Versatile forward Gary Taylor-Fletcher was plain old Gary Fletcher when he signed on loan for City in March 2001 with a view to a permanent switch at the end of the season if City were impressed and his parent club Northwich Victoria received £150,000. After a few substitute appearances in Brian Little’s play-offs challenging side it was apparent that the first part of the deal was not fulfilled and the cash element was therefore rendered irrelevant. Fletcher started the final game of the regular season at Carlisle United but was not involved in either of the resulting play-off semi-final ties against Leyton Orient.
Gary Taylor-Fletcher came into professional football via the non-league scene in the late 1990s – the teenage Fletcher was working as a roofer in the family business and scoring goals in the Conference National for Northwich Victoria. His extended trial at Hull City in 2001 was not a success but in June 2001 he instead signed for Leyton Orient for a £50,000 fee. Over the next two seasons Taylor-Fletcher had fitness-building loan spells at Grays Athletic and Dagenham & Redbridge and also assembled 24 senior appearances for the O’s, mostly as a substitute. He scored his first senior goal in September 2002 when Orient beat Queens Park Rangers in the League Cup.
In August 2003 Taylor-Fletcher joined Lincoln City, a move that kickstarted his senior career as he was reunited with Keith Alexander, his former manager at Northwich. In his first season, Taylor-Fletcher scored 19 goals as the Imps finished in the top 7 of League Division 3 and were eliminated from the play-offs in the semi-final stage by Huddersfield Town. In his second season at Sincil Bank Gary netted 12 times as Lincoln finsihed the regular season in 6th place and went one step further, reaching the Wembley play-off final before losing out to Southend United. In June 2005 Taylor-Fletcher moved to Huddersfield Town and after netting 15 times in the regular season and assisting the Terriers into the League Division 2 top six, he suffered play-off disappointment for a third season running as Huddersfield lost the semi-final to Barnsley. He remained a first team regular for the 2006/07 season, scoring 11 goals and netting his first career hattrick in an August 2005 League Cup tie against Chesterfield.
In July 2007 Taylor-Fletcher was signed by Blackpool, who under manager Simon Grayson had just been promoted to the Championship. He was a first team regular for six seasons at Bloomfield Road under the tenure of both Grayson and his successor Ian Holloway, who in 2010 piloted the Tangerines to the top six in the Championship – after three failures in the end-of-season play-offs, Taylor-Fletcher finally contributed a goal in a Play-Off Final victory over Cardiff City and became a Premier League footballer. Gary scored six times in 31 Premier League appearances during 2010/11 season – including goals against both Manchester sides, Liverpool and Arsenal – as Blackpool impressed with their all-action style before being relegated in May 2011. Gary stayed with Blackpool for two more years as they returned to the Championship, when he left in 2013 he had scored 38 goals in 234 appearances.
Taylor-Fletcher signed for divisional rivals Leicester City in September 2013 and in his first season he was used almost exclusively as impact substitute as the Foxes won the Championship title. With Leicester back in the Premier League Taylor-Fletcher made just one further top flight appearance in 2014/15 season, against Chelsea in August 2014, and had loan spells at Championship sides Sheffield Wednesday and Millwall.
Released by Leicester in the 2015 close season, Taylor-Fletcher joined Conference National side Tranmere Rovers in October 2015 and made 21 appearances before spending 2016/17 season at Accrington Stanley, where he made only six senior starts and scored his final senior goal in an October 2016 Football League Trophy tie against Chesterfield. Between March 2017 and May 2019 Gary spent time playing for Welsh Premier League sides Bangor City and Llandudno – between March and May 2017, then again between November 2018 and May 2019, he was Bangor’s player-manager. Taylor-Fletcher hung up his boots in 2019, between leaving Northwich Victoria for Hull City in March 2001 and signing for Bangor City exactly 16 years later he made 487 senior appearances and scored an impressive 101 senior goals.
Date/Place of Birth: 4 June 1981, Liverpool
Hull City First Game: 17 March 2001, Exeter City H (League Division 3), 19 years, 286 days old
Hull City Final Game: 5 May 2001, Carlisle United A (League Division 3), 19 years, 335 days old
Northwich Victoria (1999-2001), Hull City (2001, loan), Leyton Orient (2001-2003), Grays Athletic (2001-2002, loan), Dagenham & Redbridge (2002, loan), Dagenham & Redbridge (2002-2003, loan), Lincoln City (2003-2005), Huddersfield Town (2005-2007), Blackpool (2007-2013), Leicester City (2013-2015), Sheffield Wednesday (2014, loan), Millwall (2015, loan), Tranmere Rovers (2015-2016), Accrington Stanley (2016-2017), Bangor City (2017-2018), Llandudno (2018), Bangor City (2018-2019)
Hull City Record
Career: 5 apps, 0 goalsGary Taylor-Fletcher