Former Reds duo Craig Bellamy and Jamie Carragher gave some behind-the-scenes insight into their Liverpool days, reminiscing about room sharing—the good and the bad!
Centre-back Carragher was a one-club career man at Anfield, while Bellamy enjoyed two spells on Merseyside.
His first came under Rafa Benitez in 2006/07, before rejoining under Kenny Dalglish for 2011/12.
The duo spoke with Sky Sports about their away-day room sharing partners, revealing a few key points about habits and hierarchy within the squad—and even how to guess the team lineup.
Carragher revealed he mainly had two team-mates he roomed with: Michael Owen earlier in his career up to the striker’s 2004 departure to Real Madrid, and Steven Gerrard thereafter.
While Owen was perhaps a bigger name than our No. 23 thanks to his goalscoring exploits, Carragher didn’t see it that way at the time: having broken through to the first team earlier, it was ‘his’ room that Michael shared, with a big contrast after the room switch.
“When I roomed with Stevie he was the captain and the best player in the team by a mile,” Carragher said.
“So I always felt Michael Owen was rooming with me, whereas I was rooming with Stevie Gerrard!”
Gerrard had previously roomed with Danny Murphy, who left the same summer as Owen.
There weren’t too many stories about either of those big-name England internationals, though, with Carragher summing it up as “what happens on tour stays on tour—it’s like that with your room-mate!”
That said, Carragher did reveal that Owen’s phone call to move to Real Madrid happened while they were together in a hotel room in pre-season, allowing them to discuss the transfer for a time.
The ever-loyal defender didn’t want Owen to make the switch, noting the presence of Ronaldo, Raul and Fernando Morientes at the Bernabeu club, but he says Owen had confidence in his own game that he could make the grade in Spain.
“He was just convinced he would still play and be involved, he said ‘when I came through at Liverpool there was Robbie Fowler and Stan Collymore and that didn’t bother me’—he such self-belief.”
As for Bellamy, he recounted the grinding of teeth by Lee Bowyer at Newcastle, John Harton’s late-night eating habits with Wales…and a curious switch at Liverpool under Rafa Benitez.
Rather than have constant room-mates which remained the same, the Spanish manager changed up the pairings to encourage more familiarity throughout the squad.
However, the players quickly cottoned on that they could guess the lineup judging by being paired with certain individuals.
“You got a good reflection of the team. If you were rooming with Dirk Kuyt, you had a good chance of starting!
“If it was someone else, you knew you were gonna be on the bench.
“So he used to give a bit of his team away the night before.”
Regardless of that, the one away trip for which Bellamy will always be associated with is the trip to Barcelona, involving arguments, golf clubs and crucial—if ironic—goals for himself and John Arne Riise!