His first touch brought to mind a golf ball hurled at a garage wall. Trying to keep up with a teenage Michael Owen in the midst of harum-scarum counter attacks, he looked like an irate father giving chase through the estate to the scally who just got his daughter up the duff.
Wheezing, gesticulating wildly, and bellowing instructions at random players, his conduct in the six yard box while waiting for corners was a thing of bewildering intensity – often giving Liverpool fans the mistaken impression that “heart”, along with throwing yourself at the ball like a mattress into a skip, could make up for a distinct lack of talent. Still, at least he was free.
Struggling to find a place in the team behind Fowler and Owen in 2000/01, he was farmed out to Preston North End for an unsuccessful loan spell before returning to Hamburg in the Bundesliga. After a season, 27 appearances and two goals for Liverpool, Meijer was gone. No matter – a new object of the Kop’s affections was looming on the horizon, this time with a heady £11 million price tag. Step forward, one Emile Heskey.
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