1994 Tottenham Hotspur 33 (3)
1992 Swindon Town (loan) 3 (0)
1994–1995 CA Marbella 33 (2)
1995–1997 Falkirk 34 (1)
1997–1998 Bury 21 (1)
1998 Millwall 12 (1)
Total 305 (50)
National team
1988 England U21 2 (0)
1991 England 1 (0)
Teams managed
2006 Sierra Leone
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Andrew Arthur Gray (born 22 February 1964) is an English former footballer who played in the centre of midfield or as a striker during his career, before going into International management. He is a former coach of the Sierra Leone national football team.

Playing career[edit]

After playing for Crystal Palace's youth team in 1980–81, Gray moved into non-league football with Corinthian Casuals and Dulwich Hamlet where he was spotted by Crystal Palace manager Steve Coppell.

Gray moved to Palace and quickly became a regular in the team, playing in the forward positions. In the 1985–86 season, Gray top-scored with 11 goals. However, after the signings of Ian Wright and Mark Bright, Gray moved into central-midfield, and his career came alight.

Gray then achieved promotion with Aston Villa and had a spell at Queens Park Rangers, before returning to Selhurst Park for the 1989–90 season. This proved to be a remarkable season, and Gray managed to secure himself a legacy that will survive in Palace fans' hearts forever. In the league Palace survived comfortably, and they found themselves in an FA Cup Semi-final against champions Liverpool, who were gunning for a league and cup double. Having led 2–1 at one point, Palace were 2–3 down, and were on the verge of leaving Villa Park with their heads down, before Gray jumped forward to head an 87th minute equaliser. Alan Pardew's goal in extra-time ensured that Gray and his Palace teammates would get to play in the FA Cup Final.

The final would be against Manchester United, and in the match Gray played well as Palace secured a 3–3 draw. In the replay, Palace were beaten by a single goal to nil.

The following season, Palace achieved far more than even the biggest optimists expected. The Eagles chased Liverpool and Arsenal until the end, but had to settle for third place in the First Division. As well as this, they picked up silverware, in winning the Zenith Data Systems Cup.

In November 1991, Gray's play was rewarded with a call-up to the England team, and he made his solitary international appearance against Poland in a crucial qualifier for the EURO '92.

Gray left Palace at the end of that season, after their form slumped following the sale of Ian Wright, and went to Tottenham Hotspur for £900,000. His spell at Spurs would be less successful and, following a loan move to Swindon Town, he was sold to CA Marbella for an undisclosed fee. He would round out his career with short spells at Falkirk, where he played in the 1997 Scottish Cup Final, Bury, and Millwall.

Coaching career[edit]

After finishing playing, Gray later went into management. He was appointed as the Head Coach of Sierra Leone in 2006. He stated he believed Sierra Leone could qualify for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, which they did not. One of the methods for achieving this was to tempt British-born players such as Nigel Reo-Coker, Liam Rosenior and Steve Kabba to accept call-ups to the Sierra Leone team. In 2005, Andy was voted in Palace's Centenary XI.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
John Sherington
Sierra Leone Head Coach
2006
Succeeded by
James Peters