Gary Hart (footballer)
|Full name||Gary John Hart|
|Date of birth||21 September 1976|
|Place of birth||Harlow, England|
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Playing position||Striker, Utility player|
|1998–2011||Brighton & Hove Albion||373||(45)|
|2007–2008||→ Havant & Waterlooville (loan)||5||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:08, 31 March 2014 (UTC).
Gary John Hart (born, 21 September 1976 in Harlow) is a professional footballer who plays for Royston Town. Hart spent the majority of his career at Brighton. He was famously signed from Stansted in 1998, for £1,000 and a set of tracksuits.
Hart, along with Kerry Mayo, was released by former manager Dean Wilkins during June 2008, but after Wilkins' sacking from Brighton, were bought back to the club under manager Micky Adams, with whom both had worked during his first spell as manager at the club.
Hart is known for his versatility, as he has played in several positions for the club such as; right-back, winger, wide midfield, centre midfield and striker during his Brighton career. He managed to score 43 goals in over 350 games for the club.
Gary was one of the few instrumental figures that helped the club rise through the Football League and played an important part in Micky Adams' back-to-back Championship winning side from 2000–2001. He has played under a further eight managers with the club, (Jeff Wood, Martin Hinshelwood, Peter Taylor, Steve Coppell, Mark McGhee, Dean Wilkins, Russell Slade and Gus Poyet).
During May 2007, Hart was awarded with a new one-year contract after playing in a certain amount of games for the 06/07 season. Hart was granted a testimonial year with the "Seagulls" with this deal, following on from Kerry Mayo who was awarded the same the previous season.
For the 2007/08 season Hart lost his number 9 shirt, that he had worn for the Seagulls since signing in 1998, to new signing Nicky Forster. Hart wore the number 12 for Brighton during the 2007/08 season, and changed again to number 15 for the 2008/09 season.
On 6 December 2007, it was revealed that Hart had joined Conference South side Havant & Waterlooville on a one-month loan deal. Hart joined fellow ex-Albion player Charlie Oatway at the club who retired from the professional game in the summer of 2007 due to injury.
With an injury crisis at Brighton, Hart was recalled from his loan spell at Havant & Waterlooville on 7 January 2008. He was involved in the squad for the first time in the 2007/08 season in the Football League Trophy game at Swansea.
On 6 May 2008, it was confirmed that Hart, along with experienced trio Kerry Mayo, Guy Butters and Paul Reid were to be released from the club by former manager Dean Wilkins. Mayo and Hart both signed new contracts after impressing during pre-season under new manager Micky Adams.
In May 2011 the club announced that he would be released at the end of the season following the ending of his current contract, along with five other players. On 16 July 2011 Hart was called back to the Brighton Reserves squad for the final time by manager Gus Poyet to captain the side in their Sussex Senior Cup final against Eastbourne Borough. It was the first competitive match to be played at Brighton's new American Express Community Stadium. The home side won the game 2–0 with Hart confirming his already legendary status at the club by scoring the first goal at the new ground.
Hart scored a brace, including a last minute header, to twice pull his side level against Dover Athletic on 2 January 2012. Gary Hart is among the fans favourite at Eastbourne Borough due to his tremendous skill and his eye for goal.
Hart was released by Borough on 3 March 2014 and signed for Royston Town of the Southern League Division One Central on 31 March 2014. For the 2014/15 season he is also a coach for youth team Bishop's Stortford Saints U-16's
- Gary Hart Player Profile, Seaguls World. Retrieved 24 March 2009
- Albion release experienced quartet The Argus, 6 May 2008. Retrieved 6 May 2008
- Hart and Mayo Offered New Contracts, BBC Football, 24 July 2008. Retrieved 28 July 2008
- "Poyet to release six of Brighton and Hove Albion squad". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 6 May 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
- "Hart so pleased to score Amex opener". Andy Naylor (The Argus). 16 July 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
- "Albion Legend arrives at Priory Lane". Eastbourne Borough F.C. 23 July 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
- "Eastbourne Borough sign ex-Brighton forward Gary Hart". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 25 July 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
- "Boro Show Real 'Hart' To Fightback For New Year Draw". Eastbourne Borough F.C. 2 January 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
- "Hart leaves Borough". Howard Griggs (The Argus). 3 March 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
- "Royston Town swoop to sign ex-Brighton & Hove Albion star Gary Hart". Marc Bazeley (Cambridge News). 1 April 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2014.