Gary Bailey

For the English cricketer, see Gary Bailey (cricketer).
Gary Bailey
Personal information
Full name Gary Richard Bailey
Date of birth (1958-08-09) 9 August 1958
Place of birth Ipswich, England
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1975 Cape Town City 0 (0)
1976–1979 Wits University
1978–1987 Manchester United 294 (0)
1988–1990 Kaizer Chiefs
National team
1979–1984 England U21 14 (0)
1985 England 2 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Gary Richard Bailey (born 9 August 1958) is a former footballer who made nearly 300 appearances in the Football League playing as a goalkeeper for Manchester United. Born in Ipswich, Suffolk, he grew up in South Africa, but went on to be capped twice for England.[1][2]


He grew up in South Africa and started his career with Wits University in Johannesburg. In the late 1970s, Bailey paid his own fare to Manchester for a trial with Manchester United.

He established himself as United goalkeeper in the late 1970s following the retirement of Alex Stepney, but in one of his first crucial games he missed a cross in the 1979 FA Cup final, allowing Alan Sunderland to score the winning goal for Arsenal with just seconds remaining. Despite this, he was considered to be one of the best goalkeepers in England in the early- to mid-1980s. During his time with Manchester United, Bailey won FA Cup medals in 1983 and 1985.

He represented the England national team twice at senior level, but was unable to establish himself in the first XI due to the form of the more-experienced Peter Shilton and Ray Clemence. He was first capped against the Republic of Ireland on 26 March 1985, with his other international appearance coming on 9 June that year against Mexico.[3]

However, he developed a serious knee injury during training at the 1986 FIFA World Cup[4] and missed most of the 1986–87 season, after which he retired and returned to South Africa where he subsequently resumed his career with Kaizer Chiefs, before retiring in 1990.[5] He was a well-known radio presenter on Talk Radio 702. Bailey is now a football presenter for Supersport's football coverage in South Africa. He was an ambassador in South Africa's successful bid to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup and does motivational speaking centred on increasing the benefits of that event.

Peter Schmeichel said on BBC Match of the Day 3 that Gary Bailey was his favourite goalkeeper of all time and he idolised him as a youngster growing up in Denmark.[6]

Personal life

He is the son of former Ipswich Town goalkeeper Roy Bailey.[7]


  1. "Gary Bailey". UK A–Z Transfers. Neil Brown. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  2. "Gary Bailey". Englandstats. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  3. 1986 FIFA World Cup: England Squad FIFA. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
  4. "Brief media CV of Gary Bailey". Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  5. "Match of the Day 3 - Peter Schmeichel's top keepers". Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  6. Hattenstone, Simon (23 May 2007). "Madness lies between the posts and in the family". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
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