Andy Gray (footballer, born 1955)

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Andrew Gray
Gray in 2004
Personal information
Full name Andrew Mullen Gray[1]
Date of birth (1955-11-30) 30 November 1955 (age 68)[1]
Place of birth Glasgow,[1] Scotland
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)[2]
Position(s) Striker
Youth career
1970–1973 Clydebank Strollers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1973–1975 Dundee United 62 (36)
1975–1979 Aston Villa 113 (54)
1979–1983 Wolverhampton Wanderers 133 (38)
1983–1985 Everton 49 (14)
1985–1987 Aston Villa 54 (5)
1987Notts County (loan) 4 (0)
1987–1988 West Bromwich Albion 35 (10)
1988–1989 Rangers 14 (5)
1989–1990 Cheltenham Town 20 (7)
Total 513 (185)
International career
1975–1985 Scotland[3] 20 (7)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Andrew Mullen Gray (born 30 November 1955) is a Scottish football broadcaster and former player.

He played for Dundee United, Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Everton, Aston Villa, Notts County (on loan), West Bromwich Albion, Rangers and Cheltenham Town. He won 20 caps for Scotland.

Gray was the lead football pundit for Sky Sports (since it began its broadcast of the Premier League in August 1992) and was the channel's co-commentator for nearly 19 years (often working alongside Martin Tyler) until his dismissal in January 2011, following multiple allegations of sexism. Gray, along with former Sky Sports anchor Richard Keys, then signed for talkSPORT in February 2011. They both now work for beIN Sports in Doha, Qatar; since June 2013 they have been the main presenters of Premier League and UEFA Champions League match broadcasts within the Middle East and North Africa region.[4]

Club career[edit]

Born in Glasgow and with a mother from the Isle of Lewis,[5] Gray started his professional career as a player with Dundee United, where he scored 36 goals in 62 appearances He also played for Dundee United in the 1974 Scottish Cup Final finishing on the losing side as Celtic ran out 3-0 winners.

In October 1975, at the age of 19, he moved south to Aston Villa (newly promoted to the First Division) for £110,000 and was joint winner of England's golden boot with Arsenal's Malcolm Macdonald in 1976–77. His 29 goals helped Villa to a fourth-place finish and victory in the League Cup, and earned him the PFA Young Player of the Year and PFA Players' Player of the Year awards, a double matched by Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009 and Gareth Bale in 2013. At the time he was the youngest player to earn the Players' Player of the Year award, and the first player to win more than one of the official three player of the year awards in the same season.[6]

Gray moved to Villa's local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers on 8th September 1979. His signing was announced to the fans and media prior to The Wolves kick off at home to Crystal Palace, as a pre match celebration at the Molineux for an English record transfer fee of £1.49m. After scoring the winning goal for Wolves in the 1980 League Cup final, he remained with the club through their relegation in 1982 (despite interest from Manchester United) and promotion a year later.[7][8]

Gray moved to Everton in November 1983 for £250,000. He spent two seasons with the Merseyside club, winning the FA Cup in May 1984. Gray scored in the final against Watford in controversial fashion by heading the ball out of the Watford's goalkeeper's hands.[9] A year later, he won the League Championship and European Cup Winners' Cup, also scoring in the final of the latter. He also reached another FA Cup final, but this time he was on the losing side as Everton were defeated by Manchester United. Then came the arrival of England striker Gary Lineker from Leicester City in the 1985 close season.[10] Despite angry petitions from Everton fans wanting to keep Gray at Goodison Park, he left the club on 10 July 1985, returning to Aston Villa in a £150,000 deal.[11]

Despite starting the decade on a high as league champions in 1981 and European Cup winners in 1982, Villa had now declined to mid table mediocrity and the return of Gray was unable to turn things around as his arrival at Everton had done. He scored five goals from 35 league games in 1985–86 as Villa narrowly avoided relegation to the Second Division, and the following season he didn't score in 19 league games as Villa fell into the Second Division. He began the 1987–88 season still with Villa, but was transferred to their local rivals West Bromwich Albion in September 1987 having not featured in a first team game for Villa that season. His spell at Albion lasted less than a year, and was uneventful as they narrowly avoided relegation from the Second Division.[12]

In mid-1988, he joined Rangers. He spent one season at Ibrox, helping them win the Scottish Premier Division title – the first of nine successive titles they would win.[13] He dropped into non-league football with Football Conference club Cheltenham Town in summer 1989, and scored his first goal for the club in a 2–0 home win over Chorley on 21 October 1989, before retiring in 1990.[14]

International career[edit]

Gray's Player of the Year accolades in England were surprisingly not enough to convince Scotland manager Ally MacLeod to select him for the 1978 World Cup squad. Gray won 20 caps for Scotland, scoring 7 goals for his country. He also won four caps at Under-23 level and played at schoolboy level. His full international debut came on 17 December 1975 in a 1–1 draw with Romania. He was not selected for any of Scotland's World Cup squads during his playing days. His final senior appearance for Scotland came on 28 May 1985 in a 1–0 win over Iceland in a 1986 World Cup qualifier. This had been his first cap for two years, despite him scoring twice in his penultimate appearance for the national side on 19 June 1983 in a 2–0 friendly win over Canada, and him excelling on the club level for Everton after his transfer to the Merseyside club later in 1983.[15]


After retiring as a player, Gray entered coaching as an assistant to Ron Atkinson at Aston Villa[16] before focusing full-time on his television work.

Commentary career[edit]

Gray appeared as a pundit on ITV's World Cup coverage in 1978 and during the mid-1980s he appeared fairly regularly on the BBC's coverage, including at the 1986 World Cup. Towards the end of his playing career, he worked as a pundit on STV in Scotland, where he worked alongside Andy Melvin, the producer who would eventually take him to Sky Sports.

After leaving coaching, Gray became a football commentator, pundit, and analyst on Sky Sports, serving as a Scottish facet of its Premier League coverage since its inception in 1992, most notably alongside studio anchor Richard Keys and lead match commentators Martin Tyler and Ian Darke. In addition, he reported for Sky from Euro 2004 in Portugal, although Sky did not have broadcast rights for the games. He commentated for BBC Radio 5 Live in the 2002 World Cup and for ESPN in Euro 2008. Gray also provides betting tips for Betfair,[17] and also provided commentary for the EA Sports's FIFA of video games along with Clive Tyldesley and Martin Tyler from FIFA 06 to FIFA 11, until being replaced in FIFA 12 by Sky Sports pundit Alan Smith.[18]

In January 2011, Gray was forced to apologise for comments he made about a female assistant referee, Sian Massey, in a Premier League match. Believing that his microphone was switched off, Gray commented to co-host Richard Keys: "Can you believe that? A female linesman. Women don't know the offside rule." Keys replied: "Course they don't." The comments were criticised by Sky Sports, football fans and the Football Association.[19] On 24 January it was announced that both Gray and Keys would be banned for one game.[20] On 25 January 2011, it was announced his contract was being terminated for unacceptable behaviour.[21] Barney Francis, Sky Sports' managing director, said Gray was dismissed "in response to new evidence of unacceptable and offensive behaviour in an off-air incident that took place in December 2010". The Daily Telegraph suggested that the Sky statement refers directly to a clip of Gray and Charlotte Jackson in rehearsals for the Sky Sports Christmas Special. While Jackson is attaching a microphone pack, Gray lifts his belt and says: "Charlotte, can you tuck this down here for me?"[22][23]

In late 2011 Keys and Gray appeared in Smash It!, a show designed for the corporate hospitality circuit. The title of the show came from sexual remarks that Keys had made to Jamie Redknapp.[24] An earlier theatre tour in 2011 had to be cancelled due to poor ticket sales.[25] He previously presented a Friday evening talkSPORT show with sidekick Richard Keys.

Since June 2013, both Andy Gray alongside Richard Keys have been presenting the Premier League football coverage on beIN Sports.[4]

Gray's former teammate at Everton, Peter Reid, suggested that Gray's dismissal may have been connected to a legal battle between Gray and the former title News of the World (both it and Sky were owned by News Corporation at the time) over phone-tapping.[26]

On 25 January 2014, Gray returned to commentating on British television on BT Sport for an FA Cup match between Stevenage and Everton. His appearance occurred three years to the day since his dismissal by Sky. He then commentated alongside Darren Fletcher for the Arsenal v Liverpool match in the next round.[27]

Personal life[edit]

Gray has been married to Rachel Lewis, a former model who was previously married to his long-time friend and agent Michael Lewis, since 10 February 2012.[28][29] Gray was previously married to Vanessa Taylor and Jacqueline Cherry, and also had relationships with Sara Matthews and Janet Trigg. Gray has five children.[30]

Gray is a supporter of former clubs Rangers FC and Everton FC.

Career statistics[edit]

International appearances[edit]

Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Scotland[31] 1975 1 0
1976 3 2
1978 2 1
1980 4 1
1981 4 0
1983 5 3
1985 1 0
Total 20 7

International goals[edit]

(NB scores and results list Scotland's goal tally first)

Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 8 September 1976 Hampden Park, Glasgow  Finland 4–0 6–0 Friendly
2 6–0
3 20 September 1978 Praterstadion, Vienna  Austria 2–3 2–3 ECQG2
4 26 March 1980 Hampden Park, Glasgow  Portugal 2–0 4–1 ECQG2
5 28 May 1983 Ninian Park, Cardiff  Wales 1–0 2–0 BHC
6 19 June 1983 Varsity Stadium, Toronto  Canada 1–0 2–0 Friendly
7 2–0


Aston Villa

Wolverhampton Wanderers




  1. ^ a b c "Andy Gray". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  2. ^ Dunk, Peter, ed. (1987). Rothmans Football Yearbook 1987–88. London: Queen Anne Press. p. 50. ISBN 978-0-356-14354-5.
  3. ^ "Andrew Gray". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmermann.
  4. ^ a b "Richard Keys and Andy Gray: What did they say on air to get sacked by Sky Sports? Controversy explained |". Retrieved 15 August 2021.
  5. ^ The Coodnaes, Scots Football Worldwide
  6. ^ Bishop, Rob (30 November 2018). "St Andy's Day". Aston Villa F.C. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Gray reflects on the original big deal". Retrieved 27 January 2023.
  8. ^ Wolverhampton-Nottigham Forest 1-0 League Cup Final 1979-80 HQ, retrieved 27 January 2023
  9. ^ Shaw, Phil (11 November 1997). "Football: Sherwood still haunted by Gray day at Wembley". The Independent. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  10. ^ "ToffeeWeb's Everton Hall of Fame: Gray, Andy". 7 December 2006. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  11. ^ "Football photographic encyclopedia, footballer, world cup, champions league, football championship, olympic games & hero images by". Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  12. ^ "Football photographic encyclopedia, footballer, world cup, champions league, football championship, olympic games & hero images by". Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  13. ^ "Andy Gray: After Dinner speaker". Champions (UK) plc. Archived from the original on 4 July 2006. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  14. ^ Chorley v. Cheltenham Town match programme, 18 November 1989
  15. ^ "gray, Andy M. – Scottish Caps 1975–85 – Scotland". Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  16. ^ Kendrick, Mat (11 October 2018). "This is our favourite Ron Atkinson story about Sir Doug Ellis". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  17. ^ "Andy Gray : Betfair Football". Archived from the original on 21 January 2010. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  18. ^ "GameSpot - /Xbox360/Sports/Fifa-soccer-12/News/6321811/Fifa-12-signs-ex-england-striker-alan-smith-as-new-commentator". Archived from the original on 16 July 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  19. ^ "Sky Sports pair criticised over female referee comments". BBC News. 23 January 2011. Archived from the original on 24 January 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  20. ^ Norrish, Mike (24 January 2011). "Andy Gray and Richard Keys suspended by Sky Sports over sexist comments". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 3 February 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  21. ^ "Sky Sports sack football pundit Andy Gray for his sexist comments". BBC News. 25 January 2011. Archived from the original on 26 January 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  22. ^ "Andy Gray sacked by Sky Sports following 'unacceptable behaviour' towards Charlotte Jackson". The Daily Telegraph. 25 January 2011. Archived from the original on 5 February 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  23. ^ Attenborough, Frederick (2014). "Jokes, pranks, blondes and banter: recontextualising sexism in the British print press". Journal of Gender Studies. Taylor & Francis. 23 (2): 137–154. doi:10.1080/09589236.2013.774269. S2CID 144338846. Pdf.
  24. ^ Hyde, Marina (15 December 2011). "Smash it! The reinvention of Andy Gray and Richard Keys". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  25. ^ Bill, Joe (26 October 2011). "Richard Keys and Andy Gray cancel Kent gig". Kent News. London. Archived from the original on 24 April 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  26. ^ "Andy Gray sacked by Sky for offensive behaviour". BBC News. 25 January 2011. Archived from the original on 26 January 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  27. ^ Rumsby, Ben (24 January 2014). "Andy Gray to return as commentator with BT Sport". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  28. ^ Gregory, Andrew (13 February 2012). "Match of the Gray: Shamed football pundit gets hitched for third time – to ex-wife of former best pal". Daily Mirror.
  29. ^ The Life Ring stars at a glittering celebrity golf day Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine The Life Ring, August 2006; accessed 4 October 2006
  30. ^ Exclusive: Randy Andy Rat It Again.. With Best Mate's Wife Archived 29 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine The People, 2 April 2006; accessed 4 October 2006
  31. ^ Andy Gray at the Scottish Football Association Edit this at Wikidata

External links[edit]