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Posted by: Belfast Town, April 13, 2021, 7:47am
Very sad news about his wife, but a really interesting story about his career. Loved the bit about him signing a petition in a night club calling for Clough to be appointed Forest manager, only to be signed by him from non-league to win the European Cup four years later.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-9454839/amp/Garry-Birtles-EXCLUSIVE-INTERVIEW-lived-dream-Id-swap-wife-healthy.html?fbclid=IwAR1Mxog0oMqjR3NZxpCe37vL2IX46NzbB738Nw5gjyF9C24o6K8h_A0KUBc

Will always be a Town legend for me despite his brief career with us. UTFM
Posted by: marinerdazza, April 13, 2021, 8:07am; Reply: 1
One of my favourite Town players of all time. Absolute class.
Posted by: Humbercod, April 13, 2021, 12:50pm; Reply: 2
Always remember coming home from school one day and getting off the number 4 bus at fiveways, to see the the headlines on the  telegraph kiosk box ....Town sign ex England international.

The miserable seller wouldn’t let me have a quick read unless I was buying! so I remember sprinting home as fast as possible to find out through the old Ceefax it was Gary Birtles! Soon to also become one of my all time favourite players.
Posted by: devs, April 13, 2021, 1:43pm; Reply: 3
Class act on and off the pitch
As comfortable in back four as he was up top
Posted by: Garth, April 13, 2021, 1:52pm; Reply: 4
We were spoilt, not forgetting Futcher and Wymark
Posted by: promotion plaice, April 13, 2021, 1:54pm; Reply: 5
Quoted from Garth
We were spoilt, not forgetting Futcher and Wymark

And Chris Nicholl.

Posted by: WesternMariner, April 13, 2021, 2:12pm; Reply: 6
An absolute icon to me when I was a kid, never thought I’d see class like him playing for Town. Lovely fella, very humble possibly because he came up the hard way. I’m very sorry to hear of his troubles and hope him and his wife have some good peaceful days left together.
Posted by: TownSNAFU5, April 13, 2021, 2:17pm; Reply: 7
Brian Clough watched Birtles playing for Retford (think it was them).  He said the Oxo at half-time was better than Birtles.  Whether he believed this or not, he still bought him.
Posted by: mimma, April 13, 2021, 3:54pm; Reply: 8
In his book, Birtles tells of Cloughy going to watch him. Nerves got the better of him and he had an absolute stinker. Clough left before the end, so he thought that's the end of that dream then. Clough signed him, and when the ink had dried, Gary asked Clough why he signed him after that game. Clough told him the there was one moment in the game that persuaded him to sign him. Birtles can not remember any such moment in that game, that was the genius of Clough.
Posted by: Les Brechin, April 13, 2021, 4:01pm; Reply: 9
I doubt anyone there on the day will forget his hat-trick against Wrexham on the last day of the 89/90 season.

We were very lucky that we managed to get 2 full seasons from him.

Best wishes to Garry and his wife.
Posted by: toontown, April 13, 2021, 4:30pm; Reply: 10
Loved GB, his switches of play from one side to the other and the applause they always generated is what I remember - his class just shone through.

I want to echo what others have said about best wishes to him and his wife.
Posted by: Meza, April 13, 2021, 7:14pm; Reply: 11
Oh go on then

Tweet 1107350918939451393 will appear here...
Posted by: Meza, April 13, 2021, 7:17pm; Reply: 12
Would love to have seen highlights of his freekick against Coventry in the rumblelows cup.  I was stood on the bar right behind the goal and he curled it right in the top corner. I think we won the first leg 1-0 but lost 3-0 away (Drinkall was iinjured for the first leg).
Posted by: Knut Anders Fosters Voles, April 13, 2021, 7:28pm; Reply: 13
Quoted from Meza
Oh go on then

Tweet 1107350918939451393 will appear here...


I was fortunate enough to be a 7 year old in the Main Stand that day. The first two goals were superb. Minimal
backlift. Maximum goalgasm.  
Posted by: Meza, April 13, 2021, 7:34pm; Reply: 14


I was fortunate enough to be a 7 year old in the Main Stand that day. The first two goals were superb. Minimal
backlift. Maximum goalgasm.  


I always use to sit on the beam in lower findus on the half way line, always remembered a deep speaking guy shout every 5 mins lol.  I'll be honest i'm struggling to pick out 1 from that era, i loved them all, i can definately say i was spoilt as a 16/17 yo.  I cant find any footage unfortunately of his freekick vs Coventry as it was sublime.
Posted by: mimma, April 13, 2021, 7:59pm; Reply: 15
That Coventry game, was it the one where we won 3-1 at home, but lost 3-0 at Highfield Road. Kevin Drinkall hat trick after Rees had been sent off.
Posted by: Meza, April 13, 2021, 8:01pm; Reply: 16
Quoted from mimma
That Coventry game, was it the one where we won 3-1 at home, but lost 3-0 at Highfield Road. Kevin Drinkall hat trick after Rees had been sent off.


yeah, maybe i got the results the wrong way round, i think David Speedie played as well.
Posted by: Simon, April 13, 2021, 8:24pm; Reply: 17
Quoted from Meza


yeah, maybe i got the results the wrong way round, i think David Speedie played as well.


Pontoon singing "David Speedie shits his underpants" was funny as fook

Posted by: hampshiremariner, April 13, 2021, 8:52pm; Reply: 18
Agree with all the above. I wondered why Garry was not commentating anymore on televised matches. He was as good at commentating as he was a player. Top class.

Saddened to hear of his wife's diagnosis and wish her and Garry all the best.
Posted by: WesternMariner, April 13, 2021, 9:43pm; Reply: 19
Quoted from Meza


yeah, maybe i got the results the wrong way round, i think David Speedie played as well.


It was Speedie who got Rees sent off at Highfield Road. Remember it like it was yesterday, we took several thousand and outsang Coventry all night - I remember a huge chorus of “can you hear the City sing” and you really couldn’t.
Posted by: ginnywings, April 13, 2021, 11:06pm; Reply: 20
Quoted from mimma
That Coventry game, was it the one where we won 3-1 at home, but lost 3-0 at Highfield Road. Kevin Drinkall hat trick after Rees had been sent off.


Drinkell got 1. It was his debut.

https://www.11v11.com/matches/coventry-city-v-grimsby-town-04-october-1989-32065/

Hell of a forward line they had and Dave Smith was playing for them.
Posted by: Meza, April 13, 2021, 11:09pm; Reply: 21
Quoted from ginnywings


Drinkell got 1. It was his debut.

https://www.11v11.com/matches/coventry-city-v-grimsby-town-04-october-1989-32065/

Hell of a forward line they had and Dave Smith was playing for them.


So was Steve Livingstone

https://www.11v11.com/matches/grimsby-town-v-coventry-city-19-september-1989-32029/
Posted by: Grim up north, April 13, 2021, 11:31pm; Reply: 22
Was in the away end that night, sure it was an overhead kick from Drinkell in the first few minutes of his debut.
Great memories of Birtles. We were in Preston for the first game of the season and arrived early at the Tickled Trout pub with a big car park outside already rammed with lads and Birtles pulled out in his Merc, think his plate was GB1 , everyone went mad as it was like the arrival of the Messiah and he was grinning from ear to ear.
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