|Full name||Gary Brabin|
|Date of birth||9 December 1970|
|Place of birth||Liverpool, England|
|1991||→ Gateshead (loan)||10||(0)|
|1998–1999||→ Lincoln City (loan)||4||(0)|
|2002–2004||The New Saints||48||(7)|
|2007–2008||The New Saints||2||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Gary Brabin (born 9 December 1970) is an English former footballer and manager.
Brabin began his career as an apprentice with Stockport County, signing professional on 14 December 1989. After only 2 appearances for the Stockport first team he was released. He joined Gateshead on loan, playing 12 times in the Conference National, before moving to Runcorn.
Brabin returned to league football in 1994, soon after playing in his second successive FA Trophy final for the Linnets (both of which they lost), signing for Doncaster Rovers on 26 July for a fee of £45,000. The same year he had played 3 times for the England Semi-Professional side in games against Wales, Finland and Norway. He played 59 league games for Doncaster, scoring 11 times before moving to Bury for £125,000 on 29 March 1996. He played only 5 league games for Bury, moving on in the summer, joining Blackpool for £200,000 on 30 July 1996. At the end of his loan spell he returned to Blackpool, but just 2 days later, on 8 January 1999 he signed for Hull City. He had played 50 league games for Blackpool, scoring twice.
Brabin fitted in quickly to a struggling Hull side and played a major role in keeping them in the Football League. The following season he struggled on with a neck injury, but returned to full fitness to help Hull reach the play-offs in 2000–01. As Hull regrouped after the financial battle that almost finished them, Brian Little began a massive overhaul of the side, and Brabin did not fit into these plans. By the end of July, he had been advised not to attend training at Boothferry Park any longer and to find himself a new club. On 14 August 2001, he agreed a compensation package with Hull City and left the club with a year remaining on his contract, having played 95 league games and scored 9 goals for the Tigers. Prior to this, he had already been linked with moves to Darlington, Rochdale, Lincoln City and Halifax Town, but by 3 September he was still without a club, though training with St Johnstone, and joined Plymouth Argyle on trial. A day later he joined Torquay United on trial, playing in a training game at Plainmoor, after having talks with manager Roy McFarland the previous week. The following day he travelled to Scotland for further trials, firstly with Dundee and then with Dundee United, playing for United in a reserve match against Aberdeen on 10 September 2001.
On 23 September 2001, Brabin signed for Conference side Boston United on non-contract terms. However, McFarland's perseverance paid off and Brabin signed a 2-year contract with Torquay United on 4 October, his debut coming the following day in the 2–1 win against David Webb's Southend United at Plainmoor. His contract was terminated by mutual consent on 30 November 2001 after he failed to settle at the club and in the South Devon area.
In December 2001, Brabin joined Chester City on trial, signing a contract with them the following month. Despite only spending half a season with the club, he was named as Chester's player of the season, with his presence and leadership having helped the club avoid relegation from the Football Conference. In July 2002 he joined Welsh League side TNS, playing in European games for the Welsh champions. After suffering a bout of breathlessness at Connah's Quay in February 2004 he decided to retire from the game on medical advice.
Brabin joined Northern Premier League side Witton Albion as assistant manager in November 2004 and surprisingly resurrected his playing career in summer 2005 with a move to Conference National side Halifax Town. After just 4 games for Halifax, he moved to fellow Conference side Southport in January 2006.
In November 2006 he signed for Northern Premier League side Burscough where he has assisted with coaching in addition to his playing duties. Brabin was a key member of the Burscough squad that clinched the Unibond League title in April 2007, securing the Lancashire team automatic promotion to the Conference North.
In April 2008 Brabin re-joined Southport as manager until the end of the 2007–08 season, replacing Peter Davenport. Despite guiding the team into the play-offs, Brabin left Southport to sign as manager of Cambridge United on 23 June 2008. Brabin won his first home game as manager of Cambridge United in July 2008, leading Cambridge United to a 4–2 victory over Everton Football Club in a pre-season friendly. The match was a product of John Ruddy, former Cambridge United turned Everton goalkeeper, transferring up to Merseyside. David Moyes fielded a near-full first team side. During the subsequent 2008–09 season, Brabin guided Cambridge United to the club's second successive play-off final at Wembley, for promotion to the fourth tier of English League football. They were beaten 2–0 by Torquay United.
In June 2009 he was named the Conference Premier Manager of the Year. Brabin was relieved of his duties as manager on 13 July 2009 by the board following a series of disputes. Three-and-a-half months later, Brabin returned to football with Luton Town in the capacity of chief scout.
Following the end of the 2009–10 season, Brabin was named as Luton's assistant manager, taking over from Alan Neilson. He was promoted to manager until the end of the season on 28 March 2011 after Richard Money left the club. Brabin secured Luton's place in the Conference Premier play-offs, leading them to a 5–1 aggregate victory over Wrexham in the semi-finals. However, Luton then drew 0–0 after extra time with fellow finalists AFC Wimbledon, eventually losing 4–3 in a penalty shootout that left the club facing a third year at non-league level. Brabin received the full support from the Luton board despite the disappointment of the defeat and, one week later, he signed a new two-year contract to stay as permanent manager. Despite this, he was sacked before the end of the following season after the team fell out of the play-off positions with seven games remaining.
- Competitive matches only. Correct as of 2 May 2012.
|Southport||8 April 2008||23 June 2008||7||5||0||2||71.43|
|Cambridge United||23 June 2008||13 July 2009||54||27||14||13||50.00|
|Luton Town||28 March 2011||31 March 2012||62||29||22||11||46.77|
As a player
As a manager
- 2008–09 Conference Premier Runners Up – Cambridge United
- 2008–09 Blue Square Conference Premier Manager of the Year – Cambridge United
- Hugman, Barry J. (2005). The PFA Premier & Football League Players' Records 1946–2005. Queen Anne Press. p. 74. ISBN 1-85291-665-6.
- Saints return for Brabin
- "Brabin takes the reins". Cambridge News. 23 June 2008. Retrieved 23 June 2008.
- "Brabin named boss of the season". BBC.co.uk. 15 June 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2009.
- "Manager Brabin leaves Cambridge". BBC Sport. 13 July 2009. Retrieved 13 July 2009.
- "Interest grows on Money". Luton Town F.C. 30 October 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
- "Backroom staff changes revealed". Luton Town F.C. 11 May 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
- "Club Statement". Luton Town F.C. 28 March 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2011.
- "AFC Wimbledon 0–0 Luton Town (4–3 on pens)". BBC Sport. 21 May 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
- "Luton Town keen to keep Gary Brabin as boss". BBC Sport. 23 May 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
- "Brabin handed two-year deal". Luton Town F.C. 27 May 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2011.