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Gareth Ainsworth
Gareth Ainsworth.png
Personal information
Full name Gareth Ainsworth
Date of birth 10 May 1973 (1973-05-10) (age 36)
Place of birth Blackburn, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Right winger
Club information
Current club Queens Park Rangers
Number 26
Youth career
1989–1991 Blackburn Rovers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1992 Northwich Victoria 14 (4)
1991–1992 Preston North End 5 (0)
1992–1993 Cambridge United 4 (1)
1992–1993 Northwich Victoria (loan) 5 (0)
1992–1995 Preston North End 82 (12)
1995–1997 Lincoln City 83 (37)
1997–1998 Port Vale 55 (10)
1998–2003 Wimbledon 36 (6)
2002 Preston North End (loan) 5 (1)
2002–2003 Walsall (loan) 5 (1)
2003 Cardiff City 9 (0)
2003– Queens Park Rangers 141 (20)
2009 Wycombe Wanderers (loan) 2 (0)
Teams managed
2008 Queens Park Rangers (caretaker)
2009 Queens Park Rangers (caretaker)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 06:44, 28 November 2009 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Gareth Ainsworth (born 10 May 1973) is an English footballer who plays for Queens Park Rangers as a midfielder and has also been their caretaker manager on two separate occasions.


Playing career

Ainsworth started his career as a trainee with Blackburn Rovers but was not offered professional terms at the end of his two year training period and dropped into the Football Conference with Northwich Victoria, scoring his first goal in the 3-1 home victory over Cheltenham Town on 26 October 1991. His form attracted the attention of Preston North End and, in January 1992, they offered him a second chance at the professional game. Released at the end of the 1991-1992 season, Ainsworth joined Cambridge United under the management of John Beck who would go on to be a major influence in his career. Ainsworth had a spell on loan with former club Northwich Victoria, making his second debut for the Vics in the 2-1 home victory over Bromsgrove Rovers on 5 September 1992. Beck was sacked by Cambridge in October 1992 but swiftly appointed manager at Preston North End and in December returned to the Abbey Ground to sign Ainsworth. Ainsworth's second spell with Preston lasted three years. In 1995 he moved to Lincoln City. On 5 May 2007, Ainsworth was voted 4th in the club's top 100 legends.[1]

In 1997 he signed for Port Vale for a club record £500,000 fee. A year later, he moved to Premier League side Wimbledon in 1998 for a £2 m fee, again a club record. In his five years at Wimbledon he played irregularly, and had loans spells at former club Preston and Walsall. In 2003 he moved to Cardiff City on a short-term deal, where he played a role in the clubs promotion to the Football League Championship.

Ainsworth signed for Queens Park Rangers at the start of the 2003–04 season. In the opening game of the season Ainsworth scored 2 in a 5–0 win over Blackpool. This was followed up a few games later with two stunning goals against Rushden & Diamonds, one a volley from 35 yards, and another a powerful drive from the same distance.[2] QPR won promotion to the First Division at the end of the season.

Since then Ainsworth has struggled with injuries, but when fit has been a regular in the side. During the disappointing campaign of 2005–06 Ainsworth came second in the player of the year awards behind Danny Shittu, and finishing joint top scorer on 11 goals with Marc Nygaard.

During the 2006–07 season Ainsworth struggled with injuries. During the 2007–08 season assisted new manager Luigi De Canio, and has stated his intention to move into coaching once his player career is over.[3]

In May 2008 Ainsworth accepted a player coach role under new QPR boss Iain Dowie. Ainsworth is considered somewhat of a cult hero at QPR where he is nicknamed 'Wild Thing' due to his appearance and larger-than-life presence both on and off the pitch.[4].

On 20 November 2009 Ainsworth joined League One outfit Wycombe Wanderers on a month long loan.[5]

Management career

In October 2008 Ainsworth was appointed as caretaker manager of QPR, following the sacking of former boss Iain Dowie.[6 ] He remained on the club's coaching staff after Paulo Sousa was appointed as first-team coach the following month.[7] Following the sacking of Sousa on 9 April 2009, Ainsworth again took the role of caretaker manager.[8 ]


External links



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