By letting himself into Melwood for after-hours training, Craig Johnston recovered from being described as the 'worst footballer ever' to retire at 27 with five league championships and a European Cup on his CV.
The proud Australian, who was actually born in South Africa, fell in love with football by watching Match of the Day with his father from an early age - inspiration which made his choice of career straightforward.
Nor did Johnston simply wait around for an opportunity. The determined youngster Down Under wrote to a number of English clubs requesting a trial, although Liverpool was not among them.
The midfielder's path would take him to Anfield soon enough, but not before Middlesbrough manager Jack Charlton took one look at the Aussie and dismissed him as 'the worst footballer I've ever seen in my life'.
In an episode which typified his professional career as a whole, 'Skippy' overcame the early setback to establish himself in the Boro first team and impress Graeme Souness enough that the tough man recommended his former colleague to Bob Paisley once he had settled on Merseyside.
Such was Johnston's inferior attitude, however, he thought a call from then Reds boss Paisley was a practical joke on behalf of a friend.
"By everyone's admission, I was no good. What they saw was enthusiasm, desire and commitment," the 52-year-old reflected to LFC TV.
"Bob Paisley was looking for a midfield dynamo to perhaps replace Terry McDermott at some stage - Graeme Souness said 'I've seen this kid who is now playing in the Middlesbrough first team.'
"When I got into the first team, I just ran all over the park. People had never seen enthusiasm like mine, and I was enthusiastic because I was on the field.
"Graeme must have said something to Bob Paisley, who phoned me. I thought it was someone taking the mickey. He didn't say too much and I thought 'this bloke is doing a good impression'.
"I said 'if it is you, I'd be really interested in following Souness.' I hung the phone up and ten minutes later, the phone rings again: 'Brian Clough here. I know who you are - I'd like to sign you.'"
Johnston arrived at Anfield in 1981, just months after the Reds had secured a third European Cup, and excelled with his intensity, work rate and passion for the game.
In a quirk of fate, the Australian's taste in music would prove equally as important as his sporting skills when Liverpool travelled to Rome in an attempt to conquer the continent for a fourth time in 1984.
Asked about the showpiece against the Italians and the infamous tale of Reds stars singing in the tunnel pre-match, Johnston explained: "That was something else.
"They were like 3/1 on to win in their own backyard, the Stadio Olimpico.
"I was always in charge of music on the bus, and I had an eclectic mix of music. I loved Chris Rea so I always had The Best of Chris Rea going.
"During the two weeks before, we had time off so Chris Rea was the anthem. There was camaraderie and everybody liked each other.
"Souness was kind of like the conductor of the orchestra - he was a hard man but an elegant man. The whole of the run-up to the final was almost a drink-fest!
"The theme tune was the song I Don't Know What It Is But I Love It, a Chris Rea tune. That was an expression for all of us. It became our tune, everybody knew the chorus.
"We had to walk past the Italians so we started up and we were all marching on the spot. Nobody had ever done that before or since."
The following season was not one to remember for Johnston, though, with strong competition for places leaving the midfielder with just 11 league appearances during 1984-85.
"I went off the rails," the bushy-haired runner admitted, although he soon realised that the one simple thing that was required to shine for the Reds was hard work.
He continued: "I got a key cut for Melwood - I would go back of an afternoon. Back then, Melwood was completely surrounded by concrete slabs with about 900 dividers.
"I went round every one clockwise, left foot only. You would fire the ball at it, get it back, move it on. If you didn't have a rhythm or concentrate, you had to start again.
"I started to play really well in the reserves and England wanted to pick me. One day at training, Ronnie Moran got everybody together and said 'What's this? They're tyre tracks - it must be kids breaking in and using the training ground at night.' I was going bright red."
Johnston confessed his secret to Moran in a private conversation afterwards, and after originally describing the Australian as 'mad', the Boot Room legend encouraged his charge to continue with his plan.
"Then I got back into the first team," remembered the man who co-wrote the Anfield Rap and would go on to develop the iconic adidas Predator football boot once his playing career concluded.
"I just loved being a footballer and I could never believe that I was good enough to be on the same field as these guys. Every time I pulled on a Liverpool shirt, to me, was a major victory - because it was never expected that I'd be in the line-up.
"I introduce myself as 'the worst player in the world's best team', because somebody had to do the running when you've got these guys with outrageous skills. Along the way, clearly I learnt some skills."
If the 1986 FA Cup final is anything to go by, he undoubtedly did. The Reds trailed Merseyside rivals Everton 1-0 at half-time at Wembley but Ian Rush levelled the scores before Johnston's 'biggest moment'.
Timing his back-post run to perfection, the midfielder smashed home to give Liverpool an advantage, which they would further extend through Rush to claim a memorable 3-1 comeback victory.
Cherishing the memory, Johnston said: "It is the biggest moment of my life - it always will be.
"When the ball went in, it was amazing. I jumped in the air and said 'I've done it'.
"I'd done what people said I would never do, I'd become a proper footballer and done something in the history of Liverpool that people will remember even when I'm dead.
"I was born to do that against the odds. Nobody could take away that I'd scored that goal and that's why I could retire at 27."
Much to the disappointment of fans and teammates alike, the right-sider called time on his football journey early due to personal reasons in 1988 - though he was subsequently offered a return by both Kenny Dalglish and Souness at the Liverpool helm.
Johnston was tempted but rejected each approach, choosing to leave his remarkable record at Anfield crystallised in fans' thoughts forever.
"The Scousers know what they're talking about when it comes to football, and they recognise effort. They remember that you tried and that's all you can ask for," he concluded.