As in most parts of Ireland there is a huge reds following in the North West of the country. When lifelong red, Aiden McGuirk, heard that Robbie Fowler and Jason McAteer were due in the area to do a Q&A session he thought that it would be an ideal moment to get close to his idols. But Aiden, a Neuromuscular and Physical Therapist by trade planned to get closer than most. He takes up the story. “When I first seen the advertisement for the evening with Robbie and Jason, I thought I have to try and find a way to treat them. After all, they are retired sportsman and both had experienced serious injuries in their careers. I was not thinking about publicity, although that was clearly going to be a bonus. The opportunity to treat two of your idols just doesn’t happen every day so I was determined to at least give myself a chance”. It was an occasion the married father of one clearly wanted to be involved in, even leaving the following morning free from appointments, just in case.
The night itself went well; the two lads regaled those in attendance with stories from their glittering club and international careers. Aiden had his business cards in his pocket, the plan being that he would get Jason and Robbie to at least sign them and wish the business luck. “I was third in the queue to meet the boys, as I got closer I was losing courage. Maybe it was best not to annoy them, just get a photo and move on like everyone else.” Then fate took a hand, McAteer sat down suddenly and winced in pain. To me that was the sign. I walked up with my card and said jokingly; “if you need me to have a look, I’ll sort it no problem”. Jason responded “mate if only I had you here today, the pain is killing me”. It seemed to be a case of a missed opportunity; as they were booked for the night and playing a round of golf the next morning, before heading back to Liverpool to work for LFCTV. But the lads were very appreciative of the information and wished the business luck and that was it. Or so he thought.
The following morning the phone rang and the familiar scouse tone of Jason McAteer was on the other side asking whether Aiden was able to meet them for a treatment as the golf had got the boot. He explains, “This was it, my professional head was clear; I knew what I needed to do to get the treatment done. The fan inside me was screaming of course and I had to calm myself for a while. The treatment on Jason went very well, and I even got to treat the left foot of Robbie Fowler or as he is better known to all reds, GOD. Jason McAteer even tweeted to his thousands of followers at his delight at the treatment – good publicity for sure.
Fast forward six months and with his physical therapy business established, Aiden was in discussions with McAteer once again. This time it really was a dream come true. “They must have been happy with what I had to offer in Donegal because this time the call was to invite me to Anfield to work on the players ahead of a legends charity game. I couldn’t believe it; here I was, treating players in the famed Liverpool FC home dressing room. Players like Patrick Berger, Gary McAllister, Phil Neal, Jan Molby and John Aldridge amongst others. I even got to sit in the dug-out with one of the famous boot-room men, Liverpool’s ex-manager, Roy Evans.”
It was a surreal moment. “To be in that dressing room with all that history and banter, listening to the legends talk about the past was an absolute pleasure, I even got to take a penalty in front of the KOP – and thankfully, I scored. I was very grateful for the opportunity from Liverpool Football Club to come over and treat in a club with so much history, and hopefully I’ll return in the very near future.”
Aiden would like to extend his gratefulness to Jason McAteer, a true professional and a genuinely nice guy who he appreciates went out of his way to organise his Anfield trip with Liverpool Football Club. “To me Jason is a true Liverpool great, one that looks after his own, and that’s Liverpool Football Club in a nutshell”.