Gary O'Reilly

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Gary O'Reilly
Personal information
Full name Gary Mills O'Reilly[1]
Date of birth (1961-03-21) 21 March 1961 (age 57)[2]
Place of birth Isleworth, England
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
19??–1979 Grays Athletic
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1979–1984 Tottenham Hotspur 45 (0)
1984–1987 Brighton & Hove Albion 79 (3)
1987–1991 Crystal Palace 70 (2)
1991Birmingham City (loan) 1 (0)
1991–1992 Brighton & Hove Albion 28 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Gary Mills O'Reilly (born 21 March 1961) is an English former professional footballer who played in the Football League for Tottenham Hotspur, Brighton & Hove Albion, Crystal Palace and Birmingham City as a central defender.

Life and career[edit]

O'Reilly was born in Isleworth, now part of Greater London. He played for Grays Athletic before turning professional with Tottenham Hotspur in 1979, and made his debut the following year. After 45 League games for the club, he joined Brighton & Hove Albion for a £45,000 fee. He stayed with Brighton for two-and-a-half seasons before moving on to Crystal Palace.[2][1][3] He scored in the 1989–90 FA Cup semi-final as Palace beat Liverpool 4–3 after extra time,[4] and then scored the opening goal in the final, against Manchester United. The match ended in a 3–3 draw, and Palace lost replay 1–0 five days later.[5]

After a brief spell on loan at Birmingham City, O'Reilly rejoined Brighton & Hove Albion in January 1991.[1] Brighton finished that season sixth in the Second Division and reached the playoff final, where they were beaten by Notts County. Any hopes of another promotion challenge the following season – and of a place in the new FA Premier League – were quickly forgotten as Brighton found themselves fighting a battle against relegation which was eventually lost.[6] O'Reilly then retired from playing.[4]

Following his retirement from football, he made a career in sports broadcasting. He has appeared on BBC Five Live's Fighting Talk,[7] as a pundit on pan-African broadcaster GTV's Saturday morning preview show and Sunday night review show,[citation needed] as a commentator for Trans World International[8] and Sky Sports, and as both pundit and commentator on UEFA Champions League matches for ART Prime Sports, Dubai.[9][10] From February 2017, O'Reilly and Chuck Nice co-hosted the podcast Playing with Science.[11][10]


  1. ^ a b c Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 115. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9.
  2. ^ a b "Gary O'Reilly". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Gary O'Reilly". UK A–Z Transfers. Neil Brown. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  4. ^ a b Tongue, Steve (26 January 2003). "The day spirit soared over status". The Independent. London. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Classic Cup Finals: 1990". The Football Association. Archived from the original on 21 August 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  6. ^ "Albion history: 1990–1995". Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. Archived from the original on 13 August 2002.
  7. ^ "Fighting Talk Episodes". BBC. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  8. ^ "StarHub offers immersive Barclays Premier League experience". StarHub. 1 August 2007. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  9. ^ Edwards, Leigh (22 August 2015). "Frozen in time: Rovers return..." (PDF). Seagull. Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. p. 70. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  10. ^ a b Harris, Christopher (2 May 2017). "Soccer co-commentator Gary O'Reilly returns to US airwaves with unique podcast". World Soccer Talk. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  11. ^ "Welcome to Playing with Science". StarTalk. 25 January 2017. Retrieved 18 December 2017.