Gareth Ainsworth (born 10 May 1973) is an English professional footballer who is player-manager at EFL League Two club Wycombe Wanderers.
A former youth player at Blackburn Rovers, the midfielder, who is known for his crossing ability, won a move to Preston North End in 1992 after impressing at non-league Northwich Victoria. He moved on to Cambridge United, who in turn loaned him back to Northwich Victoria. He returned to Preston North End in 1993, and established himself in the first team during his second spell at the club. Sold on to Lincoln City in October 1995 for a £25,000 fee, his performances at Lincoln earned him a place on the PFA Third Division Team of the Year in 1996–97, and also won him a £500,000 move to Port Vale in September 1997. After being named as the Port Vale F.C. Player of the Year in 1998, he was sold on to Premier League Wimbledon for £2 million in October 1998. He was dogged by injuries at the club, and following loan spells with Preston North End and Walsall, he moved on to Cardiff City for a nominal fee in March 2003. He signed with Queens Park Rangers in June 2003, after went on to spend seven years with the club. During his time at QPR he helped the club to win promotion out of the Second Division in 2003–04, and twice served as caretaker-manager.
He joined Wycombe Wanderers in February 2010, following a short loan period. He was named in the PFA League Two Team of the Year in 2010–11, as Wycombe won promotion out of the division. He was appointed as the club's manager in November 2012, after a short period as caretaker-manager. He retired from regular playing appearances to concentrate on his management duties in April 2013, but remains registered as a player.Close