Birthdate: 19 November 1965
Birthplace: Aigburth, Liverpool, England
Other clubs: Derby County (loan 1985), Hull City (loan 1986), Everton (1992-96), Sheffield United (loan 1996), Birmingham City (1996-99), Wycombe Wanderers (loan 1999), Blackpool (2000), Long Island Rough Riders (2000-01)
Bought from: Local
Signed for LFC: Joined October 1981 - Professional 19.11.1983
International caps: U-21 1/0
Liverpool debut: 20.12.1986
Last appearance: 01.01.1992
Debut goal: 18.04.1987
Last goal: 18.04.1987
Contract expiry: 13.01.1992
Win ratio: 53.74% W: 79 D: 38 L: 30
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 5 / 0
LFC league games/goals: 109 / 1
Total LFC games/goals: 147 / 1
A hard-working defender dedicated to Liverpool's cause who played either at left-back or centre-half. Ablett came through the ranks at Liverpool and made his debut for the reserves on 23 November 1982. Four years later the 21-year-old finally took his bow for the first team. Ablett made quite an impression on his senior home debut against Nottingham Forest on 18 April 1987 as the Times reported: "For one so young, Ablett produced a quite memorable display. He carried out his defensive duties with elegant poise and underlined his rich potential by scoring Liverpool's third goal after 68 minutes with a quite delightful volley." This turned out to be his only goal for Liverpool. A week later Ablett helped Ian Rush make local history as his pass led to Rushie equalling Dixie Dean's record of 19 goals in Merseyside derbies. Gary Gillespie and Barry Venison were first choice when the historic 1987/88 season started, but from end of January onwards Ablett played every game except one due to his rivals' injuries. As the following League season kicked off Ablett found himself again in the reserves, but soon enough Venison was on the sidelines and then Gillespie suffered a serious injury which kept him out for four months. After featuring in 49 matches in 1988/89 Ablett no doubt looked forward to the following campaign, but to his dismay he was considered second best to a number of players. Gillespie's rotten luck with injuries was to Ablett's benefit in 1990/91 and he started 30 games for the club. Ablett was in Souness' first eleven as the following season started, but after a dismal run of results that left Liverpool in ninth place he was booted out of the team and sold to Everton for £750,000 in January 1992.
Ablett wrote his name in the history books by becoming the only player to win the FA Cup at Liverpool and Everton when the Blues beat Manchester United in the 1995 final, having won the cup previously in 1989. Ablett went on to make 156 appearances for Everton in four years before establishing an excellent understanding with Steve Bruce in the middle of Birmingham's defence from 1996-1998. When Bruce left to become player-manager at Sheffield United, Ablett was appointed captain of the club. He finished his career in the unlikely venue of New York as a member of Long Island Rough Riders. Ablett spent a few years as coach at Everton's academy and in the summer of 2006 he returned to Liverpool as manager of the reserve team. It was unique that a player would cross the great divide from Reds to Blues and then back again and came as a great surprise to him. "Crossing Stanley Park is a very strange feeling. Although I'd always been a Liverpudlian all my thoughts and energies were suddenly focused on Everton and I wanted to prove Liverpool were wrong for letting me go. When I eventually hung up my boots and returned to England it was Everton who gave me my break on the coaching side and that's all I was concentrating on. I would never have dreamt that four years down the line I'd be crossing sides again." That appointment brought success as under Ablett's guidance Liverpool won the Premier Reserve League North in April 2008 and a month later became national champions by convincingly defeating the Southern champions Aston Villa 3-0 at Anfield. His second season in charge proved to be somewhat of an anti-climax and he was sacked as part of Rafa Benítez' rebuilding of the youth system at Liverpool in the summer of 2009. On 8 July 2009 Gary Ablett was named as the new manager of League One club
Stockport County who had a miserable 2009/10 season and were relegated back to League Two. Just over two months later it was announced that Ablett had left the club.
In the summer of 2010, Ablett was offered a way back into the game by Roy Keane at Ipswich Town, who wanted to add him to his coaching staff at Portman Road. Unfortunately, before he was really able to take up this new post in earnest, Ablett was rushed to hospital after being taken ill on the training ground. It was subsequently confirmed that the 44-year old was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma - the same form of cancer that ex-Arsenal midfielder David Rocastle died from in 2001. Only three days passed from diagnosis to the first session of chemotherapy so it was a massive shock to Gary and his family. Gary fought the disease bravely for 16 months: "I thought it can't be me, it just can't," he recollected. "I felt so strong - I had played for the best two teams in the world, coached for the best two teams in the world. It can't be me. But unfortunately it was. In terms of what I've been through with the different regimes of the chemotherapy, the blood transfusions, the platelet transfusions, eight radiotherapy sessions, the lumber punches and I had a bone marrow transplant in January 2011... the list can go on and on." Gary Ablett passed away on 1 January 2012 only 46 years of age.