At 38 years old, Gary Harkins has this physical status:
Gary Harkins (born 2 January 1985) is a Scottish professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Partick Thistle.
Harkins has also played for Blackburn Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Bury, Blackpool, Grimsby Town, Dundee (three spells), Kilmarnock, St Mirren, Oldham Athletic, Greenock Morton, and Queen of the South.
Harkins started out as a schoolboy with Celtic before joining Blackburn Rovers as a Youth footballer when he was sixteen years old. He was appointed as a youth at Ewood Park in August 2003, but he did not play a competitive first team game for the club because he was both an academy and reserve team. Harkins played for Huddersfield Town on loan until returning to Blackburn in June. Harkins was called up to play with the first team in a number of pre-season friendlies, with Hughes clearly seeing promise in his future as a central defender. Harkins came from Bury in February 2005, for whom he appeared five times in a month, and Blackpool loaned him for one month in November 2005, where he made six appearances, scoring two goals.
Harkins joined Grimsby Town on a free transfer in July 2006, fulfilling a two-year deal. He made his appearance in the club's 3–2 victory over Boston United on August 5th, and made 20 appearances in total for Grimsby in the 2006–07 season. The spell at Grimsby was an unhappy one, with reasons including homesickness and a falling-out with manager Alan Buckley (who joined the club in November 2006) and then, when the 2006–07 season ended, Buckley allowed Harkins to search for another club. Harkins was released by the club several weeks later.
Harkins signed a one-year deal with Scottish First Division club Partick Thistle in July 2007. Though he started out at Thistle as a defender, his move to midfield gave him a more offensive role. In the 2007–08 season, Harkins made 39 appearances, scoring three goals, and signed a one-year deal with the club in April 2008. I scored 11 goals in the 2008-09 season. With 11 goals from 40 appearances, he was nominated for the First Division's Player of the Year award; he had been named the Scottish Football League Player of the Month for February 2009. Harkins was granted a new deal with the club at the end of the season, but he reportedly turned down a deal that had been previously refused by Ian McCall.
Dundee has signed Harkins in July 2009 for a flat fee of £150,000 in future fees after a protracted campaign in which two bids fell flat, the whole effort came to an end. He made 42 appearances for Dundee in the 2009-2010 season, scoring 17 goals, and was nominated for Scotland's Player of the Year for the First Division. When Dundee defeated the 2009 Scottish Challenge Cup Final, he scored one of Dundee's goals.
Harkins was named captain by manager Gordon Chisholm after being given the armband. Harkins, who had been selected, said he would try his best to be a captain. In a difficult 2010–11 season for Dundee, the club was barred 25 points by the Scottish Football League in November 2010 after going into administration, he made further 38 appearances, scoring five goals. Harkins confessed that being in administration saw Dundee in administration was the worst day of his career. Harkins was nominated for SFL Player of the Year in the First Division at the end of the season.
Harkins left Dundee for an undisclosed fee in June 2011, owing to the option to leave the agreement before Dundee went into administration in the previous November. He made his first appearance for the Ayrshire team on July 24th in a 1–1 draw with Dundee United at Tannadice, scoring his first goal for the club against Queen of the South in the Scottish League Cup third round, just 90 seconds into the game. Kilmarnock won after defeating Celtic 1–0 on March 18th. After suffering from an ankle injury, Harkins found it difficult to replicate the shows before his move to Kilmarnock.
Harkins only scored two goals in the 2012-2013 season. During January 2013, it was announced that he could return to Dundee, but that manager Kenny Shiels had initially denied him, saying that Harkins was "one of the best players in the SPL."
Harkins had returned to Dundee as a result of an undisclosed fee on January 25, 2013. The two clubs decided that he would not play the following weekend at Dens Park as part of the agreement. Harkins' first game since signing on a permanent basis was on January 30, 2013 against Hearts. Then scored twice in a 2–0 victory against his former team on April 6, 2013, the last game of the season before it split; however, Dundee were later suspended after a draw with Aberdeen on May 5th 2013. Harkins said his future was uncertain after his relegation, and he soon announced that he did not want to play at the highest level, citing the club's inability to broker a change of ownership.
In June 2013, Harkins agreed to a two-year deal with St Mirren. In a 3–0 loss to Inverness Caledonian Thistle, his debut was the first game of the season. Harkins scored his first goal for the club against former club Kilmarnock in a 1–1 draw. Harkins scored his second goal in a 3–0 victory over Queen of the South, ensuring that St Mirren will advance to the fifth round of the Scottish Cup. He promised to keep his first team position after the match. Harkins' manager Danny Lennon had chastised him for not "working hard enough off the ball" to win at St Mirren just a few weeks ago.
Harkins joined Oldham Athletic on loan until the end of season 2013-14 after an unsuccessful spell at St Mirren. After coming back from 3–0 down at halftime, he scored his first goals for the team in a 5–4 victory over Peterborough. Harkins scored the first Oldham goal, bundling the ball into the back of the net after Jonson Clarke-Harris' knockout, and was later involved in all of Oldham's goals, scoring on the left hand side of the pitch, making it 4–4 in the final minutes and then having the final say in the game, with Genseric Kusunga scoring in the 96th minute. Harkins deservedly gained man of the match for his efforts, and he has received numerous accolades post-match.
Harkins became a fan favourite during his time at the club. He had appeared in 24 appearances and scored 5 goals during his loan period and his return to his parent club. Harkins' loan spell at Oldham Athletic came to an end, St Mirren announced on June 27 that the midfielder's deal with the club had been terminated by mutual consent.
In June 2014, Harkins began a two-year contract with Dundee. In a pre-season friendly against Manchester City that Dundee defeated 2–0. Dundee defeated Kilmarnock 1–1 on 9 August 2014. He scored his first goal of his third spell at the club with a penalty. Harkins took a penalty but only for it to be saved by Paul Gallacher in a upcoming game against Partick Thistle on August 16, 2014; the game ended 1–1. Harkins scored two goals in two games against Aberdeen and Motherwell in October 2014; his goal against Motherwell went viral after he made a wrestling move on teammate Jim McAlister, which was welcomed by professional wrestler Randy Orton. In a 2–1 loss to Hamilton Academical on December 13, the Harkins then received a red card for his second bookable play. In a 3–3 draw against Aberdeen on January 17, 2015, he scored his third goal of the season. Harkins sustained a shin injury that required him to miss one game and a knee injury that required him to miss eight games in the 2014-2015 season. Despite the injuries, he made thirty-one appearances and scored four times in all competitions.
Harkins had signed a two-year deal as a player/coach with newly promoted Scottish Championship club Ayr United, which was confirmed on August 12, 2016.
Harkins, who was released from his Ayr United contract after only a year, has since signed a one-year deal with Scottish Championship side Greenock Morton on June 7.
Harkins signed for Queen of the South, a one-year deal, on May 9, 2018. In a 2-1 home loss to Dundee United, he made his debut in a 2-1 loss. Harkins was released from his Doonhamers deal on December 24, after intimating that he no longer wanted to play for the club.
On December 27, 2018, three days after being the Queen of the South, Harkins signed for Partick Thistle for a second spell on an 18-month contract. In a 4-1 victory over Stenhousemuir in the quarter finals of the Scottish Challenge Cup, Harkins scored his first goal in his second spell with the Jags. Harkins was then released by Partick on January 29, 2020, and became a free agent.
Harkins dated February 2020 and signed with Stenhousemuir, a League Two team, until the end of the 2019/20 season. Harkins resigned from playing on Twitter on June 10, 2020.
Harkins returned to football just over three weeks after he announced his retirement after signing a new West of Scotland Football League contract.
Harkins was named as the first team coach for Scottish League Two team Forfar Athletic alongside boss and former Dundee teammate Gary Irvine, as well as being registered as a player.