Garry Birtles

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Garry Birtles
Personal information
Date of birth (1956-07-27) 27 July 1956 (age 63)
Place of birth Nottingham, England
Playing position Centre Forward
Youth career
Long Eaton Rovers
Long Eaton United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1976–1980 Nottingham Forest 87 (32)
1980–1982 Manchester United 58 (11)
1982–1986 Nottingham Forest 125 (39)
1987–1988 Notts County 63 (9)
1989–1991 Grimsby Town 69 (9)
Total 402 (100)
National team
1979–1980 England U21 2 (1)
1980 England B 1 (0)
1980 England 3 (0)
Teams managed
1997–1999 Gresley Rovers
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Garry Birtles (born 27 July 1956) is an English retired footballer, who played as a forward in the Football League between the 1970s and 1990s.[1] He is best known for his time at Nottingham Forest, during which he won the 1979 and 1980 European Cup Finals. He was also capped three times by England.[1]

Club career[edit]

Nottingham Forest[edit]

Birtles was signed by Nottingham Forest from non-league Long Eaton United[1] for £2,000. He made his Forest debut as a winger in March 1977 in the old Second Division against Hull City. His second competitive first team appearance was not until 18 months later in September 1978. Peter Withe had been sold to Newcastle and so-called prodigy Steve Elliott failed to make the grade. This allowed Birtles a chance that he grasped. He scored his first goal for the club in his third match, a first round 1978-79 European Cup tie against holders Liverpool. Birtles kept his place for the rest of the season capping his success with two goals in the 3–2 win over Southampton in the 1979 League Cup Final. He also claimed a 1979 European Cup winner's medal via the 1–0 victory over Malmö FF of Sweden in Munich's Olympic Stadium. He scored 14 times in the league alone that season.[2]

He gained another winner's medal in the following season's European Cup against Hamburg providing the return pass from which John Robertson scored the only goal. Birtles also played in every First Division game for Forest that season scoring 12 goals.[2]

He began the 1980–81 season in fine form, scoring six goals in nine league games for Forest, before a £1.25 million fee took him to Manchester United.[3]

Manchester United[edit]

Under manager Dave Sexton, Birtles made his debut for Manchester United in a First Division victory over Stoke City at the Victoria Ground on 22 October 1980. He made 28 appearances in his first season with the club.[4]

He scored his first league goal for United in the 1981–82 season, and went on to score 11 times for them that season.[4]

Coincidentally, his Manchester United spell ended where it began—against Stoke City. His final appearance for them came on the last day of the season, when they beat the Potters 2–0 at Old Trafford.[5] He began the 1982–83 season still with Manchester United, but was not selected for a first team game, and returned to play for Nottingham Forest.

Return to Forest[edit]

His second spell at Forest included a spell at centre-half. However, he still proved himself to be a competent goalscorer, particularly with 15 league goals in the 1983–84 season and 14 in the 1986–87 season, the last of which he was joint top goalscorer alongside midfield star Neil Webb and up-and-coming striker Nigel Clough. However, Forest manager Brian Clough allowed Birtles to part from the club on a free transfer in June 1987.[2]

Notts County and Grimsby Town[edit]

He spent 18-month with Notts County (for which he appeared in almost every league game). Birtles ended his career with Grimsby Town.[1] They won two successive promotions up until 1991 by which time he had accumulated more than 400 professional league appearances.

International career[edit]

During the final months of his first spell at Nottingham Forest, when he was still reputed as one of the English league's finest strikers, he was capped three times at senior level for England. His first cap came on 13 May 1980 in a 3–1 friendly win over Argentina. His last came on 15 October that year in a 2–1 defeat against Romania in a 1982 World Cup qualifier.[6]

Career statistics[edit]

[7]

Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Nottingham Forest 1976–77 Second Division 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
1977–78 First Division 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1978–79 First Division 35 14 3 0 6 5 9 6 0 0 50 25
1979–80 First Division 42 12 2 1 9 1 9 2 2 0 64 16
1980–81 First Division 9 6 0 0 3 3 2 0 0 0 14 9
Total 87 32 5 1 18 9 20 8 2 0 129 50
Manchester United 1980–81 First Division 25 0 3 1 0 0 28 1
1981–82 First Division 33 11 1 0 2 0 36 11
Total 58 11 4 1 2 0 64 12
Nottingham Forest 1982–83 First Division 25 7 1 0 4 4 30 11
1983–84 First Division 34 16 1 0 1 0 7 0 43 16
1984-85 First Division 13 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 15 2
1985–86 First Division 25 0 2 2 3 0 30 2
1986–87 First Division 28 14 0 0 5 1 33 15
Total 125 39 6 2 13 5 7 0 151 46
Notts County 1987–88 Third Division 43 7 2 1 2 0 9 1 56 9
1988–89 Third Division 20 2 2 0 4 1 0 0 26 3
Total 63 9 4 1 6 1 9 1 82 12
Grimsby Town 1989–90 Fourth Division 38 8 3 0 3 1 2 0 46 9
1990–91 Third Division 23 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 24 1
1991–92 Second Division 8 0 1 0 2 1 1 0 12 1
Total 69 9 5 0 5 2 3 0 82 11
Career total 402 100 24 5 44 17 27 8 14 1 511 131

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Nottingham Forest[8]
Grimsby Town[9]

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Garry Birtles at Post War English & Scottish Football League A–Z Player's Database
  2. ^ a b c Nottingham Forest stats at Sporting Heroes
  3. ^ Mullan, Sean (27 June 2015). "Manchester United's transfer 'firsts'". Manchester United F.C. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b Man Utd stats at aboutmanutd.com Archived 7 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Manchester Utd stats at Sporting Heroes
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Garry Birtles at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 September 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ http://www.grimsby-townfc.co.uk/news/article/honours-records-2061884.aspx
  10. ^ http://www.nottinghamforest.co.uk/club/history/playerofseason.aspx
  11. ^ José Luis Pierrend (8 January 2015). "The "Bravo" Award". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 1 July 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2015.

External links[edit]