Wayne Harrison, who once signed for Liverpool for £250,000 (299,000 euros), making him the world's most expensive teenage footballer before his career spiralled into decline, has died at the age of 46, local media said.
The Liverpool Echo reported that Harrison, who retired in 1991, had suffered from pancreatic problems and died in hospital on Christmas Day.
Harrison was tipped for stardom when he moved to Liverpool from Oldham in 1985 at just 17 having made only five first-team appearances.
He was on the verge of appearing for the Anfield giants for the first time when he fell through a greenhouse.
At the time the local ambulance service was on strike and he came close to death through loss of blood before army medics managed to get him to hospital.
He went on to fall through his loft before, at the age of just 22, he suffered a career-ending cruciate knee ligament in the last minute of a reserve game.