John: Words fail me because that was growing
up as a kid, that’s all I dreamt about. Doug: Thanks for coming to the home
of football shirts. Doug: Classic Football Shirts.
We’re in Dublin for a week. Doug: Thanks to you guys for coming down. Doug: Just going to have a chat with John about his
career and the shirts that mean the most to him. Doug: We’ve got you a shirt John.
Do you remember this? John: Well I’d like to not remember this. John: People don’t mention the goal
I scored in that game. John: It was a massive goal that got us
through to the last 16. John: They always talk about the abuse
on the sidelines. Doug: Well with good reason. John: Maybe so, I was effing and jeffing
but I don’t want to talk about that. Doug: It was hot though wasn’t it? John: It was hot. We had 10 men on the pitch,
we were 2-0 down and I lost the plot. John: But as shirts go, it was just so
different at the time John: I was into my shirts and there was a shop
in a little place called Garston in Liverpool. John: There was a shop that sold replica shirts,
not like this. John: The one that I really liked, every Liverpool
one I got, West Ham. John: West Ham brought the first one out which had
2 purple hoops around there. I got that. John: Other than Liverpool, I wore West Ham. Doug: Did you think you could be Geoff Hurst? John: No, I don’t know what it was, it was just the
shirt. It wasn’t Geoff Hurst it was just the shirt. John: Then the Crystal Palace one came in
with the sash across that way. John: It was just something different at the time.
So I was well into my shirts when I was a kid. Doug: Did you think you could grow up and
be a professional footballer? John: I hoped and prayed. That was my only
ambition, to play for Liverpool. John: And then to play for Ireland was like a blessing.
So it worked out well for me. Doug: Starting out at Newport County.
You played the Cup Winners’ Cup quarter finals. Doug: The likes of Carl Zeiss Jena.
Any stories from when you were there in Wales? John: Do you know what, it was great times.
They only gave me a 1 year contract. John: I was a tool maker by trade and I took less
money than I was on making cars for British Leyland. John: To go and play and give myself a chance
of being a professional footballer
because thats all I wanted to do. John: And you know the gamble paid off. John: We got promoted from the 4th division and
won the Welsh Cup which was big at the time. John: Which took us into the European Cup Winners’
Cup, hence Carl Zeiss Jena. John: It was a great time, I loved Newport as a place,
the fans were great with me. It was a great start. Doug: What about then,
you signed for Oxford United. Doug: Part of so many promotions, won the League
Cup. Part of a real historic time for Oxford United. Doug: What was it like being there? John: When I left Newport, Oxford were on the verge
of going up from the 3rd to the 2nd. John: I jumped on the bandwagon a little bit
and we went up. John: And we went up from the 2nd to 1st
which is the Prem now. John: Double promotions, back-to-back.
Fantastic, it was a great club. John: And then we won the Milk Cup,
which is now the Carabao Cup. Doug: You were playing at Wembley for the first time. John: That was always big. Growing up as a kid,
even now you want to play at Wembley dont you? John: It was iconic when I was a kid to play
at Wembley. You know the Old Wembley. John: I dreamt of it when I was a kid. John: Not only to play for Liverpool,
but to play at Wembley for Liverpool. John: Of course in my first one it was for
Oxford who are close to my heart. John: And we were underdogs. Played Queens Park
Rangers who were supposedly going to whack us. John: And we beat them 3-0.
Unfortunately I didn’t score, I missed a sitter. John: But we won the cup, so it was happy days.
Great club. Doug: Do you remember the shirts
with the Wang Computers. John: You wouldn’t get away with that in this
day and age. They called us ‘Wangers’. Doug: Do you remember you scored in
Alex Ferguson’s first match as Man United manager? Doug: You scored, Oxford beat United. John: I scored the first goal actually against
Alex Ferguson which I’m very proud of. John: I really enjoyed the joke,
for you its a joke as a big Man United fan. John: Obviously I was still a Liverpool fan. John: Every time we finished the game,
whether for Newport or Oxford, I was straight on
the radio to see how Liverpool got on. John: And to score the first goal against
Alex Ferguson who was iconic. John: What he did at Man United was amazing. John: It was special for me. We won the game 2-0,
it was great. Doug: And then you signed
for your boyhood team Liverpool. Doug: What was that like to finally get,
this is like the first shirt you would have worn there. John: Well words fail me because that was growing
up as a kid, that’s all I dreamt about. John: Wearing number 8 on my back, Roger Hunt,
not number 9. Roger Hunt was my hero. John: And I got to do it, so that was very special. John: The first year we won the league,
I got the golden boot. John: Again which was lovely. I played in a special
team with the likes of John Barnes. John: Who was the best player I’ve ever played with,
he was just amazing. John: Beardsley, Peter behind us.
Ray Houghton, that was a player. Doug: You didn’t feel any pressure taking
over from Ian Rush? John: No, no I didn’t. I always had pressure on
myself because you’re expected to score every game. John: Thats the way I was. John: I knew I was scoring goals at a big rate with
Oxford in the top division where Liverpool was. John: Going into Liverpool with the players around
me that they had. World class players. John: I knew I’d get more chances. John: I always knew because I knew my ability in
the box was there. I was a goalscorer naturally. John: I knew I’d get chances to score goals
so no not a problem. John: The only pressure was to make sure Liverpool
were great again because for a couple
of years we weren’t good. John: Then win the league as we did. Should have
won the FA Cup but someone missed a penalty. Doug: Don’t breeze over it. John: No I don’t want to look at that. Doug: So memories of that. No keeper had ever
saved a penalty in an FA Cup final
before Dave Beasant. Doug: That day did you just throw your kit
in the bin afterwards? John: No I’ve still got it. Doug: Did you keep many shirts
from you career then? John: I’ve kept them all. All the ones,
even the ones I’ve swapped I’ve kept because
its close to your heart. John: We didn’t swap shirts but to be
fair to Wimbledon, I know most of
the lads and they’re a great set of lads. John: Dave Beasant. I speak to Dave even now John: Its the way it went. Credit where its due,
we just had a massive off day and they capitalised. Doug: So, great time at Anfield and then Real
Sociedad. How did that come about? John: I scored 63 goals in 104 games for Liverpool
which I thought was enough to keep me at the club. John: But they decided to sell me
for whatever reason John: And I went to this great club.
First non-Basque player. Doug: Yeah for a long time. John: Thats what you talk about pressure.
Probably more pressure joining Sociedad. John: Because of the politics Doug: And what was it like fitting in with
the culture over there? John: Great. 75% of the people didn’t want me there.
Fortunately enough I won them over. Doug: 40 goals in 75 games. Who was the toughest
opponent would you say you played
against over there? John: In Spain? Nah, nobody. Doug: Nobody? I was going to say, I thought
you playing at the Nou Camp would be tough
but you scored 2 goals twice at the Nou Camp. John: 3 times. Doug: Beat them 3-1. John: You always get favourite teams.
First game there was 2-2, I scored 2. John: Second game was in the cup,
we drew 3-3, I scored 2. John: Last game, they’d just won the league.
We clapped them onto the pitch and beat them 3-1. John: Dalian Atkinson was fantastic
that day but I got 2 goals. John: Its my favourite ground
that I’ve ever played at. Doug: Going to go onto your international career Doug: You and Ray Houghton got recruited
to play for Ireland in Jack Charlton’s first game. Doug: How did that come about? John: I always knew I was qualified
to play for Ireland. John: Jack came and watched me and Ray play
basically, long story short against
Villa in the semi finals of the Milk Cup. John: We got on alright and Jack took us on. Doug: Euro ’88. What does that shirt mean
to the memories of that tournament? John: The best feeling of a game that I’ve played
for Ireland was against England
in the first game of Euro ’88. John: When we introduced ourselves to the world. John: People didn’t really know
what we were all about. John: We qualified and we played England
in the first game and won 1-0 in Stuttgart. John: England played really well and Lineker
missed some really big chances John: We scored early on, we held on to it
and won 1-0 and everyone knew then
this Ireland team were no mugs. John: We were only 6 or 7 minutes away from
qualifying for the semi finals.
We had a really good team. Doug: How good was the Holland team? John: They beat us the Dutch team.
They beat England 3-1 and we ended
up playing them in the last game. John: It was a freak goal they scored,
you’d have to see it on the internet. John: It was a freak goal that they
scored to get them through. John: But you’re talking about
a class team. Koeman. Doug: Rijkaard, Gullit. John: Rijkaard, Gullit, oh wow
they had so many good players. John: Van Basten didn’t play in our game
he was injured but they were a quality team and
it took a quality team to beat them. Great side. Doug: That game against Romania.
The penalty shoot out. Would you have took
a penalty if you were on the pitch? John: Yeah I would have done. John: I should have got sent off in
that game, I knew before half time. John: I’ve got this muscle problem and
I knew I couldn’t play the second half because
of like a lazy muscle. John: So I thought well I’ll take Hagi out. John: He was just a different class Hagi so
I thought I’ll take him off before half time. John: So he comes by the dugout, you’ll have
to see it yourself and I’ve absolutely smashed him. John: I’ve just wildly kicked him.
Its a red card all day. John: Maybe in those days you had to do
something mad to get a red card but
go and have a look, its very interesting. John: Thats one thing I remember and
obviously the penalties. We got through.
It was a mega day and a mega night. Doug: And the Italy game. You know we
talked about swaps from the World Cup.
Did you get Baggio’s shirt from that game? John: The Italy game. Do you know
what I’ve got a few Italian shirts. John: I’ve got Vialli which is one of the most
prestigious shirts because he was the number
1 player in the world in ’92. John: Great player, nice fella as well.
I’ve got Conte. John: But do you know what, I can’t remember
which shirt I got on that day. Doug: I mean you played them again in 1994.
Ray Houghton, the memories of beating
them in the USA. Doug: I mean that was one of the great
shocks of the world cup. John: It was, unfortunately I was on the bench.
I came on very late in the game to help see
the game out but the lads were brilliant. John: The best centre half performance
I’ve ever seen in my life from Paul McGrath that day. John: Baggio, Jack called him ‘Bag-io’
and big Paul had him in his pocket. He was fantastic. Doug: And what about any stories from that
tournament? What was it like playing with this guy?
What was he like? John: Roy Keane was great.
A pure athlete. Good lad John: He was very young in those days.
Obviously a little bit of naivety you know
which you’d expect. John: Me and Roy got on really well you know
and as players I’ve played with he’s right up there.
Different class. Doug: So 69 caps, 19 goals, a great career
for Ireland. Whats your favourite memory from
your international career? John: Beating England in Stuttgart 1-0. John: Just because my mates from Liverpool
liked having loads of banter at the time. John: A lot of them were supporting Ireland who
were scouse as well because you know
the links between Liverpool and Ireland obviously. John: We were desperate to show the world how
good our team was and that was on
a big stage and we did it. John: Its a little bit like Liverpool against Everton
at the time. You know a big rivalry or
Liverpool vs. Man United now. Doug: You can’t not talk about Tranmere. You
moved there. So many goals galore. Became
an iconic, all time legend really for the club. Doug: What was your best memory
playing at Prenton Park? John: I still love Tranmere Rovers. 10 years there.
A long time. As a manager getting them
to a major cup final. Doug: There we go, 2000 Worthington Cup final.
So many cup upsets. Leading the team out
at the Millennium stadium. John: It was the last League Cup final
at the Old Wembley as well.
Really good lads, like family to me. John: Went through a brick wall for me. Non other
than that one Dave Kelly. He was a really good
friend of mine. Haven’t spoke to him for a while now. John: But that was a small club, ish. Took 30,000
to Wembley. We lost on the day 2-1
which was very close to Leicester. John: But getting there meant an
awful lot to the club. Doug: Do you not fancy yourself as a
manager after this? John: No I’ve been out of the game a long time. Doug: Not going to put your hat in
the ring when Klopp goes? John: No I can’t say that. I think
those days have gone. Doug: Never been tempted back? John: No I’m happy with what I’m doing now. John: Thats been great that. Doug: All these shirts from your career,
which one would you say, is there a favourite? John: No I couldn’t, its impossible, they’re all so
close to my heart. I just couldn’t pick one. John: In their own right they’re all brilliant,
except for that one. John: No disrespect to Wimbledon.
But no they’re all fantastic shirts. Doug: Thanks a lot John.