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Where Are Liverpool’s “Spice Boys” Now?


Back in the 1990s, a clutch of Liverpool players were dubbed the ‘Spice Boys’ by the British media. That came out of the growing wealth in the game, blending with a culture where popularity and fame away from the football pitch were also rapidly growing.

At the heart of the Spice Boys were the likes of Robbie Fowler, Jamie Redknapp and Jason McAteer. The term was a pejorative one, a chance for the media to look down their noses and criticise the players for their lifestyle as opposed to football careers.

Further playing into the hands of the media, it was a period of drought for the Reds, whose only silverware in the 1990s was a League Cup triumph in 1995. Here we take a look at what happened to the Spice Boys after their Liverpool days.

Robbie Fowler playing for Liverpool in 2007

Robbie Fowler

One of Liverpool’s greatest goal scorers, Robbie Fowler was seen as the main protagonist of the entire Spice Boys thing. An icon of the 90s, Fowler never got the honours that his goals should have brought the club.

He spent around a decade with Liverpool in his first spell, before moving on to Leeds and then Manchester City, before a surprising return to Anfield in 2005. After leaving Liverpool a second time, Fowler moved to Championship side Cardiff for a short spell.

He then made three brief appearances in a Premier League return for Blackburn before moving to Australia and finishing his career in the Thai Premier League with Muangthong United.

A dabble in managerial roles with Muangthong United, Brisbane Roar and Indian side East Bengal followed. Fowler currently holds the highest Pro Licence in coaching but has been struggling to get recognised for a job in England. Looking through Next Manager markets in a list of bookmakers, for instance, at https://legalbet.uk/betting-sites/sets/boku/, even for lower-tiered managerial jobs, Fowler’s name strangely remains absent.

Steve McManaman with
Liverpool masters Singapore National Stadium 2017

Steve McManaman

Macca is commonly seen and heard on ESPN and BT Sport as a pundit and was pretty much Fowler’s wingman in the 90s. McManaman famously went on to sign for Real Madrid on his Liverpool exit where he enjoyed success, and then briefly returned to the Premier League with Man City.

He’s dipped into some charity football matches, but it’s mostly commentary now on English and Spanish football from Macca.

Jamie Redknapp during Hillsborough Memorial Match (2009)

Jamie Redknapp

Following a familiar path of going into the media, Jamie Redknapp, the glamour boy midfielder of Liverpool in the 90s, can be seen doing punditry work in print and on television. He spent more seasons at Anfield than Fowler and McManaman did, although appearances naturally dwindled at the end.

Redknapp had a mini-revival with a move to Tottenham in 2002/03 and then Southampton in 2004, but retired after one season with the Saints. He literally even had a comedy talk show launched in 2021 and seems to be firmly embedded in media life.

David James as a player of England national football team October 2009

David James

The former England goalkeeper was also an underwear model for Armani in the late 90s on the back of his fame. He divided a lot of fans about his ability but had seven seasons with the Reds before moving on to Aston Villa.

He stayed around the Premier League with West Ham, Man City and Portsmouth too before moving to Championship side Bristol City in 2010 where he spent a couple of seasons. A spate of appearances for Bournemouth (then in League One), Icelandic side IBV and India’s Kerala Blasters followed. James also managed the Blasters for a while.

James has also done punditry work, but more regularly has popped up on TV shows like Countdown, Celebrity Mastermind and in 2019 he hit the dance floor in Strictly Come Dancing.

Jason McAteer

Jason McAteer

Well known for his locks, who can forget McAteer’s shampoo commercial in the 1990s? That was the big endorsement that he got out of the Spice Boys. The Ireland international has been quiet compared to some of his former teammates, with only a bit of media work done in Asia and for LFC TV.

After playing for Liverpool, McAteer moved to Blackburn and stuck with them even after relegation. Stints at Sunderland and then Tranmere followed before he retired in 2007. McAteer has made appearances for Liverpool Legends.

Hard And Unfair Criticism

The media weren’t great fans of the Spice Boys. It was cool not to buy into their extracurricular activities. They were slated for their matching cream-coloured Armani Suits worn for the 1996 FA Cup Final, just to show how petty things had become.

But all of this happened when Premier League wages were starting to skyrocket. Along with that, the fame of the players was just going through the roof and it was an effect of that and nothing much else.

At the end of the day, footballers are still young men, who are not impartial to having fun and going about their business in high spirits. They were enjoying a new wealthy era of life as a professional footballer.

One of the heaviest criticisms about the Spice Boys was that they put more importance on external factors like growing fame than they did in their performances on the pitch. That’s a tough criticism, but the fact is Liverpool was an underperforming beast at the time and the easiest scapegoat apparently was simply players being happy.

Other articles from totimes.ca – otttimes.ca – mtltimes.ca

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