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  • Writer's pictureAmy Kate - The Red Way

Former Liverpool Defender, Nick Tanner is On Top Of The World.

Updated: Mar 15, 2022

I happen to know the man behind the name ”Win or Lose on the Booze” and the current No. 1 Fantasy Football Manager In the world. He's former Liverpool FC Defender, Nick Tanner.

Nick Tanner returns to Anfield to talk about his autobiography, From A Field To Anfield

Over the past 4 years, we have gotten to know each, quite well. I even helped him edit his book, ”From A Field To Anfield. His autobiography detailing his journey from non-league to first division football in a few short years.

I remember being at Nick’s house, in his home town of Bristol looking through the scrapbook his father, Dennis had put together with all the newspaper clippings and photographs throughout his career. I was fascinated by it all. It was incredible. It really shows how proud his father was of Nick.

Anyone who knows me, knows football is my first love and there is nothing that means more to me than Liverpool Football Club, and to have an opportunity to look through old photographs with Nick as he told the back story of each one from when he was 16, playing for Mangotsfield United and working in a factory to playing for his childhood team, Bristol Rovers and finally getting the call from Sir Kenny Dalglish in the summer of 1988, asking him if he wanted to leave Bristol Rovers and come join Liverpool was pretty surreal. I had to let out a giggle when Nick told that story because he was convinced that the lads were just winding him up. There was no way Kenny was actually on the other end of that phone but he really was. He told me he was thinking about writing a book about his journey through football and one year later I'm sitting with a copy of the draft, helping to edit it. I've read the book #FromAFieldToAnfield from cover to cover. Nick expresses pure honesty and gratitude among the stories full of laughter and the struggles throughout his career and beyond. He's even shared the dark moments. He poured his heart and soul into the book.

Of course, the final chapter of his book, ”Win or Lose on the Booze” sums him up perfectly and it's no surprise it's the name of his Fantasy Football Team now top of the league.

A long standing tradition, Win or Lose, on the Booze

Nick said, “I have always dealt with victory and defeat, happiness and sadness, success and failure, in the same way: by having a drink.”

Last season was his first time playing Fantasy Football with his son, William who set up the league and his son's mates. He said he didn't know the rules and was so far behind he lost interest and gave up.

This season, so far it's been a complete 180. He's been in the top 10 every week. I always look forward to hearing from him about his current standing in the league which apparently is #1 in the world as it happens. He’s pretty proud of himself and honestly, I’m pretty proud of him too.

I asked, ”What are you doing differently this time around?”

Nick replied, ”I studied the rules and made sure I knew exactly what needs to be done to earn maximum points. 25 of us all put a tenner in so I decided to take it more seriously. My son and his mates were taking the piss in the beginning, telling me, you have no chance, old man. Who’s taking the piss now?”

Nick's Team, winorloseonthebooze is #1 in the world, I'll drink to that!!!

Nick currently sits on top of the Fantasy Premier League with 587 points and nine points clear of the person sitting in the number two spot who is an Arsenal fan with the team name of Tough_competitoR.

Nick's first time back on the hallowed turf in 25 years when he filmed an interview for LFCTV.

Nick told James Pearce of this week, “I was a manager in non-League for 10 years and I’m always watching games like I’m a manager so I think that helps, certain aspects are similar. Fantasy football is all about setting a team up each week and working with the budget you’ve got. You’re trying to work out who’s about to hit form and who needs replacing.”

“Every Friday I’ll sit down, have a few beers and look online to establish who is fit and pick my team.”

Bristol Rovers Memorial Stadium Grounds after the #MarchForMen Prostate Cancer Walk - June 3, 2017

27 mile walk from Weston-Super-Mare to Bristol with Skye TV's Jeff Stelling for the March For Men. Nick walked in memory of his dad who sadly passed away in June of 2013 with prostate cancer. I was there to welcome him and all the marchers back on what he describes as 'the hardest thing he's ever done." - June 3, 2017

Nick played 3 full seasons (from 1985-1988) for his childhood club, Bristol Rovers and made more than 100 appearances before his fate changed on one summer afternoon in 1988 when Sir Kenny Dalglish had rung his parent's house and asked him to join Liverpool.

Sir Kenny Dalglish said, “Nick certainly doesn’t have anything to worry about in terms of how he acquitted himself during his time at the club – the fact he spent five years there, and would have been there longer but for injury, proves that.”

Kenny Dalglish had stated in the foreword for Nick’s book, “We thought he was a good strong player and a good competitor. Every time you sign somebody, you hope they will make it to the first team, and Nick had to be patient at first but he worked hard, played well for the reserves and got his chance. He would have played more, too, but you can't play when you're injured, and unfortunately Nick’s career was cut short in his late twenties, denying him the opportunity to make many more appearances for the club. Looking back, though, to have got someone who went on to make nearly sixty appearances for Liverpool in that period for £20,000 was a sound investment on our part.”

“As with life, nothing is guaranteed in football, and injury struck for Nick at a time when he had been playing regularly for the club. At least he got the opportunity of coming to Liverpool and having a chance to make a contribution to the club’s success, as he first did in the 1989-90 season, when he played four times in our title-winning team, before going on to establish himself later on.”

“Nick certainly doesn’t have anything to worry about in terms of how he acquitted himself during his time at the club – the fact he spent five years there, and would have been there longer but for injury, proves that.”

LFC Away day to Leicester City - Former players Steve McManaman, Nick Tanner and Steven Gerrard

Former #LFC Legend and manager, Graeme Souness, Nick Tanner and William Tanner (Nick's son) in Bristol.

Graeme Souness said, “Nick can be hugely proud of his career, though, and of the way he conducted himself. To have gone from non-league to Liverpool in the space of three years was a magnificent achievement in itself – and to show such perseverance to win a regular place in that first team spoke volumes of his character.”

Former #LFC Player and Manager, Phil Thompson

Phil Thompson said, “Nick wasn’t scared of a bit of hard work – and that was apparent straightaway and made the most of every ounce of his ability, and, despite the injuries that would eventually end his career prematurely, he played nearly 60 first-team games for Liverpool. It didn’t last as long as he would have wanted, but anyone who has had a back injury in any walk of life – let alone top-flight football – will tell you how debilitating that can be. He tried to come back from it but had to concede defeat, but he can be proud of everything he achieved in his career”.

Though Nick may not be a household name, or won medals, but he had a pretty remarkable career as a footballer. One that he can be very proud of and I’m pretty proud of him too!

Former manager of Bristol Rovers Bobby Gould said, “A great fact about Nick’s career with Bristol Rovers is that there are only three shirts he did not wear at least once for the club in the Football League: the goalkeeper’s jersey and numbers 5 and 9. In his time at Rovers, Nick wore the 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 11 shirts in the Football League – which sums up his versatility. That kind of adaptability, when allied with the talent, mentality and physical attributes Nick offered, is a manager’s dream. “

Though Nick may not be a household name, or won medals, he had a pretty remarkable career as a footballer. One that he can be very proud of and I’m pretty proud of him too!

Nick Tanner and James Mountford co-commentating a Liverpool FC match for BBC Merseyside Radio - Olympic Stadium, East London. Away match against West Ham.

Nick currently is the marketing and sales manager for the Matters Magazine and you can catch him on BBC Merseyside Radio along side James Mountford co-commentating for Liverpool.

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