Defender Gary Ablett spent a month on loan Hull City in September and October 1986, starting five games at left back for manager Brian Horton. His short spell with the Tigers demonstrated that Ablett was clearly a talented player.
Gary Ian Ablett was born in Liverpool and joined his home town club (in red shirts) in 1982. He came through the junior ranks and was on the fringes of the first team squad when he joined Third Division side Derby County on loan in January 1985, making eight senior appearances (he came on as substitute for the Rams at Boothferry Park in March 1985, a famous table-topping 3-2 win for the Tigers). After another year in the Liverpool Reserves and his spell with Second Division Hull City in the early months of the 1986/87 season, Ablett made his Liverpool debut in a December 1986 First Division clash against Charlton Athletic. He made six Liverpool appearances that season in total and scored his first senior goal in April 1987 against Nottingham Forest.
In late January 1988 Ablett was again introduced to the Liverpool first team and he remained in the starting XI for the rest of the season, making 22 appearances for the Division One champions and starting in the FA Cup Final that the Reds lost 0-1 to Wimbledon. In 1988/89 season he was again a first team regular as Liverpool finished second in the top flight and won the FA Cup against local rivals Everton. Ablett also played in the abandoned semi-final against Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough in April 1989, where 96 people lost their lives in a crush at the Leppings Lane End caused by the murderously thoughtless actions of South Yorkshire Police and the crass incompetence of Sheffield Wednesday’s administrators. Over the next three seasons Ablett played a supporting role for the Reds, winning a second First Division winners medal in 1990 and making six appearances in the UEFA Cup in the early months of the 1991/92 season. However in early January 1992 Ablett decided to move on and made the brave switch to city rivals Everton. He had made 147 senior appearances for Liverpool and scored once in his ten years at Anfield.
Ablett spent four and half years at Everton, starting regularly and winning a second FA Cup winners medal in May 1995 when Everton beat Manchester United 1-0, becoming the first player to lift that trophy while playing for both Liverpool clubs. He left Goodison Park in the 1996 close season having made 156 appearances for the Toffees and scored six goals. After a loan spell at Sheffield United Gary spent three seasons at Birmingham City where he made another 124 appearances, then had short spells at Wycombe Wanderers and Blackpool during the 1999/00 season. He spent the summer of 2000 in the USA playing for Long Island Rough Riders before hanging up his boots. In total he made 468 senior appearances and scored ten goals.
In 2002 he joined the Everton coaching staff then joined Liverpool in 2006 to coach the Reds’ reserve side. He left Liverpool in May 2009 and a few weeks later was appointed manager at Stockport County. He led the Hatters for the 2009/10 season, but the club was bankrupt and in administration which meant Ablett struggled to make his mark as a manager. He joined the coaching staff at Ipswich Town in July 2010 but within a few weeks he fell ill and was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphona, a form of blood cancer. Ablett’s battle against cancer was lost on New Years Day 2012 and his funeral saw a signficant turnout from stars associated with both Liverpool clubs.
Date/Place of Birth: 19 November 1965, Liverpool
Hull City First Game: 13 September 1986, Sunderland A (Division Two), 20 years, 298 days old
Hull City Final Game: 11 October 1986, Derby County A (Division Two), 20 years, 326 days old
Liverpool (1982-1992), Derby County (1985, loan), Hull City (1986, loan), Everton (1992-1996), Sheffield United (1996. loan), Birmingham City (1996-1999), Wycombe Wanderers (1999), Blackpool (2000), Long Island Rough Riders (2000-2001)
Hull City Record
Career: 5 apps, 0 goalsGary Ablett