Last week John McAliskey turned 34 and other than making us feel old, his birthday got us wondering, what ever happened to John McAliskey? The 6 foot 2 striker scored a last-gasp brace against Scunthorpe United when I went to my first game, and reportedly took the bus home after the game.
Both Peter Jackson and Town legend Andy Booth touted McAliskey for future success, the latter even said he was better than Jon Stead. Former Town scout Gerry Murphy earmarked McAliskey as the future Niall Quinn.
In 2007 McAliskey made his last appearance for Town in an underwhelming performance against Northampton Town. In his time with the Terriers he also had disappointing loan spells with Torquay United and Wrexham.
Mansfield was John’s next stop after being released by Town, but unfortunately for him, his career stalled and he only managed two league goals in his time with the Stags. Being released from Mansfield led McAliskey’s career on a downward spiral.
Spells with Alfreton Town, Salford City, Witton Albion, Altricnham, Northwich Victoria and Matlock followed before he packed in the game and began to earn his living elsewhere. It’s rumoured that McAliskey retrained as an electrician, but he still continued to play.
Firstly for Golcar United and then for the Royal Dolphins. The reason behind his fall from grace appears to have been a lack of professionalism. After his initial rise to prominence, figures within the game say that he became too enthralled by his own self-importance.
Drunken tales began to surface from Town players and supporters and what was once a promising football career soon petered out into nothing. The former Town striker maintains a presence on social media and can be seen regularly writing profane tweets about former critics of his career.