3 years • Edited
Liverpool, 14 October 2000
“Every young footballer dreams of their debut. Sleepless nights lead up to that one moment, the moment that could make or break your career. All the training, all the years of hard work, all for one moment.
My moment finally came rather late. After months of training with the first team, an 18-year old me heard the voice of Glenn Hoddle, the Southampton manager. I spent countless hours on the bench, in hearing distance from him, every time he spoke, I hoped to hear my name. I finally heard it on the 14th of October 2001. As the final minutes ticked away on the Goodison Park scoreboard, I finally heard my name.
The moment was surreal, I didn’t believe the fact I finally was allowed to take off my tracksuit and enter the pitch. I saw the 4th official held up his board, number 42 was ready to enter the pitch, Reagan Connelly would make his Premiership debut.
It was a game to never forget, not because of the amazing football, quite the contrary, it was terrible, which is putting it nicely. All of 147 seconds is what it took for me to make a mark on the English footballing world as I managed to take a shot from distance.
It was almost like a movie. The young player gets his moment in his spotlights and then shines. That movie was meant to star me, but instead the script went quite a bit differently. My name would end up in all the match reports, the newspapers and the history books. 147 seconds, 2 and a half minute that’s all it took to make a mark on Premiership history as that was all it took for me to be heading back to the dressing room after getting a red card.”