written by Dave Usher
Don Hutchison's time at Liverpool was very much a case of 'what might have been'. Signed by Kenny Dalglish as a raw teenager from Hartlepool United, the young Geordie was handed his debut by Graeme Souness in March 1992 when he replaced Ian Rush for the final ten minutes of a 4-0 win against Notts County.
The following season Don was one of a number of young players to break into the first team as Souness rebuilt the side amidst a massive injury crisis. Hutchison, Redknapp, Fowler, McManaman, Jones, Harkness and James gave the Reds a youthful look and unsurprisingly results were mixed.
Hutchison showed promise and eye for goal. His first goal for the club came against Chesterfield in an infamous 4-4 draw at Anfield. He would score 10 goals in total for the club, but for all his promise on the field he had a self destructive side off it, finding himself on the front of the Sunday papers as often as he made the back.
When Roy Evans replaced Souness, his patience with Hutchison eventually snapped after a City Centre incident in which he was photographed with a Budweiser label covering 'Little Don'. He was shipped off to West Ham before moving on to Sheffield United.
Eventually he ended up back on Merseyside with Everton and he enjoyed a good spell for the Blues. So impressive were his performances in an Everton shirt he caught the eye of Gerard Houllier, who had taken over from Evans at Anfield. Houllier was interested in bringing Hutchison back to Anfield but the deal never happened and the player moved back up to his native North East to join Sunderland.
A year later he was back at West Ham, where he remained for four seasons before spells at Millwall, Coventry and finally Luton Town.
Had he been able to keep himself out of the Sunday papers and behave himself off the field, Hutchison may well have enjoyed a much longer stay at Liverpool. He had a decent career, but it could and should have been much better.