Gary was born in Liverpool on 9th December 1970. He played for Stockport, Doncaster, Bury, Blackpool, Lincoln, Hull, Boston, Torquay, Chester, Halifax, Southport and Burscough. Gary rates having to retire with a heart scare as his worst moment in football, it was the hardest time of his life but he has come out of it feeling very proud of himself in the way he battled through it and got the all clear.
A whole-hearted person, Gary made a huge impression when he came to the club as a player at the end of the 2005/06 and is widely credited as being responsible for the club surviving in the Conference that season. He brought a vibrancy back to the dressing room and won unprecedented support from the fans.
Asking Gary about his management style, he responded by saying “the way I liked to be managed, work hard, respect, enjoy, listen and not to dictate.”
“I demand 100% commitment from the lads and have enjoyed working with a great group of players. The lads were very positive when I arrived and the support I have received from the club and the supporters has been excellent. The support at Nuneaton was unbelievable. To see so many people make the effort to travel down the M6 on a Friday night and the noise they made, made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. I feel players, supporters and everyone at the club is pulling in the same direction which is essential”
He rates Liam Watson, Warren Joyce and John Carroll as the best managers he has worked for. Since his appointment Gary won four and lost one, his first game in charge against Kettering. Only two goals were been conceded, both from set pieces and maybe surprisingly, given his own yellow card record we only picked up one card in those five games.
Originally appointed manager for those five games until the end of the
2007/08 season “The Brabinator” was given the job of leading the club into its thirty first season of Non League Football after narrowly missing out on play off glory through a penalty shoot out defeat.
At the club’s AGM on 3rd June, Brabin had been widely praised by shareholders and supporters alike, and was regarded much to his embarrassment as some form of cult hero. Chairman Charlie Clapham had been credited with making the appointment and Brabin in turn had been credited for the club retaining it’s full-time status, How the future remembers him however may not be as everyone once thought it would.
Brabin stunned everyone when he informed the club on his return from a short break on 22nd June 2008 that he had been approached regarding the vacant managers position at Cambridge United in the Conference Premier, leaving Southport without a manager less than two weeks before the start of pre-season, it was a shock to both the club and supporters. Brabs had already began to assemble a backroom staff and nobody had seen it coming.