Football

Ex-Liverpool Youth Player Admits He Once Purposely Injured Irish Teammate

Ex-Liverpool Youth Player Admits He Once Purposely Injured Irish Teammate

"I didn't really want to hurt him, I just needed him out of the way for this game."

In late December 2015, Liverpool were facing somewhat of a centre back shortage. They were due to play Exeter in the FA Cup and for youth team prospect, Tom Brewitt, he saw this as his opportunity to make his first team debut.

"I believed it was written in the stars for me to make my debut that day, so whatever it took to do it I was going to do it," he told the Football Journeys Podcast. Current Dundalk defender, Daniel Cleary, was Brewitt's teammate at the time and someone he was competing with for a possible appearance in that Exeter match.

Speaking on the podcast, Brewitt revealed that he purposely went in with a bad tackle on Cleary in a training session before the game, as he "needed him out of the way."

Speaking about buildup to the incident, Brewitt said:

It was me and a lad called Dan Cleary in the reserves. Jurgen knew there was a crisis so he was going to play Jose Enrique centre half and he brought back Thiago Illori from his loan.

We didn't know that until the first week in January so running up to the back end of December [2015] it was me or Dan Cleary who were, in my head, going to make our debut for the Liverpool first team in this game.

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"Me and Dan had always got on to be honest but I think I ended this relationship. I took the decision it was me or him. So I went after him in training. Before Christmas and the time between Christmas and New Year, I put myself next to him in possession games, I put myself next to him in games and I just kicked him. I wasn't trying to hurt him badly but I was trying to hurt him enough so that he was out of the way and I would play."

About a week before the FA Cup match, Brewitt took a heavy touch in a 7-a-side training game and Cleary made an effort to tackle him: "He's coming to tackle me, and I waited a split second too long and I absolutely topped him. I went over the ball – it was a bad tackle, I knew it was a bad tackle, and I did it on purpose."

After a scuffle, Cleary went in and Brewitt finished off the session:

"He was on crutches for the next two weeks so it was sort of like .... not "mission accomplished" because I think that's a bit harsh —  I didn't really want to hurt him, I just needed him out of the way for this game."

The incident was something Brewitt says he is not proud of but not ashamed of either: "In my head it was me or him, and I was choosing me."

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I believed it was written in the stars for me to make my debut that day, so whatever it took to do it I was going to do it. And if that hurting someone, if that meant ruining a relationship that I had I was going to do it. People might look at it and go "Your're this" or "You're that" but like you say, I was just desperate to play for Liverpool and that's all I wanted to do.

As fate would have it, Brewitt would end up suffering a concussion days later, ruling him out of the Exeter game anyhow.

Reacting to the podcast, Daniel Cleary tweeted: "Lucky to walk away from that tackle with my leg in one piece," and in a separate tweet said "Blowing out someone else’s candle doesn’t make yours shine any brighter comes to mind."

Brewitt is currently without a club after leaving Morecambe this summer, and is coaching at Liverpool's academy. Cleary is looking forward to being part of Dundalk's Europa League journey this winter.

See Also: Roy Keane On England's New Jack Grealish Obsession: 'It’s Like He’s The Messiah'

Mark Farrelly
Article written by
Balls Media Audience Development Manager. Former Miss World 1997 contestant.

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