LIFE’S A BALL FOR BIG JOE PHYSIO
WHENEVER Joe Royle is asked, ‘Which player gave you most trouble at Oldham?’ he always replies: “The physio!”
That physio is Ian Liversedge, a man who has worked at every level from Non-League to international over a 30-year career.
It has been an eventful life for the man known throughout football as ‘SOSS’, a re-working of his surname, via ‘liver sausage’.
As a player, SOSS occupied a modest position in the history of the game but as a physio he has worked with some of the greatest names.
He was appointed as a young physio at Newcastle in the same week that Kevin Keegan arrived. Tyneside was alight – and SOSS developed his love for entertaining football and a fondness for boozing and partying that was to continue at Oldham.
Boundary Park in the ‘90s was full of characters who played hard on the pitch and knew how to party off it.
A Wembley final, two FA Cup semis and Premier League football – SOSS was in his element, often too much. The night before Oldham’s first Premier League match was spent in a prison cell after a fall-out with a bouncer in the nightclub at the hotel Big Joe’s men were staying in before facing Chelsea.
There were further good times to come at Turf Moor under Stan Ternent, one of the game’s real characters, with other well-known livewires including Paul Gascoigne, Ian Wright and Glen Little.
On the staff at Accrington Stanley and Fleetwood when they both won promotion to the League, and currently with Maccclesfield, SOSS has been around and seen it all at the very heart of the game.
That career has seen many changes in the treatment of injuries and his new book, Life’s a Ball, tells all about a respected professional and a life that was never dull.
As Royle said when invited to the man’s third wedding: “Sorry, mate, can’t make it but I’ll come to your next!”