Sunday 22 September 2019

Jason Sherlock: 'Roy Evans had spoken to me about the move directly'

Former Liverpool manager Roy Evans. Photo: Getty Images
Former Liverpool manager Roy Evans. Photo: Getty Images

Jason Sherlock

A few hours into the celebrations in 1995 I sat down in the Dubliner Bar for a serious chat with Kevin Moran, and if ever there was a sliding door moment in my life, that was it.

"What do you want to do?" Kevin asked, referring to the speculation that I was set for a cross-channel soccer career. "I want to enjoy this," I replied. But if Kevin had been him saying, 'Well done today, but for the betterment of your career I'm putting you on a flight to Liverpool tomorrow, good luck!' Would I have gone?

'I sat down in the Dubliner Bar for a serious chat with Kevin Moran' Photo: Sportsfile
'I sat down in the Dubliner Bar for a serious chat with Kevin Moran' Photo: Sportsfile

In hindsight that was the only week to do it, to make the move.

At that moment in time, however, I didn't realise any of this. I was only 19 and could sense no urgency. For the next two years I had to listen to the stories that Liverpool wanted me, but the window had closed by then because my life and career in Ireland simply exploded after the All- Ireland final.

But did Liverpool really want me? There was never any concrete dealing, but Roy Evans had spoken to me about it directly.


At the start of the 1995-96 Premiership, Roy told a reporter: "We played UCD at the end of last season and I was very impressed with Jason. He might not be the biggest striker but he is very quick. I said at the time I would consider offering him a chance and within the next fortnight I hope to get him over to see how he shapes up.

"Just because we are a big club doesn't mean that we are not interested in seeing if we can develop players like Jason. It has to be in our interests - especially when you consider the crazy prices which are now being quoted for players in England."

Unfortunately or otherwise, 'the next fortnight' coincided with Dublin winning the All- Ireland. And assuming the inevitability of things just falling into place on the soccer front, and wanting to enjoy the fruits and spin- offs of my labour with the Dubs, I stayed put and celebrated.

GAA Newsletter

Expert GAA analysis straight to your inbox.

If I was going to choose the cross- channel route and avail of the technical coaching involved, I probably needed to build there and then on the momentum with Roy, but it wasn't even on my radar after the four months I had just had with Dublin.

I told Kevin I'd hang around at home for a while longer. I wanted to enjoy the win with the lads and I think that was understandable. There was no sense of urgency.

Little did I know the rise and rise of 'Jayo' on the sports field was about to come to a sudden jolt, never again reaching the heights of that summer of 1995.

Irish Independent

The Throw-In: 'Jim Gavin has achieved what Mick O'Dwyer and Brian Cody couldn't do'

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Also in Sport