Speaking to podcast Joner 1 on 1, and in words per Wales Online, Gavin Rae opened up on some of his memories in football. Amongst memories of all-day drinking in Dublin’s Temple Bar and Robbie Fowler roller-skating down the street, he admits one regret – not joining Leeds United.
Rae started out in football with minnows Hermes FC and delivered enough potential to be snapped up by Dundee in 1996. After eight years, and 61 appearances (five goals/three assists) at the club, he moved to Glasgow giants Rangers in 2004.
His stay there was only two-and-a-half seasons before, after just 22 appearances, he left on a free transfer to Cardiff. It was in the principality that he made a name for himself. Across his four seasons with the Bluebirds he made 153 appearances (eight goals/10 assists).
With competition hotting up at Cardiff, youngsters like Aaron Ramsey and Peter Whittingham breaking through, Rae was left thinking about his future. When Joe Ledley started to come to prominence, Rae was offered the chance of a loan move to Elland Road.
It was an offer that he declined, citing having a young family and the travel to-and-fro as behind his reasoning. He reflects on this adding: “It’s probably my big regret actually.”
It was the terms of the proposal, with it being a loan offer, that preyed on his mind. IF the deal had been anything else, he said his mindset would have been different adding: “So, even if it was it was a one-year permanent deal, I would have gone.”
Now retired, it will be a case of ‘what might have been’ for Gavin Rae who, nonetheless, had a successful career in the game.