Gary Harkins (born 2 January 1985) is a Scottish professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Scottish Premier League club Kilmarnock.
He has previously played for Blackburn Rovers, he then went on to play for Huddersfield Town, Bury, Blackpool, Grimsby Town, Partick Thistle and Dundee.
Gary Harkins started out as a schoolboy player with Celtic before joining Blackburn Rovers as a YTS player when he was 16. He became a trainee in August 2003 but although he appeared in the academy and reserve teams he did not play a first team competitive game for the club. Harkins joined Huddersfield Town on loan in March 2004, where he made only three appearances before returning to Blackburn in June. The arrival of Mark Hughes as manager of Blackburn in September 2004 saw Harkins called up to play with the first team in a number of pre-season friendlies with Hughes apparently seeing potential in his future as a centre back. He joined Bury in February 2005, for whom he played five times in a month-long spell, and in November 2005, Harkins joined Blackpool on loan for one month, where he made six appearances, scoring two goals.
In July 2006, Harkins joined Grimsby Town on a free transfer signing a two year contract. He made his debut on 5 August 2006 in the club's 3 2 victory over Boston United and made 20 appearances in total for Grimsby in the 2006 07 season. His spell at Grimsby was an unhappy one, with homesickness and a falling out with manager Alan Buckley, who joined the club in November 2006, playing parts, and at the end of the 2006 07 season, Buckley allowed Harkins to look for another club.
Harkins then moved to his native Scotland and after a trial signed a one-year contract with Scottish First Division club Partick Thistle in July 2007. While he started out at Thistle playing as a defender, his move into midfield let him play in a more attacking role. Harkins made 39 appearances in the 2007 08 season, scoring three goals, and 40 appearances in the 2008 09 season, scoring 11 goals. In the 2008 09 season, he was Thistle's top goalscorer with 11 goals, and was nominated for the First Division Player of the Year award.
After a protracted effort in which Dundee had two offers turned down, Dundee signed Harkins in July 2009, for a fee of 150,000 plus future fees. Harkins made 42 appearances for Dundee in the 2009 10 season, scoring 17 goals. He won the Irn-Bru Phenomenal Player of the Month for August 2009 in the Scottish Football League, and was nominated for Scotland's Player of the Year for the Scottish Football League Division One. He made a further 38 appearances, scoring five goals, in a troubled 2010 11 season for Dundee in which the club was penalised 25 points by the Scottish Football League in November 2010 after going into administration. At the end of the season, Harkins was nominated for Scottish Football League Player of the Year in the First Division.
In June 2011 Harkins left Dundee to sign for Kilmarnock for an undisclosed fee, exercising an option to leave agreed when Dundee went into administration in the previous November. Harkins made his first appearance for the Ayrshire side on Sunday 24 July 2011 in a 1 1 draw with Dundee United at Tannadice Park. Harkins scored his first goal for Kilmarnock in a 5 0 win over Queen of the South in the Scottish League Cup 3rd round, scoring only 90 seconds into the match. On 18 March, he played in the 2012 Scottish League Cup Final which Kilmarnock won after beating Celtic 1 0.
Harkins was born in Greenock & attended St Columba's High School, Gourock, were he played in a wide variety of positions and for varied teams before bagging his move to Blackburn.
- Scottish Challenge Cup: 2010
- Scottish League Cup: 2012