Versatile half back and full back Brian Garvey was born in Hull – his father Bob played rugby league for Hull FC in the 1920s – and Brian gave his local football club twelve years of loyal service. He joined the Tigers on apprentice terms in August 1953 but didn’t turn professional until January 1958. He made his first team debut in March 1958, a 1-1 draw at Bury’s Gigg Lane ground, and made his second start in late August 1958 at Bradford City. It wasn’t until early October 1958 that Garvey established himself in manager Bob Brocklebank’s first team and becoming a reliable performer in a range of positions – he began at left half then moved to centre half in December 1959, then switched again to left full back in March 1960.
In three years that began in October 1958, only Brian’s third start for the Tigers, he missed only five of 152 consecutive first team fixtures. His first goal for the Tigers came in a February 1959 3-1 win over Newport County and it wasn’t until the 1963/64 season that Garvey netted again with goals in two draws – in December 1963 against Watford (2-2) and March 1964 against Bristol City (4-4). From 1961 onwards Garvey was one of manager Cliff Britton’s trusted defensive players, though Brian missed two large parts of the 1961/62 season only to win his place back in September 1962. The 1963/64 season again saw Garvey miss significant chunks of the season and by the 1964/65 season he was largely consigned to the sidelines by the emergence of left back Dennis Butler. Garvey left the Tigers in June 1965.
Garvey joined Division Three side Watford in the 1965 close season and served the Hornets for five seasons at centre half and left back. When Watford won the Division Three title in 1968/69 season Garvey was an important presence at the back, though he did miss 13 games towards the end of the season. In the 1969/70 season he missed large parts of the season as Watford successfully battled against relegation and also reached the FA Cup Semi-Final – Garvey came on as substitute in the semi-final against Chelsea, played at Tottenham’s White Hart Lane ground, and started the subsequent third place play-off against Manchester United staged at Arsenal’s Highbury Stadium, which the Hornets lost 0-2. Brian left Watford during the 1970 close season having made 201 senior appearances and scored two goals for the Hornets.
In June 1970 Garvey joined Division Four side Colchester United and in his first season he missed only one game and contributed to a second FA Cup run in two seasons as the U’s reached the Sixth Round, famously beating Leeds United 3-2 in the Fifth Round before being knocked out by Everton. Garvey remained a first team regular for the 1971/72 season before leaving the Layer Road side in the 1972 close season having made 93 appearances and scored twice. He dropped into the non-league games for two seasons with Southern League sides Bedford Town (where he was player-manager) and Romford.
In 1974 Garvey was appointed youth team coach at Wolverhampton Wanderers, his side reached the FA Youth Cup Final in 1975/76 and he was promoted to reserve team coach shortly afterwards. He moved to Arsenal in 1981, becoming the Gunners’ reserve team coach, as a financial crisis affected Wolves, but that appointment only lasted a year and he returned to the Midlands in 1982. In 1984 he emigrated to Australia and initially settled in Melbourne where he continued to work as a football coach for Heidelburg United and South Melbourne Hellas. In 1990 he moved to Adelaide to become coach at Adelaide Hellas, but in 1993 he left football behind and retrained as a security guard, initially in Adelaide then from 1995 back in Melbourne. He remained in Australia after his retirement, apart from a brief return to the UK during 2005.
Date/Place of Birth: 3 July 1937, Hull
Hull City First Game: 1 March 1958, Bury A (Division Three North), 20 years, 241 days old
Hull City Final Game: 17 April 1965, Mansfield Town A (Division Three), 27 years, 288 days old
Hull City (1953-1965), Watford (1965-1970), Colchester United (1970-1972), Bedford Town (1972-1973), Rmoford (1973-1974)
Hull City Record
Career: 258 apps, 3 goalsBrian Garvey