Gary Brazil in May 2010
|Full name||Gary Nicholas Brazil|
|Date of birth||19 September 1962|
|Place of birth||Royal Tunbridge Wells, England|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Playing position||Midfielder / Striker|
|1984||→ Port Vale (loan)||6||(3)|
|1985–1989||Preston North End||166||(58)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Gary Nicholas Brazil (born 19 September 1962) is an English former footballer and football manager, who is now a youth coach at Nottingham Forest. He scored 123 goals in 491 league games in a 17-year career in the Football League.
Starting out at Crystal Palace, he turned professional with Sheffield United in 1980. Five years later, following a loan spell with Port Vale, he signed with Preston North End. He spent four seasons with Preston, then spent one season at Newcastle United, before transferring to Fulham in 1990. After a six-year spell with the club he moved on to Cambridge United, Barnet, and finally Slough Town. Following this he spent two brief periods as manager of Notts County.
Having joined Crystal Palace straight from school in 1979, Brazil immediately found it difficult to make any sort of impact at Selhurst Park under manager Terry Venables. Brazil stayed with Palace for just twelve months before taking the opportunity of first team football with Sheffield United, signing on a free transfer in August 1980.
His time at Bramall Lane was a mixed affair, although United gave Brazil his real break in the game he was invariably used as a substitute or played in midfield or as a winger instead of in his favourite role as a supporting striker. In fact in nearly five years at United he played 78 games, of which 30 were as a substitute, scoring 10 goals. The "Blades" suffered relegation out of the Third Division in 1980–81 under Harry Haslam. After Ian Porterfield took charge, they then made an immediate return as champions of the Fourth Division in 1981–82. A mid-table finish in 1982–83 followed, before a second promotion in three years was achieved with a third place finish in 1983–84, though they had only finished ahead of Hull City on goals scored. Not deemed up to the demands of Second Division football, in August 1984 he joined Port Vale on loan, and scored three goals in six Fourth Division appearances for John Rudge's "Valiants". Still out of the first team picture upon his return to Bramall Lane, in February 1985 Brazil and team-mate Bob Atkins were offered the chance to go on loan to struggling Preston North End with a view to making the deal permanent.
Although Brazil and Atkins could not prevent Tommy Booth's "Lilywhites" from being relegated out of the Third Division, they did make enough of an impact to secure a permanent £25,000 joint move to Deepdale. The next season again was a disappointment, although Brazil was now a regular and scoring frequently Preston finished the season in 91st place in the Football League and were forced to seek re-election, forcing the powers that be at Deepdale to make vast changes. With many of the older players having left, a new manager in John McGrath and a new plastic pitch laid for the start of the 1986–87 season gave Preston new optimism. Brazil was voted Player of the Year in 1987, as the club won promotion in second place, with Brazil and John Thomas forming a deadly strike partnership. The 1987–88 campaign was one of consolidation, though Preston narrowly missed out on a Wembley cup final when they lost to Burnley in the Football League Trophy semi-final. A promotion push in 1988–89 ended in defeat to former club Port Vale in the play-off semi-finals. However Brazil had already departed, having been picked up by Newcastle United for a fee of £200,000 (of which half was made up in a swap deal with Ian Bogie) in February 1989. In all competitions he had played 202 games for Preston, scoring 72 goals.
He started just three games of the rest of the season, as Newcastle suffered relegation out of the First Division. Manager Jim Smith gave him just five starts in 1989–90, as indifferent form and injuries kept Brazil behind strike partners Mark McGhee and Micky Quinn in the first team pecking order at St James' Park.
In September 1990, he moved on to Fulham for a fee of £110,000. His time at Fulham was personally a happy one, although the club were generally struggling. In six seasons at Craven Cottage Brazil played 254 matches and scored 60 goals, becoming a firm favourite with the Fulham fans and finding the sort of form that had made him such a favourite with the Preston fans only a few years earlier. He hit five goals in 1990–91, as the "Cottagers" almost exited the Third Division at the wrong end under the stewardship of Alan Dicks. Brazil finished as the club's top scorer in 1991–92 with 14 goals, as the club missed out on the play-offs by three places and four points. Following an indifferent 1992–93 campaign, he finished as the club's top scorer again in 1993–94 with 14 goals; however his scoring record was not enough to prevent the club slipping into the bottom tier under Don Mackay. An unsuccessful promotion campaign followed in 1994–95 under Ian Branfoot's stewardship, with Fulham finishing two places and three points outside the play-offs.
Upon leaving Fulham in at the end of 1995–96 he had spells at Cambridge United and Barnet, also of the Third Division. Fulham would finally win promotion out of the division in 1996–97 under new boss Micky Adams. In February 1997, he moved into Conference football with Slough Town. He enjoyed a fifteen month spell with Slough, scoring ten goals in 69 games, and was part of the side which reached the FA Trophy semi-final in 1998.
Management and coaching career
After retiring as a player, Brazil joined Notts County as a coach and then as assistant manager to Sam Allardyce. Following Allardyce's departure to Bolton Wanderers in October 1999, Brazil was prompted to take charge of a "Magpies" team that was enjoying a promising start to the season. The team faltered during the first half of 2000 and finished the 1999–2000 season in eighth place, two places but 17 points outside of the play-offs. Brazil was demoted back down to assistant manager in May 2000, making way for Jocky Scott. He did receive a second chance at the helm between October and November 2001 after Scott was sacked following repeated clashes with the board, but this short reign was ended abruptly when Brazil was fired after failing to win a game over a five-week period. He went on to serve Doncaster Rovers as youth team coach. During the 2006–07 season Brazil returned to Fulham and began coaching the Academy under-18s. In May 2012, he was appointed as a youth team coach at Nottingham Forest, replacing the departed Eoin Jess; he was to work alongside Steve Chettle.
- with Sheffield United
- Football League Fourth Division champion: 1981–82
- Football League Third Division third-place promotion: 1983–84
- with Preston North End
- Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 40. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0.
- "Ex league player who had a number of pro clubs to his name before joining the Rebels in February 1997.". sloughtownfc.net. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "Anti-climax for Notts County". BBC Sport. 28 June 2000. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
- Pierson, Mark (11 October 2001). "Scott departs at Notts County as Brazil moves up". The Independent. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
- "Brazil's new role at Rovers". BBC Sport. 6 May 2004. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
- "Gary Brazil joins Nottingham Forest academy staff". BBC Sport. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.