I found this on soccernet. I thought those who remember him might be interested. 'Wonderkid' whose dream turned sour By Carl Marsden After being hailed as a 'wonderkid' way back in 1985, Wayne Harrison's footballing fairytale quickly turned from dream to nightmare. Liverpool surprised many when they made striker Harrison the most expensive teenager in world football that year. The Anfield side shelled out £250,000 for the services of a 17-year-old who had made just two first-team appearances for Second Division Oldham Athletic. By rights, Harrison would now be coming to the end of a glittering career with a healthy hoard of medals and international caps. His pace and exceptional finishing skills should have made him a household name. But he was ultimately destined to make just one senior appearance for Liverpool. And although the club showed their faith by renewing his playing contract three times, countless injuries, operations and lay-offs - including one near-death experience - conspired to produce a cruel outcome for player and club. In 1991, Harrison was forced to retire after a luckless journey from the brink of fame to despair. 'My transfer to Liverpool was signed and sealed really quickly,' he recalls. 'I was very young and not even interested in what the contract said. I supported Liverpool as a kid - Dalglish and Keegan were my idols, so it was a dream come true.' Everything Harrison touched at that time seemed to turn to goals. He had already scored 35 times for Oldham's reserve and junior sides, progressing to first-team level just five months after signing schoolboy forms. At the age of 16, he became the youngest first-team player in the Boundary Park club's history, fuelling paper talk of a big-money move. Athletic's youth team coach at the time, Billy Urmson, still raves about Harrison. 'We went to play Hull City's reserve side one day and had only one senior pro in the side,' he says. 'Not surprisingly, we lost 8-1 - but Wayne typically got his goal, from nowhere. He was that type of player - a quality finisher.' Liverpool's interest in the youngster grew after he tore them apart in an FA Youth Cup tie at Anfield. 'Wayne was simply unbelievable,' Urmson remembers. 'We won 4-0 - we were 3-0 up after half an hour - and Wayne scored twice. It was no surprise that they followed up their interest pretty much straight away.' Athletic's manager of the time, Joe Royle, was reluctant to lose the player but had little choice. 'We were very much in a sell-to-survive situation,' he says. 'Almost every big club in the country made enquiries about Wayne. Although it took a long time for him to settle, there were strong signs that he was about to break through when tragedy struck.' The youngster's Liverpool career was dogged by injuries and misfortune, typified by an incident when the reserve side went on a pre-season tour in the south of England. Harrison fell through greenhouse glass, cutting veins in his arms. With ambulance services in the area on strike at the time, he almost died from loss of blood before a replacement army service could rush him to hospital. Harrison says: 'I have had 23 football-related operations altogether - 12 of those were on the knee that caused me to quit. Before that, I had a double hernia, groin problems, cartilage on my knee and a sore shoulder. 'Then I had started to string together a great run of form for the reserves when the big injury that ended my career struck.' That fatal blow came in a game against Bradford City reserves in May 1990. It was the final game of a season in which Harrison appeared to be finally putting injury woes behind him and reproducing the form that had led to his dream transfer. Not surprisingly, he can remember the incident as though it had happened yesterday. 'It was just a high tackle from the goalkeeper,' he recalls. 'He caught me at full pelt and I didn't see him coming at all. I was running at full speed, trying to latch onto the ball, and he just caught me. 'I remember feeling really physically sick, especially when I tried to get on my feet. It was so painful.' After the first operation on the joint, Harrison's knee was never the same - he had irreparably damaged cruciate and medial ligaments. He says: 'It still gives me jip to this day and seems to get steadily worse every year - especially as winter and the colder weather sets in.' Eventually, in 1991, the day Harrison had feared arrived. 'Graeme Souness asked to see me and basically told me the doctors had said they didn't think that I should play again,' he says. ? Wayne Harrison 'I was utterly devastated - I was only 22 and my head was in a real spin. I had to have further operations on the knee, which got worse over time and, to be honest, I didn't do much for three or four years.' The player's plight was alleviated somewhat by a testimonial game between Oldham and Liverpool in 1992, but, sadly, Harrison was not even fit enough to turn out on the field for a token few minutes' appearance. After being tantalisingly close to a life of luxury and fame, Harrison is now back in modest surroundings. He works in his hometown of Stockport as an HGV driver for Robinson's brewery, but is philosophical about his former career and what might have been. 'The best way to look at it now is that I don't I think anything can ever be as bad as it has been,' he says. 'But I don't feel bitter. I am getting on with my life again now.'