Season 1 Episode 9

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Gary Mabbutt, MBE, Football Legend

In this episode:

Widely regarded as one of football’s ‘nice guys’, with over 750 appearances including 11 years captaining Tottenham Hotspur, 16 caps for England, not half bad for someone who was told at age 17 that they’d never be able to pursue a career in football after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Dan and Phil are delighted to chat to the incredible Gary Mabbutt, his story and the work he is doing off the pitch, and most recently while shielding during this pandemic.

About this Wonderful Person:

Gary Vincent Mabbutt MBE, born in Bristol, is an English former professional footballer who made more than 750 appearances playing for Bristol Rovers and Tottenham Hotspur, and won 16 caps for the England national team. He was a versatile player who mostly played central defence but also excelled in midfield.

Despite being diagnosed at an early age with type 1 diabetes, he went on to play professional football, and later became Ambassador for the Prince’s Trust and Patron of Diabetes UK. Appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 1994 New Year Honours for services to football, he continued his professional career until 1998 when he retired.

His affinity with South Africa led to Gary serving as an ambassador for the 2010 World Cup Finals, held in South Africa. He works with Deloitte Street Child World Cup, training and encouraging street children and ex-street children in football and for street children’s rights in Durban, South Africa. He has been one of Spurs’ Global Club Ambassadors since 2010.

Before lockdown, Gary visited dementia workshops for the Sporting Memories Foundation. During his 12 week shielding period, he has been telephone calling vulnerable and elderly Spurs fans living on their own to chat. He aimed to call them on their birthdays or anniversaries to wish them well from himself and the club and give them some support during an isolating time.

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