Gary Roberts (footballer, born 1984)

Gareth Michael Roberts (born 18 March 1984) is an English professional football coach and former player, who is currently first-team coach at EFL League One side Ipswich Town.

Gary Roberts
Roberts playing for Ipswich Town in 2007
Personal information
Full name Gareth Michael Roberts[1]
Date of birth (1984-03-18) 18 March 1984 (age 37)
Place of birth Liverpool, England
Position(s) Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Ipswich Town (first-team coach)
Youth career
2000–2001 Liverpool
2001–2002 Denbigh Town
2002–2003 Bala Town
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003 Rhyl 2 (0)
2003–2004 Bangor City 22 (1)
2004–2005 Welshpool Town 20 (9)
2005–2007 Accrington Stanley 64 (23)
2006Ipswich Town (loan) 14 (2)
2007–2008 Ipswich Town 40 (2)
2008Crewe Alexandra (loan) 4 (0)
2008–2012 Huddersfield Town 162 (31)
2012–2013 Swindon Town 39 (4)
2013–2015 Chesterfield 74 (17)
2015–2017 Portsmouth 74 (17)
2017–2020 Wigan Athletic 54 (3)
2020–2021 Bala Town 4 (1)
2021 Accrington Stanley 2 (0)
Total 575 (110)
National team
2005–2006 England C 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 2 March 2021 (GMT)

Roberts has played in both the English football league system (playing in the Football League and Conference) as well as playing in the Welsh Premier League, and has played in all three divisions of the Football League. Roberts was capped four times for England C when playing at semi-professional level.

Club career

Early career

Born in Liverpool, Roberts begin his career with the Liverpool Academy but was dropped in 2001. He then went on to play for the youth teams at two Welsh clubs Denbigh Town and Bala Town. He then went on to play first team football for three Welsh clubs. Signing for Rhyl in 2003 where he played three times before moving on to Welsh Premier League side Bangor City where he played 22 times scoring once between 2003 and 2004. He then moving to Welshpool Town for the 2004–2005 season where he played 20 times scoring nine goals.

Accrington Stanley

Roberts signed for Conference National side Accrington Stanley in the second half of the 2004–05 season. He made his Stanley debut in their 2–1 home win over Morecambe on 19 March 2005. His first goal for them came in their 2–2 home draw with York City on 28 March 2005.

He made his first start of the 2005–06 season in their 1–0 home victory over Canvey Island on the opening day of the season. Roberts scored his first goal of the 2005–06 season in Stanley's 4–2 win over Crawley Town on 17 September 2005. Roberts was part of the Accrington Stanley side that won the 2005–06 Conference National Championship after playing 42 league games scoring 13 goals.

Roberts played his first game of the 2006–07 season for Stanley in on the opening day of the season in Stanley's 2–0 away defeat to Chester City. His first goal of the season came in their 1–1 home draw with Rochdale on 26 August 2006. Roberts was then loaned out to Football League Championship side Ipswich Town, after making 14 league appearances and scoring eight times for Stanley in the 2006–07 season. The loan move was made permanent in the January transfer window of the same season.

Ipswich Town

He moved to Ipswich Town on loan from Accrington Stanley in October 2006. He made his debut in 3–2 loss at home to Preston North End on 17 October 2006. He scored his first goal for Ipswich against Derby County in November 2006. He played 14 times scoring two goals during his loan spell there, impressing enough to earn a permanent four-year deal with the club in January 2007.

He started the 2007–08 season with a goal in the 4–1 win over Sheffield Wednesday but seen lost his place in the side having to settle for coming on as a substitute of being left on the bench.

On 12 February 2008, Roberts joined League One side Crewe Alexandra on a one-month loan, joining another Gary Roberts at the club. He made his first appearances for the club in their 1–0 win over Leyton Orient on 12 February 2008. Roberts made four appearances for Crewe before returning to Ipswich in March. Roberts played an extra three matches for Ipswich before the end of the season, bringing his season total to 21 for the 2007–08 season with only 10 being start and 11 coming off the bench.

Roberts then left Ipswich in August 2008 to join League one side Huddersfield Town after making 44 appearances scoring four times in the league between 2006 and 2008.

Huddersfield Town

At the end of the 2007–08 season, Roberts was transfer listed and joined Huddersfield Town on 29 July 2008 for a fee of around £250,000.

2008–09 season

He along with five other players made his Huddersfield Town debut in the 1–1 draw against Stockport County at the Galpharm Stadium on 9 August 2008. On 12 August, he scored his first two goals in the 4–0 win against local rivals Bradford City in the first round of the League Cup to send Huddersfield through to the second round. His first league goal for Huddersfield was a consolation goal in their 3–1 defeat by Milton Keynes Dons on 23 August 2008.

On 25 April 2009, he won three awards at the club's Player of the Year Awards. He won the Best Goal for his goal against Hereford United in December, the Fan's Players of the Season and the Player's Player of the Season awards. As well as being top goal scorer with 11 goals in all competitions.

Roberts signed a new three-year deal with Huddersfield Town on 2 July 2009.[2]

2009–10 season

Roberts made his first start of the 2009–10 season in Huddersfield's 2–2 opening day draw away at Southend United, he scored his first goal of the 2009–10 season for the Terriers in their 7–1 home win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

Town won by a four or more goal margin on five occasion when Roberts scored in the 2009–10 season including a 7–1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion in August, a 4–0 win over Leyton Orient in October, two goals in Towns 6–1 FA Cup win over Dagenham & Redbridge in November, one week later in their 6–0 thumping of Wycombe Wanderers as well as in their 6–0 away win at Stockport County in April 2010.

Roberts was given a retrospective red card after Town's game with Bristol Rovers forcing him to miss the Terriers' next three games. He also scored an 85-minute equalizing goal over Huddersfield Town's local rivals Leeds United. He also retained his Fan's Player of the Season award as well as picking up the Blue & White Foundation Player of the Season award. Roberts finished the season with 45 games in all competitions for Town and scoring nine goals making him joint third with Anthony Pilkington in Huddersfield's top scores table for 2009–10 with seven of his goals coming in the league.

Roberts celebrates winning the play-off final with Huddersfield in 2012
2011–12 season

At the start of the 2011–12 season, Roberts rejected a new contract at the club, however he made his first appearance of the season on the opening day scoring in the 1–1 draw at home to Bury on 6 August 2011, with his second coming in the first round of the League Cup just three days later on 9 August 2011 in a 4–2 away win over Port Vale.

He left the club in June 2012, after not being offered a new contract by the manager, Simon Grayson.

Swindon Town

Roberts signed for Swindon Town on 18 June 2012 and was included in their pre-season tour of Italy. On 19 February 2013, during a game against Tranmere Rovers, Roberts scored a contender for goal of the season: a 70-yard strike lobbed over the Tranmere goalkeeper from Swindon's own half.


Roberts signed for League Two club Chesterfield on a three-year contract on 22 June 2013. Roberts scored his first goal for the Spireites during a 2–0 win over Cheltenham on his home debut, going on to become a popular figure among Chesterfield's fan base.[3] He also drew admiring glances from opposition managers, with Rochdale manager Keith Hill describing Roberts as "The best player in the league" after his goal and assist against 'the dale'. He continued his form throughout the month of August, scoring 3 goals in six games as Chesterfield climbed to the top of the table, which saw Roberts named League Two player of the month, along with manager Paul Cook.[4] Roberts received his first red card for the Spireites against arch-rivals Mansfield Town in a 1–0 defeat. Roberts returned from his suspension in the midst of Chesterfield's worst run of the season, four matches without a win, until he scored in the home victory against Daventry Town in a 2–0 FA Cup win. Roberts scored twice against Oxford United on 15 March, and later that evening travelled to London for the Football League Awards in which he won League Two Player of the Year, beating Scott Hogan and Sam Winnall to win the prize. After defeating Fleetwood Town over two legs in the Football League Trophy area final, Roberts had the chance to play at Wembley Stadium for the second time in three years, however the Spireites succumbed to and 3–1 defeat by Peterborough United.


On 17 June 2015 Roberts joined Portsmouth on a three-year deal, stating that manager Paul Cook, Roberts' manager at Chesterfield, was the main reason for him signing for the club.[5] On 22 August 2015, he scored a free kick and one further goal at home against Morecambe to rescue a point in a 3-3 comeback.[6] In the 2016–17 season he scored twice in the second home game of the season against Colchester, one of which was a penalty and the other which was a deft chip over the Colchester goalkeeper. On 8 August 2017, Roberts left the club by mutual consent, after winning the League Two title on the final day of the season.[7][8]

Wigan Athletic

On 29 August 2017, Roberts signed for League One side Wigan Athletic.[9] Wigan entered into contract talks with him at the end of the 2017–18 season.[10] On 9 November 2020 it was announced that Roberts had left Wigan Athletic after three seasons with the club. He blamed the club’s financial problems for his exit.[11]

Bala Town

On 27 November 2020, Roberts joined Cymru Premier side Bala Town.[12]

Accrington Stanley and retirement

On 4 January 2021, Roberts re-joined EFL League One side Accrington Stanley on a contract until the end of the season, 16 years after signing for them in 2005.[13] Roberts had already played for Wigan and Bala in the 2020–2021 season, usually meaning he wouldn't be able to sign for a third team as players can only play for two teams in one season – however FIFA changed the rules for that season to allow players to play for three teams, to alleviate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on football.[14] Roberts left the club by mutual consent in March 2021 to join former side Ipswich Town as first team coach, after which he retired from playing.[15]

Coaching career

Ipswich Town

In March 2021, Roberts returned to Ipswich Town as a first-team coach following the appointment of former manager Paul Cook.[16]

International career

Roberts has represented England as he was capped four times by the England C, the team which represents England at semi-professional level during his time at Accrington Stanley between 2005 and 2006. When he moved into the Football League he became ineligible to play for them.

Career statistics

As of match played 19 January 2021
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Other Total
Welshpool Town 2003–04[17] Welsh Premier League 120000000120
2004–05[18] Welsh Premier League 8900000089
Total 209000000209
Accrington Stanley 2004–05[18] Conference National 82000082
2005–06[19] Conference National 421333004516
2006–07[20] League Two 148002000168
Total 64233320006926
Ipswich Town 2006–07[20] Championship 3334000373
2007–08[21] Championship 2110010221
Total 544401000594
Crewe Alexandra (loan) 2007–08[21] League One 4000000040
Huddersfield Town 2008–09[22] League One 43910221[lower-alpha 1]04711
2009–10[23] League One 43732103[lower-alpha 2]0509
2010–11[24] League One 37943207[lower-alpha 3]05012
2011–12[25] League One 39610213[lower-alpha 4]0457
Total 16231957314019239
Swindon Town 2012–13[26] League One 39410202[lower-alpha 5]0444
Chesterfield 2013–14[27] League Two 401121104[lower-alpha 1]04712
2014–15[28] League One 34652102[lower-alpha 5]0428
Total 74177320608920
Portsmouth 2015–16[29] League Two 33732002[lower-alpha 6]13810
2016–17[30] League Two 41101000004210
Total 74174200218020
Wigan Athletic 2017–18[31] League One 271800000351
2018–19[32] Championship 1621010182
2019–20[33] Championship 900010100
2020–21[34] League One 2000100030
Total 543903000663
Bala Town 2020–21[35] Cymru Premier 4141
Accrington Stanley 2020–21[34] League One 201[lower-alpha 7]030
Career total 5511093713173241630126
  1. Appearance(s) in Football League Trophy
  2. One appearance in Football League Trophy, two appearances in League One play-offs
  3. Four appearances in Football League Trophy, three appearances in League One play-offs
  4. Two appearances in Football League Trophy, one appearance in League One play-offs
  5. Appearances in League One play-offs
  6. Appearances in League Two play-offs
  7. Appearance in EFL Trophy


Accrington Stanley

Huddersfield Town



Wigan Athletic



  1. "Notification of shirt numbers: Wigan Athletic" (PDF). English Football League. p. 76. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  2. "BBC SPORT - Football - My Club - H - Huddersfield - Roberts extends stay at Terriers". 2 July 2009.
  3. "Chesterfield sign ex-Swindon Town winger". BBC Sport. 22 June 2013. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  4. "Roberts named Player of the Month". The Football League. 6 September 2013. Archived from the original on 26 July 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  5. "Gary Roberts: Portsmouth sign Chesterfield winger". BBC Sport. 17 June 2015.
  6. "Portsmouth 3-3 Morecambe". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  7. "Gary Roberts:Portsmouth midfielder leaves club by mutual consent". BBC Sport. 8 August 2017. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  8. "WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS". Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  9. "Gary Roberts on signing for Wigan Athletic". Wigan Athletic FC. 29 August 2017. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  10. "Wigan Athletic in talks with five out-of-contract players after League One title win". BBC Sport. 18 May 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  11. "Gary Roberts leaves Wigan Athletic after three seasons". BBC Sport. 9 November 2020. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  12. "Bala Town sign ex-Wigan midfielder Gary Roberts". BBC Sport. 27 November 2020. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  13. "Gary Roberts: Accrington Stanley re-sign veteran winger". BBC Sport. 4 January 2021. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  14. ESPN: "Coronavirus: FIFA allows players on three clubs in a season"
  15. "Gary Roberts leaves Accrington Stanley to reunite with Paul Cook at Ipswich Town as coach".
  16. "Robbo Returns". Ipswich Town F.C. 2 March 2021. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  17. "Games played by Gary Roberts in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  18. "Games played by Gary Roberts in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  19. "Games played by Gary Roberts in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  20. "Games played by Gary Roberts in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  21. "Games played by Gary Roberts in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  22. "Games played by Gary Roberts in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  23. "Games played by Gary Roberts in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  24. "Games played by Gary Roberts in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  25. "Games played by Gary Roberts in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  26. "Games played by Gary Roberts in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  27. "Games played by Gary Roberts in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  28. "Games played by Gary Roberts in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  29. "Games played by Gary Roberts in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  30. "Games played by Gary Roberts in 2016/2017". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  31. "Games played by Gary Roberts in 2017/2018". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  32. "Games played by Gary Roberts in 2018/2019". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  33. "Games played by Gary Roberts in 2019/2020". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  34. "Games played by Gary Roberts in 2020/2021". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  35. Soccerway: "G. ROBERTS"
  36. Woodcock, Ian (30 March 2014). "Chesterfield 1 Peterborough United 3". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  37. Anderson, John, ed. (2018). Football Yearbook 2018–2019. London: Headline Publishing Group. pp. 382–383. ISBN 978-1-4722-6106-9.
  38. "Huddersfield Town: Booth gets plaudits as Roberts takes Player of Year award". Yorkshire Live. 27 April 2009. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  39. "Roberts named Player of the Month". 6 September 2013.
  40. "Luis Suarez: Liverpool striker wins PFA Player of the Year award". BBC Sport. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  41. "Football League Awards 2014 winners". The Football League. 16 March 2014. Archived from the original on 21 March 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2014.