DIEHARD soccer fans of a certain age may recognise Colin Irwin the next time they pop down to a Yokine bottle shop for their favourite drop.
Like most boys who grew up in the United Kingdom, Irwin dreamed of being a professional soccer player.
He was one of the lucky ones who realised their dream when he signed to play with Liverpool Football Club at 20 years of age in 1977.
“At 14 I signed on as a junior and then when I was 16 and they were deciding who to take on as apprentices, I wasn’t one of them, I was physically immature,” he said.
“I got a job as an apprentice electrician but then at 18 they signed me as a par timer for two years.”
Irwin was on the team when Liverpool won the European Cup in 1978, though he spent the game on the bench, but played when it won the 1981 final in Paris against Real Madrid.
He was then signed by Swansea where he was made captain.
“Liverpool didn’t love me anymore,” he said.
However, a knee injury cut his career short and he retired in 1983.
“That was it for me, my career was over,” he said.
“It was tough, I had to start again and ask myself what I was going to do.”
A chance meeting later with a Swansea member put Irwin on the path to coaching in WA and 28 years with a wholesale liquor business.
The latest chapter in his life is running the Yokine Cellarbrations, which he just sunk $250,000 into renovating.
The revamped space, which had been a liquor store for about 20 years already, has had the ceiling lowered, new lights, airconditioning, 16 new fridge doors and an expanded range.