Liverpoolfc.tv catch up with former Reds full-back Rob Jones, who tells us about life after Anfield and just how it felt when he was told he had to retire prematurely
Liverpoolfc.tv catch up with former Reds full-back Rob Jones, who tells us about life after Anfield and just how it felt when he was told he had to retire prematurely...
Rob, what have you been doing since you hung up your boots?
For the first six months I was depressed! I then opened a children's nursery school in Stockton Heath, Warrington. I've also been training back at Crewe which is just to keep fit.
Going back to your debut against Manchester United at Old Trafford. That is game most Liverpool fans remember you for, what do you remember of that occasion?
Not very much really. I was at Crewe and Graeme Souness came to watch me on the Wednesday. On the Friday he signed me for Liverpool. On the Saturday I should have been playing for Crewe against Doncaster, but instead I was thrown into Liverpool at Manchester United, which was live on TV! It just flew by but I enjoyed it. I remember having quite a good game against Ryan Giggs and from then on my career took off.
Your grandfather played for Liverpool so just how big a thrill was it for you to follow in his footsteps?
When I got the phone call saying Liverpool want to sign me it was unbelievable! Supporting Liverpool and training with the Crewe players, no disrespect to them, but the next day training with John Barnes, Steve McMahon, Ronnie Whelan - quality players like that, it was unbelievable.
How big an influence on your career was your grandad being that he played for Liverpool?
He was a big influence. He is a quiet man, a bit like myself, and stayed in the background, but when I needed advice he gave it me. He had a lot of experience having played for Liverpool and England.
Your failure to score for Liverpool was well documented! How frustrating was that and do you remember any near misses that you had?
It was frustrating a little bit but the main thing was forLiverpool to win and get three points. There was plenty of opportunities when I could have had a shot but I passed instead! It would have been nice to finish my Liverpool career with a goal but I had plenty of other good times at Liverpool. It's only a little low!
What game or moment do you regard as the high point of your Liverpool career?
There's a few. Obviously the Man United game on my debut, also my England debut and the FA Cup Final in 1992. Those three games happened in the same season and were the biggest games I had.
Looking back who was the best player you ever played with at Liverpool?
It's a difficult question because I played with some quality players like John Barnes, Ronnie Whelan, Jamie Redknapp and Steve McManaman. I could keep going on! I think the season when I played right back and Steve McManaman played right midfield, we had a great partnership. I would go past him and he would cover for me. Macca plays for Real Madrid now and I would pick him because he's got everything.
Roy Evans played you on the left side when he was manager, so what would you say was your preferred position?
Definitely right back! Roy Evans said to me would I play a couple of games on the left but I ended up playing there for a full season! McAteer went to right back and did well. I was ok at left back but I wasn't consistent at left back. At right back I was more consistent.
How difficult was it being forced to retire at an early age?
It was difficult. It happens to a lot of footballers. I was disappointed when it happened but I did a lot. I played for Liverpool, played for England and won the FA Cup. That's the way I look at it. I feel I've been lucky in a way.
Do you still keep in touch with any of the lads from your Liverpool days?
Yeah I do. Steve McManaman is the main one and I go out to see him and annoy him in Madrid! Ikeep in touch with Robbie Fowler, Jamie Redknapp and Danny Murphy, and try and come to five or six home games a season. I know it's not that many but when you've got three kids it's hard!
Rob Jones Fact-File
Born: Wrexham, 5/11/71
Signed: October 1991
Debut: 6/10/91 v Man United (a) Division One - drew 0-0
Honours: FA Cup 1992 & Coca Cola Cup 1995
International caps won while with Liverpool: 8 (England)