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Gareth Ian "Gary" Ablett (born 19 November 1965) is an English former professional footballer. He played as a defender. He spent nine years with Liverpool, and went on to win the FA Cup with their city rivals Everton in 1995. He formerly was Liverpool F.C. Reserves manager, a position he left in May 2009. On 8 July 2009 he was announced as manager of League One side, Stockport County.

Playing career


Liverpoolmarker-born Ablett joined Liverpool F.C. as an apprentice upon leaving school in 1982.

He finally made his Liverpool debut on 20 December 1986 in a goalless league away draw with Charlton Athletic, when regular defenders Barry Venison and Mark Lawrenson were absent due to injury. He made five more appearances that season, scoring what would be his only goal for the club on 18 April 1997 in a 3–0 home league victory over Nottingham Forest.Alongside experienced players in defence, such as Gary Gillespie, Steve Nicol and skipper Alan Hansen, Ablett helped Liverpool win the League championship and reach the 1988 FA Cup Final. Ablett only collected a runners-up medal in the latter competition due to Liverpool's 1–0 defeat by Wimbledon.

In 1988–89, Liverpool made it to their second consecutive FA Cup final. This time they were successful, after a 3–2 victory over Merseyside rivals Everton. They lost the League title, however, to Arsenal with practically the last kick of the season. Ablett was now firmly established as the club's regular left back, missing just three league games that season.

Ablett flitted in and out of the squad over the next year, relegated in the pecking order following the arrival of Glenn Hysen and the progress of Steve Staunton and David Burrows. He was used more frequently as a central defender rather than left full-back after Hansen began suffering more with injuries. Eventually, he took the central role more often following the arrival of left back David Burrows from West Bromwich Albion and won the League again with Liverpool in 1990.


Kenny Dalglish resigned as Liverpool manager on 22 February 1991, and his successor, Graeme Souness, decided to sell Ablett for £750,000 to Everton in January 1992, after 147 appearances for the Reds. Ironically, his departure came at a time when he was getting more first team opportunities than he had done since the 1988-89 season. [97902]

He made his league debut for the Toffees on 19 January 1992 in a 1–1 draw with Nottingham Forest at Goodison Parkmarker.

Ablett won the FA Cup with Everton in 1995, becoming the only player to win the competition with both Merseyside teams. However, he lost his first team place to Andy Hinchcliffe in the 1995-96 season. [97903]

Later career

Ablett went on to make 128 league appearances and score five goals for Everton, and later went on to have a brief loan spell with Sheffield United before making a permanent move to Birmingham City for £390,000.

He was released by Birmingham manager Trevor Francis in 1999, and after short spells with Blackpool (under former Anfield team-mate Steve McMahon) and Wycombe Wanderers, he signed for American A-League side Long Island Rough Riders in June 2000. In February 2002, at the age of 36, Ablett was taken on trial by Grimsby Town.

Coaching career

In the summer of 2002, Ablett moved into coaching, taking up a post as the coach of Everton's under-17 side. He worked as part of the club's youth academy for several years until the summer of 2006, when he returned to his first club, taking the vacant job of Liverpool F.C. Reserves team coach, replacing Paco Herrera. The same career opportunities were not available at Everton with Andy Holden firmly established as reserve-team manager.

In April 2008, under Ablett's guidance, Liverpool's reserves were crowned champions of the Premier Reserve League North, and the following month they became national champions after a play-off final victory against Aston Villa's reserves. In July 2008 he completed his final UEFA coaching qualification by obtaining the UEFA Pro License.

Ablett's son, Frazer (born 1991), signed for Chester City in 2007 but is still an apprentice and has yet to play a competitive first-team game.

On the 28 May 2009, Liverpool announced that Ablett would be leaving his position as reserve team manager.

On 8 July 2009 Ablett was announced as the new Stockport County Manager.


  • 1987–88 – Division One championship
  • 1988–89 – FA Charity Shield winner
  • 1988–89 – FA Cup winner
  • 1989–90 – FA Charity Shield winner
  • 1989–90 – Division One championship
  • 1990–91 – FA Charity Shield winner (shared)

  • 1994–95 – FA Cup winner
  • 1995–96 – FA Charity Shield winner


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