Gerry Ryan began his career at Bohemians on 9 February 1975 and after 14 goals in 53 appearances he earned a move to Derby County.
He later moved to Brighton & Hove Albion for £100,000 and played in the 1983 FA Cup Final against Manchester United before his career was ended in 1985 by a broken leg sustained in a tackle. Between 1978 and 1985 Gerry played 199 matches for the Seagulls scoring 39 goals.
Gerry played eighteen times for Ireland between 1978 and 1984. He made his debut in April 1978, when he played in a 4-2 win against Turkey in a friendly at Lansdowne Road. His only goal for Ireland came over a year later at the same venue, but it was only a consolation effort as Ireland lost 3-1 to West Germany in a friendly. Gerry’s last appearance in a green shirt came in 1984 when he played in a scoreless draw against Mexico at Dalymount Park.