Gary Andrew Pallister (born 30 June 1965) is an English former professional footballer and sports television pundit.
As a player, he was a defender from 1984 to 2001 and is most noted for his nine-year spell at Manchester United from 1989 until 1998. He also played for Middlesbrough and Darlington and was capped 22 times by England between 1988 and 1996.
Although born in Ramsgate, Kent, Pallister grew up in Norton, County Durham and supported nearby Middlesbrough F.C. His footballing career started at non-league Billingham Town. At the age of 19 he joined his boyhood heroes Middlesbrough as a defender; making 156 League appearances over nearly five seasons, and helping them win promotion to the Football League
Pallister's transfer broke the national record for a fee paid for a defender, as well as being the highest fee between British clubs, and the second highest fee to be paid by a British club (second only to Ian Rush's return to Liverpool from Juventus a year earlier).
Pallister had the rare achievement of representing the English national side before appearing in the top flight; in 1988 when playing in the Second Division for Middlesbrough. Later that year he helped 'Boro win their second successive promotion and reach the First Division, just two years after they almost went out of business, but was unable to keep them there and they were relegated on the final day of the 1988–89 season. As one of the highest regarded defenders in England, his days at Ayresome Park were looking numbered as soon as Boro were relegated but he did begin the 1989–90 season still at the club in the Second Division before his move to United was completed.
Although it was his excellent defensive displays that helped Manchester United to the league title along with Steve Bruce at the heart of the defence, forming one of the best central defensive partnerships in the club's history, in the 1992–93 season, he scored a memorable goal in the final home game of the season against Blackburn Rovers. Into stoppage time, with his team winning 2–1, he stepped up to drive a free-kick into the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty area. It was his first goal of the season and just about summed up an incredible season for Manchester United. He partnered Bruce in central defence for virtually every game until Bruce left United to join Birmingham City on a free transfer at the end of the 1995–96 season. The following campaign saw Pallister partnered with either Bruce's former understudy David May or with new signing Ronny Johnsen, and ended with United winning their fourth league title in five seasons. A highlight of this season for Pallister was scoring twice in a 3-1 win against Liverpool at Anfield.
During his time at Manchester United, Pallister won the FA Cup in 1990, 1994 and 1996, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1991, the Football League Cup in 1992 and Premier League titles in 1993, 1994, 1996 and 1997, amongst other honours. He was also part of the team that came second in the league in 1992, 1995 and 1998, as well as the team that finished runners-up in the League Cup in 1991 and 1994 and the FA Cup in 1995. By the time of his departure from Old Trafford after nine years, he was the only player to have collected winner's medals in all of the club's successes under Alex Ferguson's management, and second only to Brian McClair (who left United at the same time) he was the club's longest serving player.
He also scored some crucial goals for United. He scored an equaliser in extra time against Crystal Palace in the 1994–95 FA Cup semi-final at Villa Park, forcing a replay which United won and in which Pallister made the scoresheet once again. In April 1997, he scored twice against Liverpool in a match billed the "title decider" which ended in a 3–1 United win at Anfield. These would be the last two goals he scored for the club, who went on to win their fourth league title in five seasons shortly afterwards. His first goal for United had come on 12 November 1989, as he scored their only goal in the 1–0 home win over Nottingham Forest in the First Division