'The kids don't remember me' says Terry McDermott, but he's still a Liverpool and Newcastle legend

Popular with both sets of fans, McDermott reflects on his career with the Reds and the Mags in an interview with Martin Hardy

Martin Hardy
Sunday 01 October 2017 11:41
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Terry McDermott tells the Independent about his time with Liverpool and Newcastle
Terry McDermott tells the Independent about his time with Liverpool and Newcastle

‘Would you like to be a footballer now Terry?’

The question comes from the floor of the Nine Bar, underneath the Gallowgate End at St James’ Park, where around 100 Newcastle fans are sat.

‘Nope,’ replies Terry McDermott. ‘They fanny on too much!’

There is laughter, as there is throughout the night. McDermott knows how to tell a story. He also knew how to play.

There will always be a desire to quantify a player from the past’s value in the current game. McDermott won three European Cup finals and five English titles and scored 58 goals (no penalties) from midfield in a staggering three-year period at Anfield. Raheem Sterling left Anfield for £44 million in 2015.

Terry McDermott (r) lifts the European Cup with Liverpool

“I did a tour of Anfield recently and some of the people there were saying to the young fans, ‘Log on to YouTube, it'll show you what a player he was,’ says McDermott. “Afterwards, this lad, probably about 15, came up to me and went, ‘bloody hell, some goals you scored!’

“You’re proud. The kids under 25 don't remember you. They've been told and they check. He’d never seen a goal of mine before, his idol was Steven Gerrard.

“Of course you get a buzz, of course you do. The fans who were there and watched you and cheered you never forget. They come up to you and pat you on the back and that still means so much.

“When we didn't win the league that year at Newcastle, those players have become heroes because of the football. ‘What about them games between Newcastle and Liverpool?’ the fans still want to talk about it. That made their lives and their careers.”

McDermott, from Liverpool, moved back to Newcastle after that 58 goal burst, in 1982. It was his second spell on Tyneside. He returned with Kevin Keegan for a third spell in 1992.

Terry McDermott and Kevin Keegan during their time as Newcastle coaches

Tyneside is still his home. Merseyside is where he was born and grew up. He is indelibly linked to the two clubs now.

“You can see the stadium from everywhere,” he adds. “I was in the dentists down there in the city the other day and I already had my mouth open and then I opened my eye and I could see part of St James’. It’s everywhere. When you come along the A1, when you fly in you can see it. You get attached to a club like this, as big as it is.

“I came in 1972, moved to Liverpool in ‘74 and I was coming back here, even when I was playing for Liverpool. I used to come back here after every game to Newcastle to go to the Dolce Vita club!

“Before then I was living with Alan Kennedy’s mother and father. They were fantastic people. I quickly took to the area and how passionate the fans are.”

He lost a Cup final with Newcastle (against Liverpool) in 1974. He lost the title, if it is possible to do such a thing, with Newcastle in 1996.

“Was it one of the happiest times of my life? You could never better that. It’s just a great memory,” says McDermott.

“Sometimes there was two or three thousand people watching. Eventually we brought a burger van into training. I always remember this, me and Kevin (Keegan) were about 20 or 30 yards from the lads, leaning against the van having our bacon butties and we knew it was just a pleasure, the lads were so good to watch, even in training.

“The lads would go into the shower and ordinary people (Newcastle trained at Durham University’s facilities) would be in with them. They'd have been playing badminton or something, and they'd be there in the shower with David Ginola and Les Ferdinand!

“We deserved to win it, I know they (Manchester United) finished top, you deserve to be top, but on that one occasion, we were the best team, we played some great football, but it wasn't to be.”

McDermott does talk-ins for both clubs now, speaks at Anfield before games and does tours of a stadium he graced. No person will be more torn when the two clubs meet on Sunday at St James’ Park. There is admiration for both managers.

“Everyone loves Jurgen Klopp there,” he adds. “The fans love him. The players respect him. From our point of view, the way he acts during the game or when they score or concede, he goes ballistic, and Kevin was like that. I think you have to be like that.

Newcastle v Liverpool: Premier League match preview

“Klopp has been at the highest levels with Borussia Dortmund, but he’s gone from a big club to a massive club. That massive club wants to see trophies. I'm sure he knows that now. I’m convinced he can win a trophy. Burnley, Seville, Leicester they should have been out of sight in the first half in those games. That has happened in every game, Whether it s bad luck or bad finishing, or a bit of each, they’re scoring but the defensive side of it, even Klopp has admitted there is a concern, and rightly so, Liverpool can’t keep conceding. goals.

“The Newcastle manager? Bloody hell. He’s been a top manager everywhere he’s went. Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Napoli, there was another one, Inter Milan, bloody hell! It’s not a bad CV is it? Imagine turning up, ‘Are you qualified for the job?’ ‘Have you got an hour to spare!’ The goal now is to stay up. Finishing 12th, 13th or 14th would be absolutely fantastic.”

There is sympathy for Philippe Coutinho. “You understand from his point of view, the biggest club in the world probably, doubling his salary, you can feel for him for that, but he signed a five year contract. Honour it.

“I wouldn't be surprised if they've come to an agreement, like they did with Suarez; give us a good season and then we’ll let you go next year.”

Everything is relative. A good season for Terry McDermott generally involved trophies.

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