Gary Mabbutt

Gary Mabbutt MBE

Mabbutt in 2009
Personal information
Full name Gary Vincent Mabbutt[1]
Date of birth (1961-08-23) 23 August 1961[1]
Place of birth Bristol, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[1]
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1979–1982 Bristol Rovers 131 (10)
1982–1998 Tottenham Hotspur 477 (27)
Total 608 (37)
National team
1982–1992 England 16 (1)
1982–1986 England U21 7 (2)
1984–1992 England B 9 (1)

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

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.[2][3] He was most regularly seen in central defence but was a versatile player who excelled also in midfield. His father is Ray Mabbutt and brother Kevin Mabbutt.


Mabbutt was born in Bristol.[1] He is best remembered for his 16-year spell at Tottenham Hotspur, where he played from 1982 until 1998, he was the club captain for 11 years from 1987 to 1998

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'.

Retirement from the club

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 2nd longest-serving player. His final appearance for the club came against Southampton on the last day of the 1997-98 season.[4]


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.[5] In 2013, Mabbutt had surgery to save his left leg, following a bout of peripheral arterial disease, brought on by his diabetes.[6] Following the surgery, he can no longer run or kick a ball.[6]

Another CBBC appearance came in the drama series The Queen's Nose, an adaptation of the book by Dick King-Smith. Mabbutt appeared in a cameo as himself, appearing in the nick of time to help save a children's football team from defeat.

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.


Tottenham Hotspur


  1. 1 2 3 4 Hugman, Barry J., ed. (1998). The 1998–99 Official PFA Footballers Factfile. Queen Anne Press. p. 185. ISBN 9781852915889.
  2. "Gary Mabbutt". UK A–Z Transfers. Neil Brown. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  3. "Gary Mabbutt". Celebrity Health - Gary Mabbutt. 6 February 2006. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  4. Lansley, Peter (10 May 1998). "Klinsmann takes bouquets on a day of farewells at Spurs". London: The Independent. Retrieved 13 April 2010.
  5. "Gary Mabbutt". Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  6. 1 2
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