Signed for a fee which amazingly could have risen to £2 million (depending on appearances), Gary Doherty was a player with a big future, according to David Pleat, who signed him from his old club Luton Town. Where that future lay was a matter of debate during his time at Tottenham, as at Luton Town, he played in the centre of defence as well as an out and out striker. It is thought that he will be played up front at Tottenham, although he has been playing in defence to cover for the injuries in that area of the team.
His youth career showed much promise with a place in the Republic of Ireland Under-18 side that won the European Championship in 1998 and then the Under-20 team that reached the quarter finals of the World Youth Championship in 1999.
Within a week of completing his move to White Hart Lane, he was making his full Republic of Ireland debut, coming on as a substitute in the friendly match against Greece at Lansdowne Road. He was still pretty raw, but David Pleat has obviously seen a lot of the player and believed that he can do a job for Spurs. His youth was another point in his favour, as it was hoped he would be a member of the new breed brought in by the Director of Football as the next wave of players who have broken through into the first team. Having had some experience at Luton, Doherty had become a regular in the squad or on the bench, especially being awarded the squad number 12 - first sub. Came on as a substitute against Manchester United on 6th May 2000 for his first appearance, having got permission from the opponents and the Premier League to play after deadline day (because there were no major issues to be influenced by the game).
Has moved into the squad in 2000-2001 and although he was offered the chance to go on loan, decided to work hard at getting it right in the reserves. Did that and was brought into the side in attack, but settled in defence. Shows a good awareness of where other players are (both his own and opponents) and is able to bring the ball out of defence with not a small amount of skill. Doubles as a forward and this option can be used when chasing a game, with him chipping in useful goals through the latter part 0f 2000-2001. He played a major part in helping Spurs' FA Cup cause in that season with a forward display that helped turn the game against Charlton Athletic and also added goals against Leyton Orient, West Ham United and Arsenal.
His 2001-02 season was blighted by the broken ankle he sustained in a League Cup tie against Torquay United, thus writing off most of that campaign. Returned at the end of that season briefly and then started the next term on the bench, but has been played up front with Teddy, as well as coming on in defence.
Doc suffered a mystery virus infection at the start of the 2003-04 season, which almost kept him out of the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2004 qualifiers, but he overcame this and rumours of a pre-season transfer to Cardiff City, to keep his place at Tottenham, albeit in the reserves defence. It seemed that Hoddle was willing to let him go, but with Pleat in temporary charge after the former's sacking, the man who signed him was unlikely to let him leave.
However, under the new management set-up, before the August 2004 transfer window was closed, he had gone to Norwich City for £1 million. Played regularly at Carrow Road, although the newly promoted team went straight back down to the Championship and have struggled to force their way into the promotion places since. His ability was always a matter for debate and when manager Glenn Roeder had a clear out at the end of the 2007-08 season, Doherty, surprisingly, was one of those who survived and took the captain's armband. Stayed with the Canaries when they were relegated from the Championship in 2008-09, but was there be part of the team that lifted the League One championship trophy the following season as Norwich made an immediate return to the second tier. However, just after the season finished, he was released by the Canaries after six years at the club and moved onto League One club Charlton Athletic.
Played a part in the club's climb back up the table and was captain for a time. Allowed to join Wycombe Wanderers on loan and when the Addicks achieved promotion to the Championship they let him join Wycombe on a permanent basis.