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 Post subject: RANDOM NOTES ON OLD MANAGERS - GARY BROOK
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:21 am 
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Gary Brook was born in Dewsbury in 1964, he was on Huddersfield Town's books and played locally around Dewsbury before joining Ossett Albion in 1983. Albion were, like OTFC, in Division 1 North in the NCEL and Albion defeated 4 Premier Division clubs to win the League Cup. In 1984-85 both Ossett sides were in the short lived NCEL Division 1 Central, a bruising battle ground largely made up of Miners Welfare sides from the Yorkshire coalfield, no hold barred at this level. In 1985-86 NCEL scrapped the regional divisions and Albion went into Division 1 (we went into Division 2). In 1986-87, Albion were Division 1 champions with Gary scoring over 30 goals. Gary transferred to Frickley Athletic who had returned to the NPL from the Conference. Gary's form at Frickley came to the attention of Newport County and he signed for the Division 4 side in December 1987.

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 Post subject: Re: RANDOM NOTES ON OLD MANAGERS - GARY BROOK
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:41 am 
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Newport were bottom of the Football League and Gary made his debut on Boxing Day in a 2-4 defeat at Hereford United. Newport continued to struggle on and off the field and in March 1988, Neil Warnock, manager of Scarborough, signed Gary. Scarborough were in their first ever season in the Football League, Gary made his debut in a 0-1 defeat at Hartlepool United, other players at Scarborough that season with OTFC connections were Steve Richards, Tommy Graham, Ces Podd and Simon Lowe, also there was ex Albion keeper Ian Ironside.

In 1988-89, Scarborough knocked Division 2 Portsmouth out of the League Cup, then they drew with Southampton 2-2, losing 0-1 in the replay to a Matt Le Tissier goal. Warnock resigned to take over at Notts County and was replaced by former Sheffield United striker Colin Morris. Scarborough finished 5th but lost to Leyton Orient in the play offs. Gary was top scorer with 17 goals.

In 1989-90, Scarborough drew 1-1 at Chelsea and then won the replay 3-2. However, they lost in the next round at Oldham Athletic on their plastic pitch, 0-7. Frankie Bunn scoring 6. Gary then joined Blackpool, then managed by Jimmy Mullen, the former Sheffield Wednesday defender. Gary made his debut in a 0-3 defeat at Tranmere Rovers and his team mates included future England caps, Alan Wright and Trevor Sinclair. Blackpool reached the 5th round of the FA Cup, drawing with QPR twice before losing the replay 0-3. QPR had the likes of David Seaman, Ray Wilkins, Kenny Sansom, Paul Parker etc playing. However, Blackpool were relegated to Division 4.

For 1990-91, Blackpool replaced Mullen with former Northampton boss, Graham Carr. Gary started out in the first team, then joined Notts County on loan but only played in a 0-1 defeat to Middlesbrough. Returned to Blackpool, then back out on loan to Scarborough where he played 8 more games without scoring, again returning to Blackpool. Then in March 1991, Gary joined Kettering Town on loan but broke his leg on his debut at Stafford Rangers.

Billy Ayre replaced Graham Carr and Gary made two more first team appearances for Blackpool, his last game appropriately enough against Scarborough. Gary left Blackpool and returned to Frickley Athletic, where Ronnie Glavin was in charge.

In all, Gary played 15 games for Newport County, scoring 2 goals. At Scarborough (in both spells) he played 92 games and scored 21 goals. At Blackpool he played 39 games and scored 8 goals and then 1 game each for Notts County and Kettering Town.

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 Post subject: Re: RANDOM NOTES ON OLD MANAGERS - GARY BROOK
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:55 am 
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For the 1993-94 season, Gary joined Gainsborough Trinity, who were managed by Gary Simpson. When Simpson resigned in February 1994, Gainsborough appointed as joint managers Gary Brook and Ossett Town manager Ali Millar (Ali having been Glavin's assistant at Frickley the previous season). They might officially have been joint managers but anyone who knows those two would realise who the real boss was, and it wasn't the man from Glasgow. Gainsborough finished the season in 12th and then finished 1994-95 in 8th. Gary reverted back to being just a player for the 1995-96 when he joined Boston United under Mel Sterland. After a couple of months there, he signed for Halifax Town in the Conference.

Halifax were managed by John Bird and also at Halifax that season with OTFC connections were Jon Brown, Noel Horner and Michael Midwood. Gary made his debut v Dover Athletic and Halifax finished the season in 15th.

for 1996-97, Halifax replaced John Bird with former Runcorn boss John Carroll. Playing alongside Gary that season was Micky Norbury and Geoff Horsfield. It was a struggle all season for Halifax and former boss George Mulhall took over, they finished 19th, with Norbury hitting a hat trick v Stevenage Borough on the last day to avoid relegation.

For the 1997-98 season, Mulhall had former Newcastle defender Peter Jackson and then when he left, replaced him with another former Newcastle defender Brian Kilcline. With plenty of experience through out the team, such as Kieran O'Regan, Kevin Hulme and many others, Halifax stormed to the Conference title, Geoff Horsfield scoring over 30 goals as Halifax returned to the Football League. Gary's last game for Halifax was a 2-6 defeat at the end of season at Welling United. In all, Gary scored 22 goals in 80 games for Halifax Town.

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 Post subject: Re: RANDOM NOTES ON OLD MANAGERS - GARY BROOK
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:14 am 
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Apparently Gary turned down Accrington Stanley and Morecambe to join Ossett Town for the start of the 1998-99 season, I doubt very much we were paying him anymore than the two Lancashire giants would have done, but at the age of 34, Gary was starting a new career with the Prison Service and he was based at New Hall Prison, a female detention facility off the main road between Wakefield and Huddersfield, and because he was living in Dewsbury, playing for Ossett Town fitted in nicely with his new job.

We were unbeaten in the league from the start of the season until December. Problems began when the manager, Trevor Best had to miss some away matches to attend to problems at work. There was a lack of leadership and some of the players didn't have respect for the coaching staff, so we started to lose some games. Besty's work commitments were taking up his time and around Christmas, after a match with Pontefract Collieries, he did the honourable thing and tended his resignation, Firthy moved quickly and appointed Gary as the new manager. By this stage Ossett Albion under Gerry Quinn and North Ferriby United had started to catch us up at the top and it became a 3 way battle for promotion to the NPL. Besty had already brought in players like Chris Stabb and Matty Smithard, then Gary signed Craig Boardman, Shaun Constable and John Francis to add extra experience and quality. Albion overtook us and stayed at the top, Ferriby slipped away near the end and Albion clinched the title in the last game of the season at North Ferriby. I've mentioned before about the sense of disbelief around Ossett Town when we found on a bank holiday Monday just after Albion's win at Ferriby that Albion had been turned down for promotion and we were going up instead.

Gary obviously knew there was still a lot of work to get Ossett Town ready for the NPL. He brought in old hands like Simon Woodhead, some players from Halifax Town and also tried to get our reserves up to scratch, we had some good youngsters like Mark Lambert coming through, but the NCEL reserve division was of a poor standard and Gary switched our reserves to the Lancashire League. working with Gary were experience men like former Ossett Albion colleague Brian Crowther and former Ossett town player Mick Polli, both men had vast experience of local football, Crowther as manager of Horbury Town, Polli as manager of Ardsley Celtic, so we had one or two lads in from the county leagues. Add to that, the likes of Lindsay Dawson, Phil Thompson, Lloyd Fellows, Paul Watson, John Ogilvie etc all working with our reserves and juniors so we were trying to get the lads up and running for the NPL, which, as we soon realised, was no place for the faint of heart.

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 Post subject: Re: RANDOM NOTES ON OLD MANAGERS - GARY BROOK
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:26 am 
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all the results and final tables are elsewhere on the interweb, Gary proved himself as a manager and perhaps after the nonsense of our failure to win promotion in 2002 to largely our own failings off the field, maybe Gary should have walked away then on a high note, after all, his team had finished second to Harrogate Town. His own playing career had finished by then, through injury. Why Gary stayed on for the 2002-03 season I don't know. That season should really have seen us relegated back to the NCEL, but we dodged the bullet because no one from the Northern League came up. There was a fair amount of acrimony off the field and it would be fair to say there was no love lost between Gary and the committee. At one point there was even whispers of both parties threatening each other with legal action, but I've no idea what that was about.

Gary finally left in 2003. He later did some coaching with Rossendale United where he knew their manager Jim McCluskie. It was rumoured Gary was still playing in the local leagues around Dewsbury, I heard Overthorpe's name mentioned. Then he got the Bradford Park Avenue manager's job, but that didn't end well. I think Crowther went back to managing Horbury Town, but every now and again you would see Gary and Brian at Ossett Town games watching from near the new turnstiles. One day Gary and Firthy were seen shaking hands, immediately a rumour went around saying Gary was coming back as manager. That was a load of rubbish, it was just two hard men shaking hands and letting bygones be bygones.

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