Manchester City FC

Gary Fleming - Manchester City FC - Biography of his football career Man City.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 26 August 1989

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      Right Back
      Friday, 17 February 1967
      Londonderry, N. Ireland
  • Northern Ireland
  • Manchester City FC
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Wednesday, 23rd August 1989 as a sub in a 2-1 defeat at home to Southampton (Aged: 22)
    • Club Career
      13 League apps (+1 as sub), 0 goals
  • Nottingham Forest FC
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 13th April 1985 in a 1-1 draw at Arsenal (Aged: 18)
    • Club Career
      71 League apps (+3 as sub)

Gary FLEMING - Manchester City FC - Biography of his football career Man City.


 When Manchester City signed 22-year old Gary Fleming in August 1989 he already had plenty of First Division experience under his belt, having played 74 league games under the great Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest. After not figuring for Forest in the 1988/89 season City manager Mel Machin was then persuaded to part with £150, 000 for his signature as he looked to bolster his newly-promoted side on their return to the top-flight after a two-year absence.


He was born in Derry, Northern Ireland and made his City debut in the second game of the 1989/90 season when he came on as a substitute in a 2-1 home defeat to Southampton, being given his first start three days later in a 1-1 home draw with Tottenham Hotspur (the photo above is during the game) when the Blues claimed their first point of the new campaign thanks to a goal from David White. Although the team were struggling to come to terms with life at the top level Fleming made the number two shirt his own and the first league win eventually arrived in the fifth game with a 1-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers. However, by the time Manchester United came to Maine Road for the derby match in late September the club were in the bottom three and looking at a season-long fight for survival. Despite this the game turned out to be the highlight of the season and also of Fleming's short time with the club, a superb performance culminating in a 5-1 hammering of their local rivals as United's supporters turned on manager Alex Ferguson. A 3-1 home win over Luton Town a week later gave further cause for optimism, but it was to be a brief respite as the club's and Gary's fortunes would soon go into decline.


A 3-0 home win over Crystal Palace was the only league win over the next two months, during which time League Cup hopes were ended with a 1-0 home defeat to Coventry City in round four, and after a 1-1 draw at Charlton on November 25th left the Blues next-to-bottom of the table manager Machin was dismissed. The Charlton game would turn out to be Fleming's last for the club, having played in the previous thirteen, as Howard Kendall was appointed as new manager. He immediately made it clear that Gary had no part in his future plans when he signed right-back Alan Harper from Sheffield Wednesday, a player who had been with him in his old Everton days, and Fleming's days at the club were numbered. After a brief loan spell with Notts County he was finally sold to Second Division Barnsley for £85, 000 in March 1990, linking up once again with Machin who had taken over the reins at Oakwell after leaving Maine Road. During his brief spell with City he made 19 league and cup appearances (including 1 as a substitute) and also earned two of his thirty-one Northern Ireland international caps.


He remained with Barnsley for a further six years but was forced to retire from the game in 1996, aged just 29, due to a persistent knee injury, having never opened his goalscoring account in his entire professional career. He then decided to study to be a physiotherapist and four years later returned to his old club Nottingham Forest in that capacity. (David Redshaw)