Thankfully, given that most of us have good mobile and internet connections, we have access to a much wider variety of means to keep ourselves entertained these days. This has led to some very creative ways of amusing ourselves. And indeed, despite being located in opposite sides of the world and regardless of the time differences, one loyal group of Liverpool fans in New Zealand enjoyed chatting online with former Reds midfielder, Jason McAteer. Some of us have been busy watching games from the past, featuring some of our favourite players of old, while others have taken the time to try some alternative activities. For example, in New Zealand and with football betting somewhat limited of late, winning cash by playing the online pokies
has become very popular, largely thanks to comparing reviews for different online casinos and finding out which offer the best bonus deals.
Meanwhile, faithful fans of the Reds in New Zealand have kept themselves busy by staying connected with one another online, sharing stories and experiences about their favourite subject. Keen to remain as active as ever in support of their club, the Official Liverpool Supporters Club
of Wellington have connected with fellow fans from around the world. Recently, they were treated to a special guest joining their online conversations. It’s not often that a fan group can get to reminisce with a former player, so online chat participants in New Zealand were delighted to welcome Jason McAteer
, who made over 100 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool, between 1995 and 1999. Amidst an array of intriguing questions, he shared stories about his playing career and thoughts about the current team, managed with great success by Jürgen Klopp. McAteer is one of those players that was perhaps considered a late developer, having played with Merseyside non-league outfit Marine until he was 20. That’s when his lucky break came during a pre-season friendly match against Bolton Wanderers in 1992, who were
so impressed, they signed him for just £500 and a bag of footballs.
That move proved to be an absolute bargain for Bolton, with McAteer helping them to reach the League Cup final in 1995, producing an impressive display during the 2-1 defeat against Liverpool, when Steve McManaman scored a brace of goals to win the trophy. Little did McAteer know, after helping Bolton to consecutive promotions and a great cup run, it wouldn’t be long before he would be playing alongside ‘Macca’ for the Reds. At the start of the 1995-96 season, Liverpool made their move and agreed a £4 million fee with Bolton, as McAteer finally had the chance to play for the club he’d supported since childhood. During his time at the club, McAteer was a prominent first-team regular, until a broken leg and managerial changes reduced his playing opportunities. Following spells with Blackburn Rovers and Sunderland, it was time for McAteer to head back home, concluding his career with Tranmere Rovers in Birkenhead. After hanging up his boots and being greatly involved in both charity and TV work, McAteer was assistant to John Barnes at Tranmere for a short spell, although management didn’t work out too well for him either. Nevertheless, such experiences along with all the highs and lows will certainly have made for great conversation, as McAteer spoke at length with fellow supporters from New Zealand. They will certainly have cherished the opportunity and it’s great to see former players reaching out to Liverpool fans, wherever they are in the world.
Written by Alan Spencer