G is for Gyepes
After recovering from what threatened to be a career-ending injury that ruled him out for more than 18 months, Gábor Gyepes linked up with a familiar face at Northampton Town to reignite his playing career for both club and country.
The towering centre-half joined up with the Cobblers manager at the time, Stuart Gray, in January 2008, having worked together at Wolverhampton Wanderers – Gyepes’ first club in English football after moving from Hungary. But a ruptured cruciate knee ligament late in his first season at Molineux saw him lose his starting place and return to his homeland for an injury rehabilitation course a year later.
The road to recovery eventually paid dividends with Gyepes making 16 appearances in all competitions in the second half of the season for the Cobblers, helping his side finish ninth in the third tier – just 10 points shy of a play-off place in what remains their highest position in English football this millennium – before he signed for Cardiff City at the end of the campaign.
Gyepes spent four years in the Welsh capital, playing 74 times in domestic and cup competitions, before switching to successful Hungarian top-flight side Vasas. Prior to moving to England to sign for Wolves, the Budapest-born defender had progressed through the youth ranks at Ferencváros and went on to help the senior side win the Hungarian National Championship twice, as well as two Hungarian Cups, the Hungarian Super Cup, and a spot in the UEFA Champions League qualification stage as he clocked up more than 100 appearances.
In the 2012/13 season, he became a regular for Portsmouth in League One, before making his second return to Hungary. He subsequently played for four different clubs and made over 100 further career appearances, in addition to a brief spell in Malaysia with FA Sarawak.
On the international stage, Gyepes earned 26 caps, scoring once. His final appearances came during his time with Cardiff and included 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers – rewarding his patience and perseverance in climbing back up the football ladder.