Gary Sprake, Welsh footballer, Died at 71

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Gareth Sprake was born on April 3, 1945, and died on October 18, 2016.

He was a Welsh professional footballer.

He was a goalkeeper.

Gary played for Leeds United and Birmingham City and also won 37 caps for Wales.

He became known during his career as a goalkeeper who was brilliant, but occasionally prone to appalling mistakes.

Spark spent more than a decade as the number 1 keeper at Leeds during a period when they were a dominant side in the English domestic game.

He had a back injury brought Sprake’s career to an end at the age of 30, resulting from a near fatal blood clot in his back which forced him to undergo spinal fusion surgery.

Gary subsequently kept his profile low, returning to his native Wales.

Gareth Sprake was offered £7,500 by the Daily Mirror to make allegations against former Leeds manager Don Revie and club captain regarding match-fixing, but refused to repeat the allegations under oath in court.

Then, Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Derek Dougan asserted that he heard no mention of the bribes.

After his retirement, Gary Sprake worked as a salesman for a short period before becoming a borough council training officer in Solihull, a job which he remained in for over 14 years.

Gary’s biography, Careless Hands: The Forgotten Truth of Gary Sprake (Tim Johnson & Stuart Sprake), was published in 2006.

During November 2009 Sprake was given an award by the Football Association of Wales for his contribution to Welsh football during the 1960s and 1970s.

Gary Sprake passed away at 71 years old.

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