Gareth Graham

*Indicates unconfirmed information. Figures in brackets after English team names indicate all appearances made and goals scored in competitive matches for Football League clubs from 1888 onwards. For Scottish League clubs the figures show details of all competitive appearances and goals scored from 1946/47 onwards.

Gareth Graham

Appearances: 27+7 Goals: 2

Date / Year of birth: 6th December 1978

Position: Midfielder

Season of first appearance: 2001/02

Season of last appearance: 2001/02

Also played for: Crystal Palace (0+1,0), Merthyr Tydfil, Brentford (5+9,0), Crawley Town, Woking, IBV Vestmannaeyjar (Iceland), Whyteleafe, AFC Wimbledon, Croydon Athletic, Cray Wanderers, Kingstonian, Leatherhead, Chertsey Town, Chipstead, Croydon, Merstham and Lingfield

Battling 5' 7" tall midfielder born in Belfast who started his career with Crystal Palace. Gareth first featured in the Eagles' youth side during 1995/96 and he was a member of the team that won the Southern Junior Floodlight Cup during the 1996/97 campaign. Gareth also made his reserve team debut that season.

He started to play regularly for Palace's reserves during the early part of the 1997/98 campaign but unfortunately Gareth suffered a broken leg in a Surrey Senior Cup match which curtailed his progress. After battling back to fitness he was loaned to Merthyr in December 1998 and after returning to Selhurst Park Gareth put himself into contention for a first team place. On 24.4.99 he made his senior debut when he played the last 13 minutes of a 2-1 defeat at Watford in Division 1 (later Championship) after coming on as a substitute. It turned out to be Gareth's only first team appearance for Palace.

In June 1999 he won his first cap for Northern Ireland's Under-21 side when he played in a 1-1 draw against Scotland and Gareth went on to win four more caps over the course of the next four months, the last of them in a 2-1 defeat in Finland on 8.10.99. By that time he was a Brentford player having joined the Bees the day before after impressing in the club's reserves during an initial loan period from Palace that had started in September 1999.

Gareth made his first team debut for Brentford as a substitute in a 1-0 defeat at Wigan on 18.12.99 and featured regularly for the remainder of the 1999/00 season. He finished the campaign having made 13 first team appearances (eight as sub). During 2000/01 he had a spell on loan at Crawley and only made one fleeting appearance as a substitute for Brentford - coming on in the 88th minute of a 2-2 draw with Luton on 3.5.01. He was released at the end of the season.

Gareth joined Conference club Woking on a non-contract basis in the summer of 2001 and at the end of September 2001 he moved to Margate. He told the Isle of Thanet Gazette "when Chris (Kinnear) called me up I jumped at the chance to come down to Margate."

Gareth made his debut in midfield as Margate beat Hayes 1-0 in a Conference game at Hartsdown Park on 2.10.01 and the Gazette said he "performed well...getting himself involved and winning plenty of ball in midfield". Gareth was a regular in the side for the next few months and the Thanet Times described him as being "tenacious and talented" in its report on a 3-0 win at Chester on 6.10.01. On 9.10.01 Gareth scored his first goal as he fired home a 57th minute winner to clinch a memorable 2-1 triumph at Yeovil. Having been a regular in Margate's midfield Gareth was switched to right-back for a 2-2 draw at Leigh on 8.12.01 and that was the start of a run of four games in the number two shirt. After a 2-1 home win over Farnborough on 5.1.02 the Thanet Times said Gareth was "improving" and manager Chris Kinnear told the paper that he "did well coming in from right-back, because we know it's not his natural position." After the Farnborough game Gareth was hampered by ankle injuries, picking up a problem with one before injuring the other whilst at work. As a result he didn't start any of Margate's next 12 matches although he did feature seven times as a substitute.

After a gap of over two months Gareth returned to the starting line-up when he played in a 2-1 win at Folkestone in the Kent Senior Cup on 19.3.02. The Isle of Thanet Gazette said he "had a good game in midfield, always seeming to be in the right place at the right time when the ball was loose". Gareth then started each of Margate's last 11 games of the 2001/02 season and usually played in midfield although he also played at right-back three times. The Isle of Thanet Gazette praised his "tireless work" in a 0-0 draw at Dover on 25.3.02 and the Thanet Times said Gareth was "lively" in a 1-1 draw at Northwich on 30.3.02. He scored his second goal in a 5-0 win over Ashford at Hartsdown Park in the Kent Senior Cup on 23.4.02 and the Gazette said Gareth's strike was a "contender for goal of the season". He turned his marker before delicately chipping the keeper from 20 yards out.

On 6.5.02 Gareth played as Margate lost 5-0 at home to Gravesend & Northfleet in the Kent Senior Cup Final and it turned out to be his last game for the club. In its end of season round-up the Isle of Thanet Gazette said Gareth had "obvious class" but after scoring twice in 34 appearances (seven as sub) he was released from his contract in June 2002. Gareth asked for his contract (which still had a year to run) to be cancelled as he had the opportunity to play in the top division of Icelandic football during the summer and couldn't do so whilst contracted to another club. Initially it was thought that Gareth would return to Margate in August 2002.

After spending a few months in Iceland with IBV Vestmannaeyjar Gareth returned to England in August 2002 as planned with the intention of returning to Margate and missed out on playing in the UEFA Cup to do so. He played in Margate's final pre-season friendly - a 2-1 win at Welling on 12.8.02 - and marked his return with a goal but unfortunately the club couldn't afford to sign him on again for the 2002/03 campaign so Gareth ended up joining Whyteleafe instead.

He had a trial at Hereford during the first half of the 2002/03 season and in January 2003 Gareth moved on to AFC Wimbledon having scored twice in 22 Isthmian League appearances (one as sub) for Whyteleafe.

He became a popular player at Wimbledon but Gareth was dogged by fitness problems and in October 2004 he was loaned back to Whyteleafe. He made four appearances there before returning to the Dons.

In July 2005 he was released by AFC Wimbledon and their manager Dave Anderson called Gareth his "soulmate". He told the Dons website "Ginge is from where I'm from - I actually played against his father when I was at Glentoran - and this was a horrible decision. My humour is his humour. We would have a joke in the dressing room, that no-one else would understand and we would fall about, and I am going to desperately miss that. I am not knocking his ability as a footballer - he's a great player. I hope he gets over his injuries and gets a run of games and that's what he needs desperately. He wants to play and if any manager asks about him then I have nothing but praise for his attitude and aptitude." Gareth had made a total of 42 appearances (16 as sub) for the Dons and scored three goals during his time with the club.

Immediately after leaving Wimbledon Gareth had a trial with Tooting & Mitcham but he was sent in his first game - a friendly against Harrow. Tooting's website said he "raised a hand and caught an opponent in the face after 55 minutes. It was a sending off offence but the Harrow player involved made a meal of it." Gareth didn't play again for Tooting and ended up returning to Whyteleafe for the start of the 2005/06 season proper.

He broke a bone in his foot in only his second outing for Whyteleafe but recovered to score twice in 19 Isthmian League games for the club before moving on to Croydon Athletic in March 2006.

On 18.3.06 Gareth scored from a direct free-kick on his debut for Athletic - a 2-2 draw at Cray - and he went on to make a total of eight appearances (two as sub) before the end of the 2005/06 campaign. He started 2006/07 with Croydon too and scored five goals from 19 Isthmian League appearances (three as sub) before linking up with Cray in January 2007.

Gareth made his debut for Cray as a substitute in a 1-0 win at Sittingbourne on 27.1.07 and played 20 times in the Isthmian League (four as sub) without scoring before the end of the 2006/07 season.

His next move took him to Kingstonian in the summer of 2007 but Gareth only made three appearances for the K's before going back to Croydon Athletic in October 2007.

He marked his return to Croydon by scoring in his first game back - a 2-2 draw at Maldon on 6.10.07 - and Gareth became Athletic's captain. He played 16 Isthmian League games and then left the club to join Leatherhead in January 2008.

Gareth went on to make a total of 16 appearances for Leatherhead in the Isthmian League Division 1 South and didn't score before switching to Combined Counties Premier League outfit Chertsey in November 2008.

In the summer of 2009 Gareth returned to Isthmian League football when he signed for Division 1 North club Chipstead and after scoring once in 14 league appearances (three as sub) he rejoined Whyteleafe in March 2010.

By the start of the 2010/11 campaign Gareth was the 'Leafe's player-coach and captain but a few weeks into the season he left the club and linked up with Combined Counties Premier League side Croydon.

At the end of March 2011 Gareth moved to Isthmian League Division 1 South club Merstham and made eight league appearances without scoring before the end of the 2010/11 campaign. He was still with the club at the start of 2011/12 and played ten times in the league (three as sub) without scoring but in November 2011 Gareth signed for Sussex County League club Lingfield where one of his team-mates was his former Margate colleague Mike Azzopardi.

He scored four goals from 22 outings for Lingfield before the end of the 2011/12 season and on 12.5.12 Gareth made a return to Margate when he played in Bill Edwards' testimonial match at Hartsdown Park.

Gareth was still with Lingfield during the 2013/14 campaign and made 32 appearances (two as sub) during that season, scoring twice.










2001/02 (MFC)

27 (53)








     Played in Kent Senior Cup Final (06.05.02 - lost 5-0 at home to Gravesend & Northfleet).