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Featured: "Mad Erik's Double (1999-2000)" by Dave Usher

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Dutch striker Erik Meijer only managed two goals in the year he spent with the reds, and both came in an away game at Hull in the Worthington Cup.  The big man, affectionately known as 'Mad Erik' because of his eccentric character, struck twice in the second half of a game which the reds ran out comfortable winners.

 
maderik1.jpg
His first goal came on 48 minutes, when he recieved the ball from David Thompson and struck a low shot from the egde of the area which nestled in the bottom corner of home keeper Lee Bracey's net.  His second was a neat little chip over Bracey after he'd been played in by Vegard Heggem. Although he never found the net again, Meijer still made a contribution to the team that season, and his never say die attitude and total commitment made him a cult hero amongst the fans.
 
Meijer treated reserve games at St Helens with the same commitment he would a World Cup final, and his crazy antics in those games ensured there was never a dull moment at Knowsley Road.  On one occasion he closed down a full back, who played the ball back to his keeper. Erik then chased down the keeper, who switched the ball to the full back on the opposite side. Still Erik kept chasing, and eventually got across to block the full backs attempted clearance and knocked the ball out for a throw. Meijer leapt to his feet fist pumping to the crowd as though he'd just scored the winner in a Merseyside derby.
 
He was released on a free transfer to Hamburg, and reserve games haven't been the same since.  His cult status was cemented in Dortmund at the UEFA Cup final, when he turned up for the pre-match party in the Alter Markt and went on the ale with the fans, wearing a Liverpool shirt with his own name on the back, and joining in with all the songs (as pictured below).
 
Thanks to Graeme McConnell (the lad in the pic next to Erik), for kindly sending me this photo.   As the song went, "He's big, he's red, he's off his f*****g head - Erik Meijer"
 

 

maderik2.jpg
 
Season:  1999/00
Opposition: Hull City
Result: 5-1
Scorer(s): Meijer (2), Murphy (2), Staunton
VenueBoothferry Park

 

 

 

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Went to a reserve game at Elland rd to watch us play Leeds, mad Erik played that day and I think he scored the winner, after the final whistle we went near the tunnel to applaud the lads off & he came over celebrating with us as though we'd won the league....legend

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And so began what was to become a Liverpool tradition of signing the only Dutch forwards in history with no first touch and no discernible levels of skill. Oh and no redeeming qualities whatsoever in Babel's case.

This from a country where even the goalies have more natural footballing ability than the average English midfielder.

;)

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Went to a reserve game at Elland rd to watch us play Leeds, mad Erik played that day and I think he scored the winner, after the final whistle we went near the tunnel to applaud the lads off & he came over celebrating with us as though we'd won the league....legend

 

Yep, sounds about right.  Don't think I've ever seen anyone show so much enthusiasm towards reserve games, he loved it.  Some of his antics in those games were hilarious.  Remember once he was making his way back from an offside position, tip toeing up the far touchline to try and avoid being spotted with the linesman.  He turns to the crowd and puts his finger to his lips, telling us to shush, it was hilarious.

 

Anyone else remember the game at Anfield when the ball got twatted into his face from point blank range, and the whole place went silent for a second waiting to see what happened?  He staggered back a pace, then shook his head like a dog that's just out of the bath, blew off the cobwebs and then went charging off after the ball again.  Everyone just started laughing.

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Those goals at Boothferry Park.

 

Eric climbing into the away end at Valley Parade, when Bradford fans invaded the pitch.

 

His goals against Celtic (Ronnie Moran's Testimonial) and him celebrating them like The Ultimate Warrior might have done had he been a footballer.

 

Bumping into him in Dortmund. Having my picture taken with him. His mate, who was drinking

a bottle of spirits (can't remember what kind) , pouring said beverage down my throat.

 

Eric's mate: "More?"

 

Me: "No thanks, mate"

 

Eric's mate: "Hahaha... I thought the English were big drinkers?!"

 

Great memories.

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Those goals at Boothferry Park.

 

Eric climbing into the away end at Valley Parade, when Bradford fans invaded the pitch.

 

His goals against Celtic (Ronnie Moran's Testimonial) and him celebrating them like The Ultimate Warrior might have done had he been a footballer.

 

Bumping into him in Dortmund. Having my picture taken with him. His mate, who was drinking

a bottle of spirits (can't remember what kind) , pouring said beverage down my throat.

 

Eric's mate: "More?"

 

Me: "No thanks, mate"

 

Eric's mate: "Hahaha... I thought the English were big drinkers?!"

 

Great memories.

 

 

Haha class.

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