Jason Sherlock is a cult hero in Dublin having given his all for the Boys In Blue during a 15-year inter-county career.
‘Jayo’ burst on to the scene in 1995 at the age of just 19, helping the Dubs to All-Ireland glory. He posed a threat to every defender who attempted to get near him, chipping in with some vital scores along the way to clinching the Sam Maguire Cup, particularly against Cork and Tyrone in the semi-final and final respectively.
Unfortunately for Sherlock, that would be as good as it got for him in a Dublin jersey. 1995 was his only All-Ireland win although he played all the way through to 2010. He did win seven Leinster SFC medals throughout his days lining out for the men in the capital.
Sherlock was perhaps lesser known for his exploits in soccer but he was indeed a well established player on these shores. In fact, Jayo was so well thought of as a soccer player back in the day, Liverpool came calling. While part of the Dublin senior football team, he also plied his trade for UCD and Shamrock Rovers. He even earned himself an Irish under-21 cap as a result of finishing as Rovers’ top-scorer in the 1998/99 season with 31 goals.
It is little wonder the Merseyside super-club were intrigued by the talented young Dub.
In an extract from his newly released autobiography in the Independent, Sherlock reveals just how close he came to signing for the English football giants.
Although there was no concrete offer, manager at the time, Roy Evans, did indeed contact the tricky corner-forward directly.
“I was only 19 and could sense no urgency. For the next two years I had to listen to the stories that Liverpool wanted me, but the window had closed by then because my life and career in Ireland simply exploded after the All- Ireland final.
“But did Liverpool really want me? There was never any concrete dealing, but Roy Evans had spoken to me about it directly.”
So, Sherlock stayed home to celebrate his sole Celtic cross that summer rather than pursue a lucrative move to Liverpool.
“At the start of the 1995-96 Premiership, Roy told a reporter: “We played UCD at the end of last season and I was very impressed with Jason. He might not be the biggest striker but he is very quick. I said at the time I would consider offering him a chance and within the next fortnight I hope to get him over to see how he shapes up.”
One man who was best placed to advise Sherlock was fellow Dub and cross-code master Kevin Moran. Moran had successful careers with Dublin and Manchester United. However, instead of striking while the iron was hot and coat tailing off to the glitz and glam of the Premier League, Jayo decided to let things pan out and no more was heard from Roy Evans.