Gary Vincent Mabbutt MBE (born 23 August 1961) is an English former professional footballer who made more than 750 appearances playing for Bristol Rovers and Tottenham Hotspur, and won 16 caps for the England national team. He mostly played in central defence but was a versatile player who excelled also in midfield.
Mabbutt in 2009
|Full name||Gary Vincent Mabbutt|
|Date of birth||23 August 1961|
|Place of birth||Bristol, England|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
He became one of the best known defenders in English football in the 1980s, playing initially for Bristol Rovers before joining the first division club Tottenham Hotspur, where he became captain and won 16 caps for England, scoring against Yugoslavia in 1986.
With Spurs, he won the UEFA Cup in 1984 and the FA Cup in 1991 (as captain). In the 1987 FA Cup Final against Coventry City, Mabbutt had an eventful game where he scored Spurs' second goal to put them 2–1 up but, after Coventry had equalised to force extra time, he scored an own goal to give Coventry a 3–2 win. This incident lead to him being held as something of a folk hero at Coventry City, with a fanzine being named 'Gary Mabbutt's Knee'.
He suffered a broken leg on the opening day of the 1996–97 season and did not return until the following campaign, at the end of which he retired from playing after 16 years at White Hart Lane. By this stage, he was the club's second longest-serving player. His final appearance for the club came against Southampton on the last day of the 1997–98 season.
Mabbutt has type 1 diabetes, and became an icon for many children with the condition. He famously appeared on the BBC's children's television programme Blue Peter where he demonstrated injecting insulin into an orange to show how he dealt with his condition on a daily basis. In 2013, Mabbutt had surgery to save his left leg, following a bout of peripheral arterial disease, brought on by his diabetes. Following the surgery, he can no longer run or kick a ball.
He served as an ambassador for the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa. He is also working with the Deloitte Street Child World Cup, training and encouraging street children and ex-street children in football and for street children's rights in Durban, South Africa. This is run by the Amos Trust. He is currently an Ambassador for Tottenham Hotspur FC and the English Football Association, an Ambassador for the Prince's Trust and Patron of Diabetes UK.
In 2018, Mabbutt had part of his foot eaten by a rat. While on holiday with his daughter in the Kruger National Park, in South Africa, Mabbutt, who has little feeling in his feet, awoke to find a rat had eaten part of his foot and had bitten one toe to the bone. He was forced to fly back to the UK for surgery and spent a week in hospital.
- UEFA Cup: 1983–84
- FA Cup: 1990–91; runner-up: 1986–87
- FA Charity Shield: 1991 (shared)
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"Final, 2nd leg: Tottenham 1–1 Anderlecht: Overview". UEFA. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
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- Rollin, Jack, ed. (1992). Rothmans Football Yearbook 1992–93. London: Headline Publishing Group. p. 606. ISBN 978-0-7472-7905-1.