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WATN - Jason Kearton

WATN - Jason Kearton
Before-

A young Kearton arrived in England at the age of 19. After playing in Australia for Coalstars and Brisbane Lions, Kearton made the move to Everton in the Premiership in 1988 to play number two to Neville Southall.

He played five times for Everton between 1988 and 1996, largely as emergency cover. During his Everton career Kearton had several loan spells out, in 1991 he was playing just down the road at Stoke City for 16 matches and a season later was at Blackpool for fourteen games. Other loan stints included one at Preston and one at Notts County.

During

In 1996, Kearton was released by Everton and soon arrived at Gresty Road. He was thrown into the number one spot from day one and within his first four Alex games he had kept 3 clean sheets.

Kearton saw out the rest of the 96/97 season between the sticks and was part of the history making team - the ones who took Crewe Alexandra to the second level of English football for the first time ever.

Kearton, now a firm favourite with the Alex faithful, started the following season in Division One as he'd finished the last - as number one. He played all but four games in the 97/98 season as the Alex finished 11th in Division One.

The Aussie keeper held his spot firmly for the following two seasons, in which he probably had the best goalkeeping performance most people will have the pleasure to watch. Live on Sky Sports, the Alex travelled to newly relegated Blackburn Rovers in 2000. Fully expecting it to the a thrashing for the Railwaymen, the only thing stopping Rovers was Kearton.

Official stats showed Blackburn to have 29 shots on goal to Crewe's 8 as Kearton's goal came under rapid fire. The likes of Ashley Ward and Damien Duff were on form but couldn't get the ball past an inspired Kearton. It came from a Kearton saved that Colin Cramb went on to score the winner in a remarkable 0-1 win at Ewood Park.

Mid way through the 2000/01 season though injury struck and Kearton lost his place to an impressive Clayton Ince. It was soon announced that Kearton would not be renewing his contract, instead opting to return to his native Australia.

Despite not being fully fit, Kearton played 45 minutes of each of the last two games of the 00/01 season to have say his farewell. He didn't concede in either half.

After:

Kearton signed for the Brisbane Strikers the following season and had a successful three year spell with the Aussie club. Playing 55 games, Kearton also tried his hand at coaching. In 2004 Kearton signed for Queensland Lions.

Now retired from the game, Kearton still says promotion with Crewe is his best memory in football.

Kearton now helps coach youngsters during 'Supercamp Australia', a summer football camp for Australian youngsters.

Writer:Dink
Date:Saturday March 1 2008
Time: 11:31PM

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