Thursday, 2 December 2010
208 Gary Shelton
Position : Midfield
Played : 1993-94 (on loan from Bristol City)
Appearances : 3
Goals : 0
Gary was brought in on loan in February 1994 to cover one of Steve Doyle's suspensions. The 35-year old started out at Walsall making 24 appearances before an £80,000 move to Aston Villa in 1978. Gary struggled to get past the likes of Gordon Cowans for a first team place although he scored 7 goals in 19 appearances in 1978-79. He didn't appear at all when they won the title in 1981 (famously achieved while using only 14 players). The following season he joined Sheffield Wednesday for £50,000. This turned out well with Wednesday winning promotion two years later and Gary being a first team regular for five seasons. During this time he made an England squad but didn't get out on the pitch. In 1987 he joined Oxford for £150,000 but couldn't prevent them being relegated. After two seasons there he went to Bristol City in a swap deal for Steve McLaren in 1989. Although over 30 when he went there Gary had racked up 150 appearances and 24 goals before he came to us.
Despite being of similar vintage to Steve Doyle Gary couldn't have been more different, looking to set up attacks with every ball. A small, wiry player he still looked very fit and his class was obvious. I think everyone was disappointed that he didn't stay a bit longer.
Gary's last game was away at Chester and they signed him up when he became available in the summer. He soon became assistant-manager and although his appearances were sporadic after his first season he played 69 games for them scoring 6 goals. He had turned 40 by the time of his last two games for them in 1998. When Chester were relegated from the League in 1999 he joined the coaching staff at West Brom.