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Sheffield History

GARY BANNISTER

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GARY BANNISTER

The name Gary Bannister should stir fond memories within the owls fans community.

Gary Bannister is a former English professional footballer who played for Coventry City (two spells), Sheffield Wednesday, Queens Park Rangers, West Bromich Albion, Nottingham Forest, Stoke City, Lincoln City and Darlington. He had a long 17 year career lasting from 1978 to 1995 during which time he made 564 appearances in league and cup matches plus 42 as substitute. Bannister played as a striker, being just 5 foot 8 inches (170 cm) tall and weighing little over 11 stone (70 kg) he relied on his pace and skill to score 199 career goals in all competitions. He made one appearance for the England Under 21 team against Poland in April 1982. An oddity about Bannister is that he has one leg shorter than the other.

Gary was born in Warrington, Cheshire on July 22 1960, he joined Coventry City as an apprentice and graduated through their youth team to make his first team debut in May 1978, he made only 22 appearances, scoring three goals in over three years for Coventry City before moving to Sheffield Wednesday in a £100,000 deal in the summer of 1981. Bannister was a crowd favourite at Wednesday, he was top scorer in each of the three seasons he was there with 22 goals in each campaign. In his first season (1981-82) he was voted Player of the Year. In 1983-84 he formed a feared partnership with Imre Varadi, the pair scored 41 goals between them as Wednesday returned to the First Division for the first time in 14 years.

Bannister never played for Wednesday in Division One as he surprisingly left to join Queens Park Rangers as a replacement for Clive Allen in the summer of 1984. He enjoyed success at Q.P.R. relishing playing on their "plastic pitch" at Loftus Road. He made 168 appearances scoring 66 goals in his three and a half season with them before moving back to Coventry City in March 1988 in a £300,000 deal. His second spell at Coventry lasted two years and was not a great success as he scored 13 goals in 44 appearances before moving to West Bromich Albion for £250,000 in March 1990 where he stayed until the summer of 1992 making 66 appearances and scoring 19 goals.

Bannister’s latter years as a professional included spells at Oxford United (on loan), Nottingham Forest (where, partnering Nigel Clough, he was unable the stop the team being relegated from the Premier League), Stoke City, Lincoln City and Darlington before retiring at the end of the 1994-95 season. He also spent one year (1993-1994) playing for Hong Kong Rangers.

He now lives in St Ives, Cornwall where he is involved in the holiday accommodation business, he coached and played for Porthleven in the South Western Football League for several seasons.

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An absolute legend. I still know people who have his name on the back of their shirts.

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Kerry dixon had a girls name & a blonde mullet,but then again a lot of hair do's in that area of time in football were pretty sketchy,but that in its self would be a good debate who had the worst football hair cut

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A great player for Wednesday from a different age when as a fan you felt that players actually gave a toss. He was tremendous for Wednesday and played a huge part in our return to Division 1.

Is that picture from a night game at home agaiunst QPR.

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I liked Gary Bannister a lot

A good era for the club too - the sparks of something big about to happen...

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I went to Loftus Road when we played QPR on the day Carl Bradshaw made his debut for Wednesday on the plastic pitch and Bannister scored in only 13 seconds for QPR against us that day.

Anyone else remember that game??

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