Gary Thomas Mulligan (born 23 April 1985) is an Irish footballer who plays as a forward for Southern Football League club Kettering Town.
Coming through the Wolverhampton Wanderers academy in 2004, and played on loan at Rushden & Diamonds, before he joined Sheffield United the following year. He did not make a first team appearance for the "Blades", and instead was loaned out to Port Vale and Gillingham. In 2006, he transferred to Gillingham on a permanent basis, where he remained for three years before joining Northampton Town. In 2010, he joined non-league Gateshead. He signed with Brackley Town in February 2012, and helped the club to the Southern League title in 2011–12. In 2015, he signed for Kettering Town via Dunstable Town, and helped Kettering to win the Southern League Division One Central title in 2014–15.
Born in Dublin, Mulligan played his youth football at Belvedere before moving on to Wolverhampton Wanderers, for whom he made only one appearance, as an 82nd minute substitute in the 1–1 draw with Burnley at Turf Moor on 21 August 2004. Wolves sent him on loan to Rushden & Diamonds in October that year. Mulligan made his debut for Diamonds, again as a substitute, in the 1–0 home defeat to Chester City, and made his first start, and scored his first goal, in their next match, a 1–1 draw away to Wycombe Wanderers. He scored three goals in twelve games for Rushden & Diamonds, but was released by his parent club at the end of the season.
Mulligan was signed by Sheffield United in July 2005. He only made two appearances for them in the League Cup as chances at Bramall Lane were limited. In the 2005–06 season he went on loan to Port Vale for a month, which was extended by four weeks in October, and again in November, scoring once (against Walsall) in twelve games.
In January, he joined Vale's League One rivals Gillingham. He spent a month on the sidelines with ligament damage, which at first was feared to be a broken leg. Following his recovery he was back in the Gills' first team and remained so until the end of the season. He scored one goal in thirteen appearances for the "Gills".
"The only thing missing from his game is goals and hopefully they will come."
His hard-working style had impressed Gillingham manager Ronnie Jepson and on 12 May 2006 he signed for Gillingham on a permanent basis. With 42 games to his credit in 2006–07, he was third in the club's player of the year voting behind Andrew Crofts and Mark Bentley. Following Mark Stimson's appointment in November 2007, Mulligan dropped out of first team plans as the Gills sunk to relegation in 2007–08. His five goals fell way short of the target of 15–20 he had set himself. He admitted he considered switching to another club, though eventually he decided to stick with the Kent club, agreeing a one-year deal in June 2008. He kicked off the 2008–09 season with a goal against Bournemouth, though did not believe this would mean a return in the first 11. Indeed, he scored just two goals in 31 games over the rest of the season, and he was released in the summer.
He joined Northampton Town on a one-year deal in July 2009.
"He has a first class attitude...a good pedigree...[and is] a team player, he works his socks off for the benefit of the team and he can stretch defences with his work rate and his ability to run the channels and create space and opportunities for others."
He was released by the club in May 2010, along with five other players.
In August 2010, Mulligan joined Gateshead on an initial five-month deal, making his debut against Kettering Town on 14 August. Mulligan scored his first goal for Gateshead on 21 August, away at Forest Green Rovers. On 23 December 2010, Gateshead extended Mulligan's contract until the end of the season. It was announced on 20 December 2011 that Mulligan would be released on 1 January 2012, at the end of his contract.
In February 2012, Mulligan joined Brackley Town. He made his debut on 21 February as a late substitute in a 2–1 win against Barwell. He played 12 games as the "Saints" won promotion was champions of the Southern League title in 2011–12. He helped the club to the Conference North play-off final at the end of the 2012–13 season, where they were beaten 1–0 by F.C. Halifax Town. He made 31 appearances in the 2013–14 campaign.
In February 2015 he signed with Southern Football League club Kettering Town after moving from Dunstable Town. The "Poppies" won promotion as champions of Division One Central in 2014–15 and finished sixth and then ninth in the Premier Division in 2015–16 and 2016–17.with Brackley Town
Southern Football League champion: 2011–12
with Kettering Town
Southern Football League Division One Central champion: 2014–15