Pierce was born on the 2nd March 1951 in Bury and played as a junior
for both his home town club and Bolton Wanderers before signing for
Mossley as a 19 year old in October 1970 when he replaced the twice
retired Malcolm Harding in the Mossley goal. He made his debut for the
Lilywhites with a nervous display in a 5-3 win at Hyde United on 31st
October 1970 and was rarely tested in the next two games, 4-1 and 5-1
wins over Oswestry Town and Burscough respectively, but then kept four
clean sheets in the next five games with some brilliant displays.
By now League scouts were flocking to watch him and in his most memorable
Mossley game—an FA Trophy tie at Hednesford, he made a string
of unbelievable saves as Mossley won 2-0. A performance that persuaded
First Division Huddersfield Town to up their interest. Three weeks later
and after just 12 games in a Mossley shirt he was transferred to the
Terriers for a bargain £2,250 fee. He made 23 first team appearances
for Huddersfield before being sold to Wolves for £40,000.
His greatest moment came in the 1974-75 Football League Cup Final at
Wembley Stadium when he gave an amazing ‘man of the match’
display on his 23rd birthday to help Wolves beat Manchester City 1-0.
He made 40 appearances for Wolves and had later spells with Barnsley
(81 appearances) and Blackpool (27 appearances) before returning to
non-league with Accrington Stanley.
It was a pleasant surprise when he re-signed for Mossley in the twilight
of his career in 1986 and he made 40 appearances for the Lilywhites
in the 1986-87 season before retiring from playing.
Gary had a later spell as manager of Netherfield (now Kendal Town) but
is now no longer involved in football.