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Where are they now?


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Fondly nicknamed Trigger by Liverpool team-mates, Jones' career followed a meteoric rise, but was cut short by injury problems. After starting out at Crewe in the Fourth Division, the right-back was spotted by Graeme Souness and transferred to Liverpool in October 1991. Forty-eight-hours later he made his debut against Manchester United, impressing against Ryan Giggs; four months after that he started for England. That same season Liverpool won the FA Cup. Still only 20 years old, Jones must have felt life couldn't get any better. But injury would plague his career: shin splints forced him to miss Euro 92, he was dogged by back problems in 1996-98, and missed the whole of 1998-99 with a knee injury. Jones was forced to retire that year, aged just 27.


Jones now runs a chain of nursery schools in Warrington. www.kids-academy.co.uk


What was it like to retire at 27?


Very difficult. As an established player for Liverpool and England I never thought it would happen to me. I was gutted for at least six months, sitting around wondering what to do with myself - one day you're in the changing rooms the next day it all stops. I was lucky to have a supportive family to give me a kick up the backside though - they put an end to my moping around.


Steve McManaman also helped...


At that time I was really down. I couldn't go to Anfield for at least two years, I just couldn't face it. Steve was really supportive, calling me on the phone, inviting me to come and visit him at Real Madrid. He didn't have to do that: he had only just moved clubs, he had a lot of pressure on his shoulders so it was nice that he was thinking of me even then. My wife and I went over to Madrid many times. It took my mind off things seeing how well he was doing. Little things help: anything so that you're not just going to the pub.


Did you ever imagine what you would do when you retired?


I really never thought about it. Everyone expects footballers to retire and live off their millions... These days they probably could, but if you're bored it doesn't matter how much money you've got.


How did the nursery business start?


My wife was always interested in childcare and she went to college to learn more about it. At the same time I was looking into property in the area and between us we set up the business. We were very successful - as one of the first nurseries in the area to offer French and computer lessons to kids, one of the nurseries got so big we had 110 kids there a day. We ended up running five nurseries at one stage, but now we've downsized to four.


What is the best thing about retiring?


Being able to spend time with your kids. As a footballer I missed Christmases and school plays, but now that I run my own business I can be there for them whenever they need me. As you get older you become more mature, you look back and think: 'Oh God I can't believe I did that.' My wife thinks I've got more confidence since I left football. I'm not sure, but it certainly is nice to grow up a bit.


Do you miss football now?


I don't look back now. People stop me in the street sometimes to ask for an autograph and I'm surprised. I forget I was ever a footballer - it seems such a long time ago now. Some of my old games were on TV the other week and my children were like, 'Oh my God, is that actually you?' They couldn't imagine me playing in front of all those people: they just think of me as dad. I was never into the fame side of things anyway: some players will go to the opening of an envelope, but I'm not interested in going on TV and all that.


I've got a different life now. I'm a different person.




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from official..


Graeme Souness' reign as Liverpool manager was severely criticised but let it be said that he did sign right back Rob Jones for a bargain �300,000 from Crewe Alexandra in 1991.

Making his Reds debut at Old Trafford of all places, Jones performance against Manchester United is still to this day remembered by Liverpool supporters. Nothing significant in the actual game you might say as it finished 0-0 but his marking of Ryan Giggs was simply magnificent as the Welsh international hardly got a kick. Indeed Giggs was full of praise for the Reds defender by rating him as his most difficult opponent. High praise indeed.


Jones went on to finish a highly impressive first season by playing in the 1992 FA Cup victory over Sunderland at Wembley. International honours followed with England and he made a superb debut in the 2-0 win over France at Wembley.


However, there was injury heartbreak for Jones when he was forced to pull out of Graham Taylor's squad for the 1992 European Championships. It was a huge loss for the player and for the England team.


Over the next few years Jones established himself as the best right back in England with a series of energetic and powerful display's down the right, linking brilliantly with Steve McManaman, and it came something of a big surprise when he was left out of the England team for the vital World Cup qualifier with Holland in 1993, which England lost in controversial circumstances.


When new manager Roy Evans introduced the wing back system Jones filled it perfectly and added another medal to his collection when he played in the 1995 Coca Cola League Cup win over Bolton Wanderers at Wembley.


The following season Evans signed Jason McAteer from Bolton and he took the right wing back role with Jones switched to the left. It was a role Jones disliked but such was his professionalism he got on with the job without making a fuss.


Sadly injury then set in with back problems that restricted his appearances to just three in the 1996-97 season. He was released in May 1999 and tried his luck at West Ham United but his back problems continued to be a major problem and he was forced to retire from the game.

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He would have had a sackful of England caps if the injuries hadn't happened, instead they went to our favourite Manc ****


Bloody good player.


Mind you, his goal count is impressive isn't it. ;)

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He's from where I grew up so used to see him out and about all the time. Was a bit of a whopper back then, giving it the big I am and all that but as the article says he's a different bloke these days by all accounts. Great player though, the injuries robbed us of the best LFC full back of his generation.


His nurseries have got loads of signed shirts from the likes of Ronaldo, Zidane etc in them too.

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