Player profile

Gary McAllister

Birthdate: 25 December 1964
Birthplace: Motherwell, Scotland
Other clubs: Motherwell (1981-85), Leicester City (1985-90), Leeds United (1990-96), Coventry City (1996-2000), Coventry City (2 / 2002-03)
Bought from: Free Transfer
Signed for LFC: Bosman, 01.07.2000
International debut: 25.04.1990 vs. East Germany
International caps: 57/5 (no caps at LFC) - 31.03.1999
Liverpool debut: 19.08.2000
Last appearance: 11.05.2002
Debut goal: 12.11.2000
Last goal: 09.10.2001
Contract expiry: 13.05.2002
Win ratio: 60.92% W: 53 D: 19 L: 15
Games/goals ratio: 9.67
Honours: FA Cup 2001; League Cup 2001; UEFA Cup 2001
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 24 / 3
LFC league games/goals: 55 / 5
Total LFC games/goals: 87 / 9

Player profile

Gary Mac joined Leeds in 1990 after starring for Leicester, having been linked with a move to Liverpool. McAllister, David Batty, Gordon Strachan and Gary Speed clicked in midfield and with Eric Cantona up front they created the nucleus of the championship-winning team in the 1991/92 season. McAllister was voted Leeds' Player of the Year in 1993/94, but two years later he was on his way to Coventry. Leeds didn't agree to McAllister's terms and Coventry benefitted. £3 million was considered a high fee for a 31-year-old, but then Coventry boss Gordon Strachan knew his old teammate wouldn't fail. McAllister became Coventry's captain and he even captained his national team for a while. In his final season at the Sky Blues, he was voted their best player. Few could believe Houllier's decision to sign McAllister in July 2000 at the age of 35, not least the man himself. "This is fairytale stuff for someone at my stage of life. It did surprise me when Liverpool came in for me," McAllister told the Echo. "Liverpool have got three cup competitions next season plus a tough Premiership campaign. The average age of their side last season was under 25, and that's very young indeed for a top-flight club. The manager explained that there was a need for some experience around the squad, an old head in the side. I've just had my best ever scoring tally in the Premiership with 13 last season, and I'm feeling as fit as ever. It's too early to say just how many games I will play, maybe people will be surprised."

Did McAllister rise up to the challenge! He wasn't a regular starter until the second part of the season when he led by example as Liverpool marched through all three cup competitions. He ensured his name would be in Liverpool folklore when Everton and Liverpool were heading for a 2-2 draw in the League at Goodison Park on 16 April 2001. McAllister prepared to take a free-kick 44 yards out in stoppage-time. Paul Gerrard in the Everton goal expected a cross but McAllister had other ideas and hit a dipping shot into the bottom right-hand corner, 3-2 and delirium for Reds inside the stadium. McAllister was rightly proud of his fantastic goal. "Just a moment of inspiration I just went for it and it just managed to creep in the bottom corner. It just manages to miss a couple on the 18 yard line a few of the Everton players who could have got a head on it. I think they were taken a wee bit by surprise that I went for goal. I think it was even suggested that it was a fluke but no, I've got to tell you that I did mean it, I did mean it!" In the following game McAllister’s confident penalty past Barcelona’s Pepe Reina at Anfield guaranteed the Reds a place in the UEFA Cup final. He was pulling all the strings in the last third of Liverpool’s adventurous season, scoring in five consecutive games. Following his scoring exploits against the Blues and Barca McAllister scored from the penalty spot in a 3-1 win over Tottenham, a beauty of a free-kick defeated his former club Coventry, and another exquisite free-kick followed against Bradford City. No wonder fans still sing today about Gary Mac’s baldy head, his sweet right foot and numerous goals after signing on a free. These were exciting times for a Liverpool supporter. The League Cup, FA Cup and a UEFA Cup were won and McAllister was voted man of the match against Alaves in Dortmund, where he was involved in four of Liverpool's five goals.

McAllister was less influential in his second season at Anfield, mostly on the bench in the second part of the campaign. Liverpool made a decent title challenge but Arsenal couldn't be conquered. The Kop chanted tongue firmly in cheek "What a waste of money" as McAllister exited Anfield for the last time leaving behind a whole host of wonderful memories. He couldn't have wished for a better send-off. "I want to thank all the fans who gave me such a great ovation. They were immense. I thought I would get a decent reception but that surpassed all my wildest dreams," McAllister said. "That sort of ovation is normally reserved for players who have won European Cups for a club. It was nice to hear the Kop's humour at its best again when they were telling me to go back to Coventry." McAllister rejoined the Sky Blues as their player-manager in May 2002. Sadly, his wife Denise was diagnosed with terminal cancer and McAllister resigned from the club in January 2004 so that he could spend more time with his family. Denise, who married Gary in 1993, passed away in March 2006. After nearly four years out of the game, McAllister was lured back into football management by one of his former clubs, Leeds United, in January 2008. A popular choice with the Elland Road club's supporters, he took Leeds to the play-off final at Wembley but they were beaten by Doncaster Rovers. Things did not go well the following season and he was dismissed four days before Christmas 2008 after a bad run of results that included an embarrassing FA Cup exit to non-League Histon. McAllister joined Middlesbrough as first-team coach in May 2010. Four months later McAllister left his post at Boro to become Gérard Houllier's assistant manager at Aston Villa. When Houllier had to take a sick leave in April 2011 McAllister deputised for him until the end of the season, His last game in charge was a 1-0 home victory over Liverpool. When Alex McLeish took over as manager McAllister left Villa.

The 2000/01 season was one of the most memorable in McAllister's distinguished career. "There was a time when I went into training and we were off to Rome, then on a jet to Cardiff for the League Cup final, then Barcelona, then Portugal, then down to qualify for the Champions League at Charlton. That's what you come into football for, to be involved in the best games against the best players where there's a lot at stake. It was magic."

Appearances per season

SeasonLeagueFALCEuropeOtherTotal
Totals555620187
2000-2001 30559049
2001-2002 250111138

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

TotalOpponent
5Leeds United
5Arsenal
4Everton
4Leicester City
4Roma
4Ipswich Town
3Charlton Athletic
3Manchester United
3Derby
3Aston Villa
3Newcastle United
3Chelsea
3Barcelona
3Tottenham
2Fulham
2Bradford City
2Slovan Liberec
2Dynamo Kiev
2Boavista
2West Ham United
2Southampton
2Coventry City
2Middlesbrough
2Sunderland
2Olympiacos
1Wycombe
1Alaves
1Haka
1Stoke City
1Rotherham United
1Manchester City
1Blackburn Rovers
1Galatasaray
1Borussia Dortmund
1Grimsby Town
1Tranmere Rovers
1Crystal Palace
1Bayern Munich
1Bolton Wanderers
1Birmingham City
Total Started/substitutions
52 Started
20 On the bench
35 Substitute
13 Substituted

Goals per season

SeasonLeagueFALCEuropeOtherTotal
Totals501219
2000-2001 500207
2001-2002 001012

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

TotalStarted/substitutions
9Started
0Substitute
TotalGoal minute period
21-15 minutes
016-30
231-45 minutes
046-60
261-75 minutes
276-90 minutes
191-120 minutes
TotalOpen play/Penalty
4Open play
5Penalty

Wartime Appearances / Goals

SeasonAppearancesGoals
No records to display.

Stats note

Milestone Appearances

#DateAgainstStadiumCompetition
119.08.2000Bradford CityAnfieldLeague
5008.08.2001HakaOlympia StadionEurope

Milestone Goals

#MinuteDateAgainstStadiumCompetition
11212.11.2000Coventry CityAnfieldLeague

Related Articles

Four LFC Macs

Liverpool's first ever team was known as The team of the Macs back in 1892-93. John Martin picks out four other Macs from later in Liverpool's history. More

McAllister's promise to nurture stars of future

Liverpool Daily Post article on 26th May 2000.More

Reds take treble chance

Liverpoolfv.tv report on Liverpool - Alaves on 16.05.2001.More

McAllister leaves Coventry deep in the relegation mire

The Guardian report on Coventry - Liverpool on 28.04.2001.More

Liverpool's late larceny

The Guardian report on Everton - Liverpool on 16.04.2001. More

Liverpool Echo report

Liverpool Echo report on Arsenal - Liverpool on 21.08.2000.More

Heskey's twist of fate

Liverpool Echo report on Liverpool - Bradford on 19.08.2000. More

Houllier's recruits in 2000-2001

Liverpool's summer signings in 2000-2001 raised more than a few eyebrows.More

I should have scored even more goals

Gary McAllister insists in May 2001 he should have scored even more goals this season. More

Related Quotes

Gary McAllister reflects on his final appearance in a Liverpool jersey:

"I'll never forget today and I'll never forget how good the fans have been to me during my time at Anfield. I will never forget today and I want to thank all the fans who gave me such a great ovation. They were immense. I thought I would get a decent reception but that surpassed all my wildest dreams. That sort of ovation is normally reserved for players who have won European Cups for a club.

It was a brilliant day and it was nice to hear the Kop's humour at its best again when they were telling me to go back to Coventry."

Macca in May 2002

"Gary’s the best golfer in the team — a two handicapper. I’m having lessons to try to give him a proper challenge. We all wish he would do something about his footwear. He has four or five terrible pairs of two-tone shoes which look like they have been hired from a ten-pin bowling alley — yet he thinks they are the height of fashion."

Owen in 2001 on Gary Mac

"There was a time when I went into training and we were off to Rome, then on a jet to Cardiff for the League Cup final, then Barcelona, then Portugal, then down to qualify for the Champions League at Charlton. That's what you come into football for, to be involved in the best games against the best players where there's a lot at stake. It was magic."

Macca in 2004

Just a moment of inspiration I just went for it and it just managed to creep in the bottom corner, it just manages to miss a couple on the 18 yard line a few of the Everton players who could have got a head on it I think they were taken a wee bit by surprise that I went for goal, I think it was even suggested that it was a fluke but no, I´ve got to tell you that I did mean it, I did mean it!

Gary Mac on his spectacular free-kick 40 yards from goal deep into injury time in the Merseyside derby at Goodison

The player was in the squad the following season

SeasonShirt #Position
2000-2001 21 Midfielder
2001-2002 21 Midfielder
* Note, Since the 1993-94 season players have been allocated a fixed number.

Back