Howard Gayle

Howard Gayle

Football Biography
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Howard Gayle

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Howard Gayle (born 18 May 1958 in Toxteth, Liverpool) was the first black player to play for Liverpool.


He was at the club for six years but was only given a total of five first team matches, later playing for several clubs including Birmingham City and Sunderland. His finest hour for Liverpool came in the 1981 European Cup semi-final second leg away at Bayern Munich, and he was rewarded with a winners medal at the end of that season, as a non-playing substitute in the final. As an overage player, he helped England win the 1984 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship, in which he scored a goal in the final against Spain.

In the final stages of his career, he spent five years at Blackburn Rovers, signing for them in 1987 and being a regular striker in their quest for top flight football. However, by the time Blackburn were promoted in 1992 (to the newly created FA Premier League), Gayle had been left behind in the pecking order by expensively signed new players like Mike Newell and David Speedie, and with the arrival of national record signing Alan Shearer that summer, it was clear that Gayle had no future at Ewood Park. He joined Halifax Town in the newly created Division Three (formerly Fourth Division) but managed just five league appearances as they were relegated to the GM Vauxhall Conference. He then retired from football.

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