In The Irish News on March 21, 1997: Stan Collymore sends message to Liverpool as exit rumours increase

Liverpool's Patrik Berger takes the ball around the SK Brann goalkeeper at the Reds cruised to victory at Anfield

STAN COLLYMORE calmed Liverpool’s European nerves with the strike that killed off the plucky Norwegians of Brann – and sent out a “sell me if you dare” message to Anfield boss Roy Evans.

Speculation is rife that Liverpool are about to cut their losses by off-loading the £7million striker, with Aston Villa boss Brian Little and his Wolves counterpart Mark McGhee declared admirers of Midlands-based Collymore.

Both were in the crowd last night to see Collymore secure Liverpool’s ticket into the semi-finals of the European Cup Winners’ Cup with the vital second goal in the 62nd minute, just 120 seconds after entering the fray as a substitute.

And with the transfer deadline looming, his stunning contribution was surely enough to convince boss Evans that Stan is still the Man as Liverpool maintain their chase for honours on both the domestic and continental fronts.


RONNIE O’Sullivan became the first player to reach the Benson and Hedges Irish Masters semi-finals yesterday and revealed that he almost played for Ireland in the World Cup.

O’Sullivan, the only ‘Irishman’ left in the competition, defeated Scotland’s John Higgins 6-4 in the opening quarter-final.

His victory was greeted with a chorus of approval from the Goffs crowd disappointed yesterday by the exits of Dubliners Ken Doherty and Stephen Murphy.

“I get a good reception wherever I play but it’s always better over here,” admitted the Essex-born professional whose grandfather comes from Cork.

“I talked to a few people about playing for Ireland in the World Cup if I hadn’t been picked for England.

“I didn’t make any official approach but I’d rather play for Ireland because England has done nothing for me.

“My mum loves it over here and has even talked about buying a house one day.”


Peter Canavan returns for Tyrone's relegation play-off against Meath

PETER Canavan makes his first start for Tyrone in seven months in Sunday’s crucial relegation play-off with Meath.

A troublesome ankle injury sustained in the All-Ireland semi-final defeat against Meath in August has prevented the 26-year-old from playing ever since, but he is named at centre half-forward on the team announced by Danny Ball after training late last night.

Canavan began the road to recovery coming on as a substitute in the Cavan game at Dungannon three weeks ago, but how he fares on the much bigger pitch at Clones will be of much interest to his legions of fans on Sunday.


JORGE Cadete’s agent is due in Glasgow next week for peace talks with Celtic as the striker’s pay row rumbles on.

The Glasgow club yesterday tried to quell the latest reports that the Portuguese star is not satisfied with his working conditions.

Celtic say they will increase Cadete’s wages – but only if he agrees to extend his contract beyond 1999.

Cadete, who has scored 28 goals for Celtic this season in just 33 full appearances, is reputed to earn around £4,000 per week, well below the top earners at Parkhead such as Italians Paolo Di Canio and Enrico Annoni.

Now, in an ominous replay of the Pierre Van Hooijdonk pay row, Cadete’s agent Paolo Barbosa is due for more talks with Celtic about re-negotiation of the player’s terms.


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