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👤 89/90 player profile: Gary Elkins

Profiling the championship winning side on the 30th anniversary of the title

6 April 2020

April 28, 1990, remains one of the finest days in Exeter City's history as, on the back of an incredible home record, we secured our first title in our club's history. During this month we will be taking a look back - in alphabetical order - of the main players in that title winning side. This time we look at a reliable and versatile player who made 20 appearances during the title winning campaign.

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GARY ELKINS
DEFENDER/MIDFIELDER
89/90 LEAGUE APPEARANCES: FIVE

Gary Elkins was another one of the talented loan players, drafted in by Terry Cooper to provide experienced backup for his title winning squad.

The former England youth international began his career as an apprentice with Fulham, before signing a full professional contract for the London-based outfit in 1983. 

In seven years at Craven Cottage, Gary made 122 appearances in all competitions - scoring three times - but with his playing time becoming increasingly limited, Ray Lewington allowed Terry Cooper to bring him to the Park on loan in December 1989. 

Making his debut in the number eleven shirt against Aldershot at the Recreation Ground on Boxing Day, Gary went on to play in a the next four matches, including wins against Southend, Torquay, and Hartlepool. 

A 2-1 defeat to Doncater Rovers on January 21 proved to be his final appearance in a City shirt, although his experience was cited as a positive factor amongst the squad, as the club maintained its position at the top of the Division Four table. 

Following his spell with the Grecians, Gary also ended his long association with Fulham by signing for Wimbledon for a fee of £20,000, where he went on to make 100 appearances in the top flight of English football. 

That almost wasn’t the case though, as Steve Perryman is reported to have quit his job as the manager of Brentford, because the Bees chairman would not approve a move for Elkins in the summer of 1991. 

Ultimately, Gary stayed with the Dons until 1996, signing for Swindon Town for £100,000 in September 1996, where he remained for one season making 23 league outings, scoring one goal.

This article has been created using material from the Grecian Archive and ECFC Museum as part of the 'Celebrating our Heritage' programme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and supported by the University of Exeter. 


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