Player profile

Howard Gayle

Birthdate: 18 May 1958
Birthplace: Toxteth, Liverpool, England
Other clubs: Fulham (loan 1980), Newcastle United (loan 1982), Birmingham City (1983-84), Sunderland (1984-86), Stoke City (1987), Blackburn Rovers (1987-92), Halifax Town (1992-93), Accrington Stanley (1993-94)
Bought from: Local
Signed for LFC: Joined 1974 - Professional November 1977
International caps: U-21 3/0 caps/goals
Liverpool debut: 04.10.1980
Last appearance: 19.05.1981
Debut goal: 25.04.1981
Last goal: 25.04.1981
Contract expiry: 06.01.1983
Win ratio: 40% W: 2 D: 2 L: 1
Games/goals ratio: 5
Honours: European Cup 1981
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 9 / 0
LFC league games/goals: 4 / 1
Total LFC games/goals: 5 / 1

Player profile

Toxteth-born Gayle's shining moment for his hometown club came when he ran Bayern Munich's defenders ragged in the second leg of the European Cup semi-final on 22 April 1981 at the Olympic Stadium. Kenny Dalglish limped off early on and Gayle impressed for an hour despite being repeatedly fouled before he was replaced by Jimmy Case for fear of he would get himself sent off for retaliation. It was a performance of astonishing maturity in such a big game from the young winger and his reward was to play in three of the final four League matches of the season before the European Cup final. With key players fit again, Gayle knew he would not make the starting line-up in Paris and had to settle for a place on the bench. Gayle had made his debut for Liverpool as a substitute for David Fairclough at Maine Road in October 1980 having signed professional forms with the club three years previously. He never added to the four first-team games he played for Liverpool in the 1980/81 season and spent most of time in the reserves where he scored 62 goals in 156 games. He will always be remembered for being the first black player who played for Liverpool, a really incredible fact considering the club had been in existence for 88 years! Gayle went on to have a successful career with other clubs, most notably Birmingham City, Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers. He even enjoyed a year in the Major Indoor Soccer League in 1986/87 with Dallas Sidekicks.

Gayle was often on the receiving end of racial abuse from opposing supporters as he explained in Dave Hill's book, "Out of His Skin": "I was spat at, there were monkey noises, and all sorts of racist abuse. It wasn’t pleasant, but sadly it was something I had become used to. From banana skins being thrown at me, to spit in the face at English grounds, to 70,000 Germans at Bayern Munich chanting and making the Nazi salute, it was sometimes horrific."

Appearances per season

SeasonLeagueFALCEuropeOtherTotal
Totals400105
1979-1980 000000
1980-1981 400105
1981-1982 000000
1982-1983 000000

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

TotalOpponent
2Manchester City
1Tottenham
1Bayern Munich
1Sunderland
Total Started/substitutions
3 Started
6 On the bench
2 Substitute
2 Substituted
TotalCompetition
4League
1European Cup

Goals per season

SeasonLeagueFALCEuropeOtherTotal
Totals100001
1979-1980 000000
1980-1981 100001
1981-1982 000000
1982-1983 000000

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

TotalStarted/substitutions
1Started
0Substitute
TotalCompetition
1League
TotalGoal minute period
01-15
116-30 minutes
031-45
046-60
061-75
076-90
091-120
TotalOpen play/Penalty
1Open play
0Penalty

Wartime Appearances / Goals

SeasonAppearancesGoals
No records to display.

Stats note

Gayle's time at Dallas Sidekicks (1986-87) was in the Major Indoor Soccer League and therefore not included in his other clubs.

Milestone Appearances

#DateAgainstStadiumCompetition
104.10.1980Manchester CityMaine RoadLeague

Milestone Goals

#MinuteDateAgainstStadiumCompetition
12525.04.1981TottenhamWhite Hart LaneLeague

Related Articles

Liverpool's First Ever Black Player

Interview by Jason McKoy on 6 September 2012.More

Related Quotes

The player was in the squad the following season

SeasonShirt #Position
1979-1980 * Striker
1980-1981 * Striker
1981-1982 * Striker
1982-1983 * Striker
* Note, Since the 1993-94 season players have been allocated a fixed number.

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