Champ Man Legends #6 Mark Kerr

Was there anyone who didn’t buy Mark Kerr from Falkirk on Championship Manager on the 01/02 version of the game? Perhaps if you’d picked a small club, or one on a tight budget he might have been unobtainable (there was always some competition for his signature), or maybe you just preferred the Scandinavian leagues value and ability to buy in bulk, but otherwise there’s no excuse for not snapping up Mark Kerr. If you had 800k to 2 Million he would grow into being one of the best central midfielders in the game. Even as a teenager he could grace the finest Champions League clubs, dueling with the likes of Patrick Viera and Kieron Dyer or anyone Roma happened to have, or the best you could buy.

Significantly, he had stats where you needed them in centre midfield: 20 for Determination, Off The Ball and Teamwork, 19 Work Rate, 18 Stamina and Technique. Brilliantly he was listed as Preferred Foot: Either too.

Wonderfully his career has now gone full circle, and he is back plying his trade at Falkirk as a 34 year old. He actually won the Scottish First Division with The Bairns in 02/03, which was the season he was usually picking up his first European silverware in CM, how he wishes he’d moved on at that point.

He did rack up hundreds of games in Scotland, playing for Falkirk, Dundee Utd and Aberdeen, but sadly for Mark he is perhaps best remembered at Dundee Utd for a failed back pass in the 2008 Scottish Cup Final. With Dundee Utd 1-0 up over Rangers, Kerr played a blind back pass to his goalkeeper which Kris Boyd duly intercepted and knocked into the net. Rangers went on to win on penalties, and Kerr’s place in Scottish Cup folklore was sealed. By 2008 in the CM universe, he would already have picked up several domestic and European titles and would often be shortlisted for individual accolades too.

He then for some inexplicable reason, joined Asteras Tripoli of Greece, saying at the time “I am very pleased to continue my career in Greece and look forward to playing for Asteras.” He may well have spent several days, weeks and months sat round the pool but “playing” was something he didn’t do much of at all, managing only 2 appearances before booking a flight back to Scotland. We’re not sure why the move failed so spectacularly, all we know is he came back, and he went on to play for Dundee (the backpass obviously hit him hard) Partick Thistle, Queen of the South before returning to Falkirk in January 2015.

He is credited with a Scotland B cap in 2005 in the Futures Cup against Poland. I, like you, wondered what the hell this Future Cup was. Google did not provide satisfactory answers, although did provide some interesting Futures Cup Austrian Artistic Gymnastics information. We do know a game of football took place, against Poland, in Kilmarnock, in December 2005 and he came on as a sub. The score, the attendance, the point of the tournament in total, I’m still not sure of.

The most brilliant development in the world of Mark Kerr, seems to be that he isn’t even the biggest Mark Kerr personality out there. Behold… Mark Kerr aka “The Smashing Machine”, a mixed martial artist undefeated in his fights in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, who fought at UFC 14 and 15 for the Heavy Weight title. He was also the subject of a HBO documentary called The Smashing Machine. There is a small chance that Mark Kerr and Mark Kerr are one and the same I suppose, and maybe that’s why Mark ‘The Footballer’ Kerr didn’t do as well, perhaps his mind wandered to take downs and submissions when he should have been focusing on who’s around him before attempting any backpasses.

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