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'It isn't disappointing not having a medal, I was happy being at Liverpool'

On the 15th anniversary of Liverpool's remarkable Champions League final triumph against AC Milan...

'It isn't disappointing not ha...

'It isn't disappointing not having a medal, I was happy being at Liverpool'

On the 15th anniversary of Liverpool's remarkable Champions League final triumph against AC Milan, we look back on this interview with the club's former midfielder, Darren Potter. The former Republic of Ireland international was plying his trade with Liverpool when they secured the outstanding win in 2005. 

- Originally published January 2, 2020

Despite only making a handful of appearances during his time at Liverpool, Darren Potter is grateful for being part of the side that won the Champions League in 2005.

"It was more once Rafa Benitez came to the club I got my chance and get involved more with the first-team training with them day-in and day-out," the former Republic of Ireland midfielder explained. “For a local lad, there was no better feeling going in and training day in and day out with the players that we had there.

“For myself, they are obviously memories that are special and are ones I’ll always cherish."


While the Liverpudlian never managed to break into the first-team in his time at Liverpool, he thanked Benitez and lauded him for his success in his managerial career.

"He gave me plenty of opportunities within those different cup competitions," reflected Potter. "He wasn’t really somebody that put his arm around you. It was more about the competition and taking the chance.

"But for somebody like me to come through the academy to then work with this guy who’s done ever so well in Spain and he’s obviously gone on to great things as well since then.

"It was just a great experience. He had the wealth of experience obviously at the time and I think we’ve all seen how good of a manager he’s been as the years have gone by."

The Liverpool academy product had plenty of competition in midfield while he was playing in the senior team, with Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso and Didi Hamann holding down positions in the starting team.

While they did stop Potter from getting more game time with the Reds, he was grateful to play in the same squad as them.

"Yeah, it was extra special," he admitted. "So to get a chance in central midfield was nigh-on impossible really for somebody like myself. I was always fine with myself playing on the wing.

"It was never my strong point but wherever you go asked to play you just went out and did the job because you were just grateful to have the chance. But some of those midfielders at the time - they were world-class midfielders."

Liverpool Liverpool's Steven Gerrard (c) celebrates with Darren Potter, John Arne Riise and Stephen Warnock

Despite being in the Liverpool squad the year they won the Champions League in 2005, Potter does not have a Champions League winner's medal. However, he has no regrets, either.

"I think the Champions League medals only got handed out to the match-day squad on the day of the final," he recalled. "So I certainly didn’t play enough of a part to warrant what was a Champions League winner's medal.

"For somebody like me though, it’s not a disappointment. I’m just grateful to have been involved in what was obviously a very special time."

On the 15th anniversary of that remarkable night in Istanbul, read about the 'penalty code' that helped Jerzy Dudek to save the decisive penalties in the game's shoot-out here

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Darren Potter Liverpool Rafael Benitez Republic Of Ireland