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Wayne Harrison, football’s former “most expensive teenager” has died at 46

Dec 27, 2013, 7:42 AM EDT

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English striker Wayne Harrison died of pancreatic problems on Christmas Day at the age of 46.

The former player made headlines in the mid-1980s after a 2-goal performance for Oldham Athletic at the 1984 FA Youth Cup spurred Liverpool manager Joe Fagan to bid a then-record £250,000 for a 17-year-old player.

Harrison’s career was beset by injuries, as he only made four formal appearances — all on loan for either Oldham Athletic or Crewe Alexandria — over a seven-year spell at Liverpool.

The injuries were bizarre. He was nearly killed upon falling through a greenhouse during a paramedic strike. Another time he was hurt while falling in his loft and his career ultimately ended in 1991 when he tore cruciate ligaments in his knee during a reserve game for Liverpool versus Bradford City.

The Mirror said Harrison suffered through 23 separate bouts of surgery during his career. After retiring under Graeme Souness, it’s said he could not play in the testimonial arranged by Oldham due to injury. He ended up playing Sunday football.

A friend spoke to the Mirror:

One pal remembers him as a “humble, amazingly gifted man”.

“He started off as a substitute in the second team like everyone else and that was no problem, he had no airs or graces. He made a lot of defenders look daft. The talent he had was unbelievable but he was very humble.

“He was larger than life, a very funny man and a lot of people are devastated around here.”

Liverpool is set to honor the late Harrison at an unspecified home match.

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