David Gray Player Profile
Debut: AFC Wimbledon (H, 3-1), 14/08/2012
David Gray, a right-sided defender capable of playing in midfield, was recruited by Stevenage manager Gary Smith in summer 2012. The signature was a somewhat ironic one, given that it was former Boro’ manager Graham Westley’s decision not to renew the player’s contract at Preston North End that made him available.
The Edinburgh-born full back started his career with Scottish Premier League side Hearts as a youth. But talent at an early age saw him move to Manchester United for £50,000 and Gray spent five years under contract at Old Trafford. However, most of this was spent on loan elsewhere.
Gray made his senior debut for United in the 2005/6 Carling Cup but first team opportunities were – perhaps understandably – scarce. A loan spell at Royal Antwerp in 2007 was curtailed by injury, while a temporary switch to Crewe Alexandra that same year was no more productive.
However, the defender was taken on loan twice by Plymouth Argyle in 2009 and gained some valuable Football League experience before his United contract came to an end in 2010; Preston North End of the Championship would be the player’s next permanent home.
Injury again struck during his time at Deepdale and restricted him to around 50 appearances – both starting and as a substitute – during his two-year stay. But Gary Smith was quick to swoop when he became available, and Gray became the latest addition to Boro’s new-look team.