Birthdate: 18 June 1971
Birthplace: Birkenhead, England
Other clubs: Marine (1988-92), Bolton Wanderers (1992-95), Blackburn Rovers (1999-2001), Sunderland (2001-04), Tranmere Rovers (2004-07)
Bought from: Bolton Wanderers
Signed for LFC: £4.5m, 07.09.1995
International debut: 23.03.1994 vs. Russia
International caps: Ireland 52/3 (14/1 at LFC) - 2004
Liverpool debut: 16.09.1995
Last appearance: 24.01.1999
Debut goal: 06.01.1996
Last goal: 02.05.1998
Contract expiry: 27.01.1999
Win ratio: 52.52% W: 73 D: 35 L: 31
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 4 / 0
LFC league games/goals: 100 / 3
Total LFC games/goals: 139 / 6
McAteer was a bona-fide boyhood Red who saw his dream come true when he signed for Liverpool instead of Premier League champions Blackburn. McAteer joined Merseyside-based non-league club Marine after being spotted playing Sunday league football on the Wirral. In January 1992 Phil Neal snapped him up for third division Bolton. In three seasons the central midfielder helped Bolton to the Premier League and starred for Republic of Ireland in the 1994 World Cup. McAteer joined Liverpool at the start of the 1995/96 season. Five months earlier Liverpool had broken his heart when two McManaman goals beat Bolton in the League Cup final. McAteer came as a breath of fresh air making his mark as a right-wing back. He was always a better attacker than defender, delivering dangerous crosses into the penalty area after energetic runs down the right flank. He was tireless in his efforts and sacrificed himself for the Liverpool team. McAteer was a regular from 1995-1997, again suffering Wembley heartbreak in 1996 at the hands of Manchester United. He lost his place in the starting line-up at the start of the 1997/98 season but reclaimed it in November 1997 and played regularly until he broke his leg against Blackburn on the last day of January 1998. Once Evans was out of the way for Houllier to take sole control of the team in November 1998 McAteer's days were numbered.
McAteer's post-Liverpool career saw him move to Blackburn Rovers for £4 million and he helped Rovers into the Premier League at the end of the 2000/01 season. His highlight in football was scoring the sixty-seventh minute winner at Lansdowne Road in September 2001 when the ten-man Ireland team beat Holland putting the Irish on course for qualification for the 2002 World Cup. "The Dutch had already booked their hotels in Japan and Korea so it was lovely to wipe the smiles off their faces. Fantastic, absolutely fantastic time," McAteer recalls. He then moved to Sunderland where he was part of the squad relegated from the Premier League in 2003. Sunderland released him a year later and he moved to his fifth and final English club, Tranmere Rovers. Rovers manager Brian Little made McAteer his club captain and one year following his retirement he became John Barnes' assistant manager at the club. However, Tranmere made a terrible start to the 2009/10 season and both McAteer and Barnes were dismissed by Rovers in October 2009.
"Sometimes I don't think before I speak - like the time I went into a Dublin pub and asked if they served Guinness." McAteer has a reputation for not being the sharpest tool in the box and he gladly confesses to his dimwittedness. "I'm known for being a fool and they called me Trigger. I once bought a pizza and was asked if I wanted it sliced into four or eight. I said just four because I couldn't manage eight slices!" He has never lived down an occurrence that took place while he was at Bolton when a teammate asked him if he could pass him the ketchup. McAteer replied: 'The brown or the red?' When McAteer locked himself, Phil Babb and Neil Ruddock out of his brand-new Porsche outside his house, the police asked him to get a coat-hanger so they could pick the lock and McAteer came back with a wooden one. Also one time after an Ireland match in Dublin McAteer was in a pub having a drink when in walked snooker legend Jimmy White. When seeing Jimmy McAteer shouted: 'Oi Jimmy... One hundred and eighty!.'
Above everything else McAteer deserves the highest praise imaginable for organising the "Tsunami Soccer Aid" charity-match which around 38,000 people attended at Anfield on Easter Sunday in 2005. McAteer sprung into action after watching a BBC documentary on the Indian Ocean Tsunami on Boxing Day 2004 that resulted in up to 280,000 deaths which makes it the sixth deadliest natural disaster in recorded history. "I went to bed and thought: 'It's easy to put your hand in your pocket, give £20 and forget about it, but I want to do more,'" McAteer recollects. "The easiest thing that came to mind was to arrange a Liverpool legends - celebrities match." His charity event raised over £412,000!