We’ve delved into our archive and discovered old photos of Liverpool FC boss Brendan Rodgers as you’ve never seen him before.
A teenager, Carnlough native Rodgers is pictured sporting a rather striking hairstyle alongside team-mates from a Northern Ireland Schools squad during the 1980s.
The now Anfield supremo began his playing career with Star United under the tutelage of Arthur McClean, who also managed a Milk Cup team Rodgers was part of.
Speaking in 2012, after Rodgers’ appointment as Reds’ boss, McClean recalled: “He was very dedicated – most of the other boys in the Star team would have been from in and around Ballymena, but Brendan’s father Malachy would bring him up from Carnlough each week.
“He was a good player and he could well have had a very good career in the game, had he not suffered from injury.
“He was confident in his own ability without ever being arrogant – he was a nice lad to work with.”
His progress as a player in his teenage years was all the more remarkable as all his football was played outside school, as St Patrick’s College in Ballymena did not play football on a competitive level at that time.
“He was a great sporting all-rounder,” added St Patrick’s teacher Paul McKee. “He played Gaelic football and hurling and he was an excellent point guard in basketball. He was back at the school a couple of years ago as guest speaker at our prize day and he spoke very fondly about his time at St Patrick’s.
“I have always kept an eye on his career. After I would have watched the English Premier League results on a Saturday, the next one I would look for would have been Reading, Watford or Swansea when he was at those clubs.”