Experienced midfielder and attacking full back Kevin Gage joined the Tigers in September 1997 as part of Mark Hateley’s managerial mission to create a squad capable of lifting itself out of League Division 3. Gage was introduced slowly into the first team picture as it became clear that he was struggling with injuries and after starting a handful of games in a variety of midfield positions he was selected at right back for seven of eleven games in from late October to early December 1997. An injury in early December ended his first season but Gage was back in first team action at the start of the 1998/99 season. However after three starts at full back he again dropped out contention due to injury, and two substitute appearances in September and November 1998 were his final City first team appearances. He remained on the sidelines for a further year as City made an unlikely escape from relegation thanks to Warren Joyce’s management, before Gage left Hull City, and ended his footballing career, in December 1999.
Kevin William Gage was born in Chiswick in West London and grew up in Addlestone, a suburban town between Woking and the River Thames. He became an apprentice footballer at Wimbledon in 1980 and signed his first professional contract in January 1982. By then he had already made his debut in an end of season defeat against Bury in May 1981, and made a dozen further Division Three appearances for the newly-promoted Dons at the start of the 1981/82 season. In the latter half of the season new Dons manager Dave Bassett arrived at Plough Lane and used Gage as regular right back, Kevin scored his first Dons’ goal in a February 1982 Group Cup tie against Peterborough. While Wimbledon were relegated back to Division Four that summer, Bassett’s unique managerial style was starting to take effect.
Over the next five seasons Gage played in a Wimbledon side that won the Division Four title in 1983, then won further promotions in 1984 and 1986 to reach the First Division. Gage continued to play in a range of defensive and midfield positions, exloiting his energy and two-footedness, but that versatility meant that he was never approaching an ever-present for the Dons. He did play in every division during that ascent and also scored in every division along the way. In the 1986/87 season Gage made 30 appearances in the First Division and scored three penalties, also playing in a handful of cup games. Gage left Wimbledon in the 1987 close season having made 195 senior appearances and scored 18 goals.
In July 1987 Gage joined Aston Villa, who had just been relegated to the Second Division and were now managed by former Watford boss Graham Taylor. Villa won promotion out of the Second Division that season with Gage starting and completing every game at right back. Gage spent three more seasons at Villa Park and played regularly in 1989/90 when Taylor piloted the Villians to a second placed finish in the First Division. Kevin suffered a couple of serious injury setbacks that kept him out of the game for several months at a time and by November 1991 he left the club having not played a first team game for six months. His time at Villa Park encompassed 145 senior appearances and 12 goals.
In November 1991 he joined First Division rivals Sheffield United, reuniting with his former Wimbledon manager Dave Bassett. Gage spent four seasons at Bramall Lane and in April 1993 played in the FA Cup Semi Final against fierce city rivals Sheffield Wednesday, a game settled in extra time in favour of Trevor Francis’ Owls side. Gage settled in the Sheffield area during this part of his career, which ended in March 1996 with the Blades in the second tier and Kevin out of the first team picture – he had made 131 senior appearances for Sheffield United and scored 7 goals.
In March 1996 Gage moved down the league ladder to fourth tier side Preston North End and made seven late-season appearances as the Lilywhites won promotion out of League Division 3. A knee injury in Kevin’s first start of the season in League Division 2 kept him on the sidelines for two months and further niggles limited his game time – when he left Preston to join Hull City in September 1997 he had made 24 senior appearances in a year and a half at Deepdale.
Gae hung up his boots when he left Hull City in 1999 having made 512 senior appearances and scored 37 goals in an eighteen year career. He remained living at Dronfield, in the Sheffield suburbs, and worked in the local media as a matchday pundit, then ran a Dronfield hotel and performed corporate sponsorship duties on matchdays at Bramall Lane.
In September and October 1981 Gage won five England Youth team caps. Four of these caps came in an international youth tournament in Yugoslavia in which he contributed one goal against Sweden, the fifth came a month later during the World Youth Cup finals tournament in Australia, Kevin started the third place play-off match that England lost to Romania.
Date/Place of Birth: 21 April 1964, Chiswick
Hull City First Game: 20 September 1997, Rochdale A (League Division 3), 33 years, 152 days old
Hull City Final Game: 14 November 1998, Salisbury City A (FA Cup First Round), 34 years, 207 days old
Wimbledon (1980-1987), Aston Villa (1987-1991), Sheffield United (1991-1996), Preston North End (1996-1997), Hull City (1997-1999)
Hull City Record
Career: 17 apps, 0 goalsKevin Gage
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