One of the published articles I wrote for AFC Liverpool’s Matchday programme.
As you would expect from a local team, Waterloo Dock have seen their fair share of Liverpudlian talent. One such local lad was impressive enough to be picked up by Liverpool FC, John Durnin played for Waterloo Dock before being spotted and snapped up at twenty one. John joined the reserve team squad and played regularly but found first team opportunities scarce, appearing only twice for the senior squad, both times in the league cup. A short loan deal to West Brom allowed John to play first team football before he moved on to Oxford. The wandering attacker laid down roots in the university town and enjoyed four and a half years at the club. The U’s enjoyed a good period and were promoted to Division One in 1992 though John left shortly after for Portsmouth, the club where he is probably best remembered. John was a first team regular on the south coast making 181 appearances over seven seasons, and it wasn’t until age started to show in those industrious legs that he was loaned out to Blackpool and Carlisle. After a short spell full time at Carlisle John began the inevitable gradual drop down the leagues with Kidderminster Harriers then Welsh side Rhyl in a player/coach role. John spent less than six months in Wales before returning to England with Port Vale. Thirty six year old John put in an impressive 47 appearances for the Valiants though his strike rate understandably was not quite what it had been with Oxford and Portsmouth. John played his swansong season with Accrington Stanley in the conference before hanging up his boots in 2004, aged 39, his professional career lasting 18 years and spanning the breadth of the football pyramid. All this started with Waterloo Dock giving a chance to a boy from Bootle.