Gary Owers

Where Are They Now: Gary Owers

by Ashley Houghton

Former Sunderland man now assisting at Plymouth.

Gary Owers made over 300 appearances for Sunderland in a spell that lasted more than eight years between 1986 and 1994.

A tenacious and fierce competitor, Owers graduated through the Sunderland youth ranks and went on to win a championship medal in his first season with the club.

However, he refers to the famous 2-0 play-off victory at St James’ Park in 1990 as his finest moment in a red and white shirt.

“I was so lucky to play for Sunderland during my career – I have some fantastic memories of the place,” he explained.

“The Newcastle game at St. James’ was the biggest game I played in – it was such a fierce local rivalry.

“We went there and nobody gave us a chance, so it was extra special.”

Owers went on to play for Bristol City, Notts County, Forest Green Rovers and Bath City before hanging his boots up in 2006.

He is now first-team coach at Plymouth Argyle, having previously held similar roles at Bristol City and Aldershot Town, where he was assistant manager.

And, he told he’s really passionate about passing his knowledge on to other players.

“Towards the end of my career I was coaching kids with disabilities and youngsters at professional clubs,” he added.

“I’m really enthusiastic about coaching and I’m obviously delighted to be helping John Sheridan out at Plymouth Argyle.

“I was also first-team coach at Bristol City and assistant manager at Aldershot Town.”

Owers has also tried his hand at management with Bath City and Forest Green – steering the latter to safety in the Conference in his first full year in charge.

And, Owers has not ruled out a return to management in the future, with the hopes his experiences with Forest Green and Bath will benefit him.

“I was manager of Forest Green, when they were the Forest Green who had no money, a hard-working chairman and were focused on development – not the fashionable Forest Green of today.

“It was perhaps too early for me to start managing, as I went in as player-coach at first and was just playing for fun towards the end of my career.”

He added that one regret in his career, so far, is that he’s never returned to Sunderland in some capacity.

“I think lots of players get to go back to their old clubs and work or play for a second time,” he explained.

“I never had that opportunity and it’s something I would love to do in the future, I have a special affection for the place and I feel I could be of benefit one day.

“Working for Plymouth, I couldn’t have moved further away!”