To The Dell and back for ex-Boro man Meyer
Adie Meyer is filled with empathy for any player dropping out of the professional game.
Meyer, now 45, left Scarborough FC in 1995 after 144 appearances and 12 goals.
At the time it sparked some dark days for the centre-half, but a rollercoaster ride later and Meyer is fighting his way to prominence in the leisure industry.
He now loves to look back on his time at the McCain Stadium, with highlights including marking a youthful Alan Shearer and tackling a team of European champions standing out in his mind.
“It all started when Neil Warnock took Scarborough to my club at the time, Burton Albion for a pre-season friendly,” he said.
“My gaffer had a word with Neil about having a look at me and I ended up playing for Scarborough on that day.
“I must have impressed because I was offered the chance to come up for a few weeks, before signing as one of the club’s first YTS players.
“After Neil left, Colin Morris took over and because maybe I wasn’t the model pro, I wasn’t his cup of tea.
“Ray McHale then came in after that, he looked after me, gave me my first contract and it all kicked on from there.”
When Meyer’s Boro career was in its early days, he turned out for their Scarborough Athletic team alongside some well-known local names.
He added: “Mitch Cook used to train us and we’d play against teams like Marske and Guisborough.
“We didn’t have a bad side back then, I can remember playing with keeper Paul Robinson, Steve Swales, Matthew Silk and Chris Short - his brother Craig was in the first team.”
That was just the start for Meyer though, who went on to book his place in the full Boro squad soon after.
“When I first got into the team there were the likes of Shorty, Alan Kamara, Gary Brook, Steve Norris and Martin Russell. They were a real team of winners.
“After that I had the opportunity to play with Darren Foreman, Tommy Mooney and Mick Matthews, who again were top players.
“I was involved in some great games and I have some great memories from them.
“The ones that stand out are scoring after 57 seconds in a 4-1 win against Burnley and then helping us fight back from 3-0 down at Crewe to draw 3-3.
“The best player I played against was comfortably Alan Shearer, who I came up against when we met Southampton in the League Cup.
“For a young lad he was just so strong. In the game down at The Dell he was up front alongside Iain Dowie, so when it came to corners you just didn’t know who to mark.
“We also played in a pre-season friendly against Red Star Belgrade, who at the time had the likes of Darko Pancev and Robert Prosinecki. That year they went on to win the European Cup.”
But during Meyer’s time at Boro the shadow of long-term injuries always seemed to hang over him.
He added: “I was injury-free until 1992. Then at Maidstone I managed to snap my cruciate.
“It was the same injury that Paul Gascoigne had done just a few months before, but while he had all the best physios working with him, I wasn’t so lucky.
“I had the operation and a physio from Hull called Keith Warner came over to help with my rehabilitation.
“There was a lot of going up to Dalby Forest for mountain biking and going to the gym at Filey Road.
“The problem was that there was nobody to push you, you had to do it all yourself. It dragged on and the whole thing was a bit demoralising.”
This injury was followed by a hernia problem, a broken cheekbone and the fact that Meyer had to have his knee cartilage removed.
This forced him to miss the big cup games against Plymouth Argyle and Arsenal, it also started the slide towards his exit from the club.
“When I came back, Phil Chambers told me that I wasn’t fit enough and that I needed to go away and work on it,” he added.
“I managed to earn myself another two-year contract, but I started having more and more injuries. The doctor told me that I’d be crippled by 30 if I didn’t call it a day, so I took my PFA package and left.
“At that time my dad was coaching cricket in South Africa, so I decided that I was going to join him. After taking my badges I was advised that it wouldn’t be a good idea to go because of the state of the country at the time.
“Instead I ended up working on a market stall selling socks and tights in Mansfield.
“I did a pre-season with VS Rugby, but because of the travelling and my knees I decided to call it a day.
“The problem was that you soon start to miss football.
“You miss the dressing room, the banter from the fans, the adrenaline and even just having a ball at your feet.
“It was very easy to slip down that slippery slope of depression because you are soon forgotten by the game.”
Meyer then took his first steps onto the ladder of life in the leisure industry, and he has never looked back.
He added: “I started as a lifeguard, then a receptionist and then went onto selling memberships.
“Since then I started working for Bannatyne’s and a few other companies before going off with a friend to set up a company on our own.
“We do up all sorts of gym refurbishments and take care of new builds. There is plenty to get your teeth into.
“I used to play a bit of five-a-side, but my knees are gone now, it takes two or three days to recover.”
Despite being away from Scarborough for 20 years, Meyer is still an avid supporter of the town’s new club.
“I come up from time to time, I’m actually in Scarborough in the summer to see Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott at the Open Air Theatre.
“I still keep in touch with a few of the lads. I worked with Andy Mockler at Bannatyne’s, I was his best man and he is the godfather of my daughter.
“It still hurts everytime I drive past the club’s old ground, it is heartbreaking what happened.
“I now follow Scarborough Athletic on Twitter and I’d love to come up for a game or two when they get back into town.
“I’m definitely interested in buying a few bricks at the new ground as well, just to give my bit back to the supporters.”