He played for York City's youth team between 1995 and 1998 before going on to play for the Bootham Crescent first team in the late 1990s.
He ended the 1998/9 season with 44 appearances and one goal. He trained with Leeds United after the end of the season but was later sacked by York following personal problems and signed for Mansfield Town in 2000.
He went on to play for Irish team St Patrick's Athletic, Lincoln City, Hednesford Town and North Ferriby United.
Mr Garratt, who was born in York, later moved back to Middlesbrough where his drink problems are understood to have escalated.
He was made subject to an Antisocial Behaviour Order in 2010 banning him from numerous pubs in the town and from being drunk in a public place.
Former York City star Richard Cresswell said Mr Garratt had "had a lot of trouble in his life" and "been given a lot of support from a lot of places.
"He was 34 and that is no age," he said.
He paid tribute, saying: "One thing that sticks out was that he had so much energy. He could run from box to box. In all the running drills he was the fittest. He was right up there. He was a box to box midfielder."
Andy McMillan, former team-mate and now York’s head of academy, said: “He came through the system and he was a real talent. He was always one of the first ones on the training ground and one of the last ones to leave.
"This game can be pretty cruel. I've lots of memories about him coming through the YTS. He always looked very, very comfortable. I have these pictures in my head about him playing two touch football and him winning every time.”
Club communications and community director Sophie McGill, who said she worked with Mr Garratt when she was the club's public relations officer in 1999, said: "He was a very talented footballer with a lot of potential and promise.
"We are very saddened to hear this has happened, and to somebody so young.
"Unfortunately, there is a dark side to football for young men, who sometimes have difficulty coping with fame, even at York City's level, at a young age."
Cleveland Police said officers were called by ambulance staff to an address in Lovaine Street, just before 5.30pm on Friday 24 October.
"They had received a report of a 34-year-old man taken seriously ill at the address," said a force spokeswoman.
"Minutes later, while officers were on their way to the address, we received a further call from the ambulance service reporting that sadly the man had died.
"Following an investigation, officers deemed the man’s death was not suspicious and a file is being prepared for the Coroner."