Promising young striker Gary Bradshaw was born in Beverley but had been involved in the Newcastle United youth team system in his early teens and was considered for the National Academy of Football that developed some of England’s leading talent in the 1990s. However he signed YTS terms for his hometown club Hull City in preference to moving to Tyneside and soon after his 17th birthday he was handed his debut by manager Warren Joyce. He quickly impressed with his pace and touch but was unable to hit the back of the net in a struggling side. When Brian Little took over the reins in April 2000 he revamped City’s forward line and Bradshaw was unable to get first team exposure, with the exception of two substitute appearances in December 2000.
Only when Little left in February 2002 was Bradshaw given game time by caretaker manager Billy Russell and this faith was rewarded in March 2002 when Gary struck his first (and only) goal for the Tigers in a 4-1 win over Mansfield Town. New boss Jan Molby gave Bradshaw three first team starts and when the Dane was quickly jettisoned his replacement Peter Taylor also gave Gary a first team start in a Cup tie at Port Vale. However Taylor quickly went about signing a slew of strikers and Bradshaw was loaned to Scarborough before leaving the Tigers in the 2003 close season.
Bradshaw dropped into the non-league scene, spending a few weeks at Hall Road Rangers, a few months at Harrogate Town, then a two year spell at North Ferriby United. With the Villagers he got a regular start and scored over 50 goals at nearly a goal a game. In the 2005 close season his form attracted the interest of several Football League clubs and he signed for Cheltenham Town – however he was sent off on his debut at Mansfield and managed only two further substitute appearances as injuries hampered his progress. Gary left the professional ranks a second time in the 2006 close season.
Over the next seven years at North Ferriby United, Bradshaw established himself as one of the non-league scene’s most productive strikers and by the time he had left in 2013 he was the club’s record scorer, his tally passing 200 goals. He was lured to Scarborough Athletic in 2013 under charismatic manager Rudy Funk, where his goalscoring exploits continued with 51 strikes in 118 appearances. He then dabbled with two phoenix clubs, the short-lived tenure of Curtis Woodhouse at Hull United and Mansfield Town breakaway side AFC Mansfield. After playing for East Yorkshire Carnegie, Barton Town and Hall Road Rangers between 2017 and 2019 Bradshaw returned to North Ferriby United a third time in 2019 and resumed his role as predatory striker into his late 30s, juggling football with his job at the Siemens wind turbine plant in Hull before hanging up his boots in 2021.
Date/Place of Birth: 30 December 1982, Beverley
Hull City First Game: 7 March 2000, Rotherham United A (League Division 3), 17 years, 68 days old
Hull City Final Game: 26 October 2002, Rushden & Diamonds H (League Division 3), 19 years, 300 days old
Hull City (1999-2003), Scarborough (2003, loan), Hall Road Rangers (2003), Harrogate Town (2003), North Ferriby United (2003-2005), Cheltenham Town (2005-2006), North Ferriby United (2006, loan), North Ferriby United (2006-2013), Scarborough Athletic (2013-2015), Hull United (2015-2016), AFC Mansfield (2016-2017), East Yorkshire Carnegie (2017-2018), Barton Town (2018), Hall Road Rangers (2018-2019), North Ferriby United (2019-2021)
Hull City Record
Career: 24 apps, 1 goalsGary Bradshaw
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