Full Name: Michael Gray
Date of Birth: 3rd August 1974, Sunderland
Squad Number: 33
Internationals: 3 Caps for England (1999)
Signed: January 2004
Previous Clubs: Sunderland, Celtic (Loan) & Leeds United (loan from Rovers)
Michael Gray was briefly with Manchester United as a youngster starting life as a left winger but was successfully converted into an attacking full back.
Gray’s time at Old Trafford was short but he was soon be snapped up by his local side Sunderland with whom he came through the youth set-up. The long serving Sunderland full-back’s career started shortly after his 18th birthday in 1992 although he had to wait a few years to become a regular and one of first name penned onto the team sheet.
His consistency with Sunderland both defensively and attacking wise earned him his opportunity with England under Kevin Keegan. Two substitute appearances were topped by a third cap this time starting the game with Bulgaria in the summer of 1999. Injury saw Gray lose his England place and along with Keegan’s departure and the emergence of others; despite continued quality performances Gray was no longer part of the national set-up.
Gray signed for Rovers in 2004 on a free transfer from Sunderland in January 2004 after an unsuccessful four month loan spell in Scotland with Celtic where he only managed 7 first team appearances.
Despite some impressive early performances under Graeme Souness his Ewood career, much like Andy Todd’s appeared to be short lived as he was loaned out to Leeds United for he remainder of the 2004-2005 season.
Given his chance under Hughes during the 2005-2006 season Gray took it with both hands making the left back spot his own before signing a new deal in the summer of 2006.
With Brett Emerton playing the 2006-2007 season as right-back, seeing Lucas Neill switched to left-back injury and lack of opportunity had seen Gray’s first team chances limited although when he did come back in for an extended run in November he had some very good games. Gray would have felt he would have had a strong claim to replace Neill when he left, however Stephen Warnock and Bruno Berner have arrived so his days seem numbered.
Blackburn Rovers appearances and goals up to the start of the 2006-2007 Season
FA Cup: 1
League Cup: 6
Other (European etc.): 0
TOTAL: 60 – 0 goals
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Player Profile: Michael Gray
Full Name: Michael Gray