Liverpool's youngest ever player now owns a fried chicken shop

Liverpool’s youngest ever player went from making his professional debut at just 16 to owning a fried chicken branch just 10 years later having been left without a contract after leaving Watford

  • Jerome Sinclair remains Liverpool’s youngest ever player – making debut at 16
  • Brendan Rodgers praised his temperament and conduct after handing him debut
  • However he only went on to make four more appearances for Liverpool 
  • He now owns his own branch of a chicken shop in his native city of Birmingham 

Once labelled Liverpool’s next big thing having made his debut at the age of just 16 and six days, becoming the club’s youngest ever player, Jerome Sinclair now owns a chicken shop in his native Birmingham. 

Sinclair, now 26, was introduced by Brendan Rodgers in a 2-1 win at West Brom in 2012 – in the process becoming the youngest player to ever appear for the club, a record he still holds. 

He scored his only goal in the FA Cup against Exeter in the 2015-16 season, under Jurgen Klopp. 

Jerome Sinclair was considered among the best young talents in the country when he made his first team debut at just 16

However, his career at the club did not go quite as planned – making just four more appearances before leaving for Watford in 2016. 

It has been revealed that he has since invested his earnings in various business dealings, including in a Birmingham branch of Morley’s Chicken, founded in London in the mid-80s but since having expanded. 

He remains without a contract in professional football having seen his deal at Watford expire in 2021. 

‘Welcome to the Morley’s family Jerome Sinclair,’ the company tweeted. It was confirmed that it was in fact the same individual who had broken onto the scene so spectacularly young with Liverpool. 

His exit from Liverpool was acrimonious, with the club’s supporters blaming the agent Aidy Ward – who masterminded Raheem Sterling’s exit to Manchester City in 2015 – for him departing.

He became Sinclair’s representative shortly before he turned down the offer of a new contract at Liverpool.  

Klopp did not hold back in his thoughts when directly referencing the Sinclair situation.

‘What we try to do is create a situation where younger players know it is not important to get the highest wages in your life in the first year of your career,’ he said.

‘I like Jerome, he is a real talent and if he wants to stay with us no problem. If not, we cannot force it,’ he continued. Liverpool didn’t force it, and Sinclair didn’t stay.

Sinclair moved to Watford but he couldn’t nail down a spot and is now without a contract

At Watford, it was expected that he would kick on and cultivate the career for himself that many – from a young age – believed he would have. Just a further handful of appearances followed, before he wound up at a host of clubs on loan.

These included Sunderland, Birmingham, Oxford and most recently CSKA Sofia. No contract was forthcoming and he has been without a professional football deal since departing Watford in 2021. 

Karl Robinson, who brought Sinclair to Oxford United twice – once on loan and then again on trial – told The Athletic that the former forward has a ‘good business head on him’ and that all he wished for was the player to be ‘happy’.

‘I know he’s based in Birmingham and he’s got a good business head on him. He’s got interests outside of football. I just want him to be happy. If that’s playing football again or not, as long as he’s happy, that’s all that matters,’ he said.

Speaking in 2020, Sinclair gave an insight into perhaps where his career had fallen by the wayside. He said that having been asked by Steven Gerrard to play in his all-star charity game, he felt he had ‘broken through a big barrier’. However, further obstacles lay ahead. 

Sinclair asked to leave Liverpool in search of first-team football, turning down a new contract

‘Gerrard was very good with me and made me feel involved. He asked me to play in his all-star charity game against Jamie Carragher’s team. I started in a front three with Thierry Henry and Ryan Babel. I can never thank him enough for giving me the opportunity to meet my idol.

‘By the end of that season, I felt like I’d pushed through a big barrier. I thought I was back on track. Now, I can see I was only at the start of all the obstacles and all the trials and tribulations you experience in football.’

Asked for his advice on players coming through in a similar manner to himself, Sinclair offered some sage advice when speaking to Football 25/8. 

‘In terms of my experience as a footballer, getting so emotionally invested when things go well or don’t go well affects you so much,’ he said. 

‘You can’t let things get to you so much. You can’t get too low or too high at certain points.’

Share this article

Source: Read Full Article