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Thursday, 20 November 2014

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Shear delight

A0478663
WHAT’S UP MATE? Bluebirds Wembley 1990 hero Paul Ferris attends to his mate Alan Shearer in his former role as Newcastle United physio

ALAN Shearer – one of England’s greatest ever players to grace Wembley – knows all about Barrow’s famous day under the old Twin Towers in 1990.

How come? Because close friend Paul Ferris continues to tell him all about it.

Northern Ireland-born Ferris starred on the wing the day the Bluebirds beat Leek Town 3-0 in the FA Trophy final. Asked if he bores Shearer with talk of his big day at Wembley, Ferris said: “Not as much as he bores me!

“Yes, Alan knows all about the Barrow stuff, I tell him all about it. He thinks it’s great.

“I also tell my kids about it till they get bored. I make them watch it on YouTube, especially the bit where I’m supposed to head it towards goal but instead flick it on and Colin Cowperthwaite scores our second goal!”

Injuries forced Ferris, now aged 44, to cut short his playing career in the early 1990s. Soon after that he began a 13-year spell as a physio at Newcastle United. It was a job which gave him the opportunity to return to Wembley.

Ferris was present when Shearer had his medical prior to the striker joining the Toon Army for a then world-record £15 million in 1996. A close friendship was developed in the years that followed, so much so that when Shearer returned to St James’ Park as manager in April last year, he brought Ferris back with him.

Still living near Newcastle, Ferris is a qualified barrister who has just completed writing his first, yet to be published, novel, titled An Irish Heartbeat.

He added: “Alan has become a very good friend and hopefully in the future I will work with him again.”

Recalling the day it was he, and not Shearer, treading the hallowed Wembley turf, Ferris said: “Anyone who plays at Wembley should be very proud of it, no matter what level it is at.

“My favourite memory is going 3-0 up. I knew then that there was no way back for Leek. It meant we could enjoy the rest of the day knowing no Barrow fans would leave disappointed. It was just a fantastic achievement.”

Speaking from his experience at Newcastle, he did, however, have this warning to the current Bluebirds player preparing to go to the new Wembley: “Don’t lose. It’s not a good place if you lose.”

Ferris hopes to be at the national stadium to watch his old club attempt to emulate the achievements of he and his team-mates two decades ago.

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