Gary's McAllister's long and highly distinguished playing career started at his home town club Motherwell, where he claimed the 1st of his playing medals by winning the Scottish 1st Division title.
(Gary McAllister, MBE is pictured above (right) shaking hands with Paul Lambert at the Scotland International match in 2005)
McAllister moved South in 1985, signing for Leicester City where he played over 200 games and scored an excellent tally of 47 goals. His impressive performances caught the eye of Howard Wilkinson, who signed him in a £1M deal for his recently promoted Leeds United side. He went on to become a key player in the excellent Leeds United midfield and within 2 years of joining the club Gary helped them become English Champions. Greatly respected by the fans he went on to play for 6 years at Leeds United before moving to Coventry City in 1996 where he was eventually managed by his old Leeds colleague Gordon Strachan.
At the age of 35 and in the twilight of his accomplished career, Gary completed a surprise move to Liverpool. However, despite only serving for a relatively short time at Anfield, Gary was integral to the team that won a treble of cups in 2001, with Manager Gérard Houllier describing McAllister as his "most inspirational signing." Although not always guaranteed a starting place in the team, McAllister 1st helped win the League Cup, then was instrumental in the famous UEFA Cup win, his cool penalty securing a 1-0 win over Barcelona at Anfield in the Semi and a Man of the Match performance against Alaves in the final where he scored another penalty and set up the golden goal winner. McAllister capped an extraordinary end to the season by coming off the bench to help win the FA Cup Final. Gary was awarded the MBE for his services to football in December 2001, the perfect end to a year that had seen Liverpool win an amazing 5 trophies.
Gary left Liverpool in 2002 to take up his first job in management as player-manager at his old club Coventry City. His short spell there ended for personal reasons and he later went on to manage another of his old clubs, Leeds United in 2008.
Gary was also capped 57 times for Scotland, captaining his country and playing at both the 1992 and 1996 European Championship Finals.
A fantastic supporter and Ambassador for Football Aid, Gary has taken part in our Scotland International and Liverpool matches in recent years and his great enthusiasm for the game and excellent coaching skills were evident for all to see. Describing his support for Football Aid Gary said "I have played in a few Football Aid events over the years and it’s always great to see the fans in action. It gives ex-pros like me, the chance to give them something back for once, in return for all their years of support and encouragement. And, on a more personal note, it’s also great to just get back out onto the pitch and relive some amazing memories…"