Sunday, September 2 – 2001
Gerard Houllier has smashed the British transfer record for a goalkeeper who only six years ago was dragged away from his newspaper round to play for Coventry City. Chris Kirkland, 20, who moved to Liverpool for £9 million on Friday, was not even on youth training forms when a keeping crisis hit the club and officials had to turn to the 14-year-old.
Kirkland’s astonished dad, Tony, answered the phone and had to jump into his car to fetch his son from his round to get between the sticks. Turning professional was a formality once he completed the youth training programme.
And the club has been in Kirkland’s best blood since then. His tears at the final whistle when Coventry were relegated at Aston Villa in May showed his commitment. Veteran Coventry keeper
Steve Ogrizovic believes the England Under-21 will be remembered as one of he greats when he hangs his boots up. He said: “I’ve known Chris since he was 14 and for such a young player he has got everything. He’s tall, commending in the air and an excellent shot stopper.
“One of his biggest assets is that he has an old head on young shoulders. He works tremendously hard in training and he’s now getting the reward from that.
“He will just get better. I hate putting any added pressure on him but he is a future England goalkeeper. I know from my own experience that he will get plenty of good advice at Liverpool.”
(Sunday Express, 02-09-2001)