There was natural excitement when a relation to one of Liverpool’s greatest ever players joined the club in 2018.
After all, Gerrard had spent 17 seasons at Anfield, winning two FA Cups, three League Cups, the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup, FA Community Shield and UEFA Super Cup. He made 700 appearances, scoring 186 goals.
If Duncan was a tenth of the player his uncle was, he would have a very promising career at Anfield.
He arrived with a strong reputation from Manchester City having shown promise in the academy.
At 15, he also scored a hat-trick for England U16s against Brazil during a 4-3 victory – a performance that saw Gerrard post on Instagram writing: “Congrats to England under-16s beating Brazil 4-3. Well done to my cousin Bobby Duncan for your hat-trick #9 #future.”
He immediately showed that same promise in the Liverpool U18 squad after joining. He helped the club win the 2018/19 FA Youth Cup scoring a late equaliser in the final against his former club, Man City. He notched 23 goals in 26 games in his first season.
Surely he was destined for first team football.
The following season, he was given an opportunity in a pre-season friendly against Tranmere and scored. He also represented England at various youth levels.
Duncan’s agent goes on Twitter rant
However, one month after his debut goal, his agent Saif Rubie effectively ended Duncan’s Liverpool career.
Rubie claimed Liverpool were refusing to allow Duncan to leave the club and said: “This is not really dignified behaviour from a club with the rich history of Liverpool and one who one of their greatest ever players Steven Gerrard happens to be Bobby’s cousin.
“It’s a sad state of affairs that a club such as a Liverpool can be allowed to get away with mentally bullying and destroying the life of a young man such as Bobby.”
Of course, if that indeed was the case it was a serious issue.
But Rubie then got involved in a Twitter spat with Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher.
“You have made a big mistake and are hurting yourself but more importantly a young lad’s career. Throwing Stevie Gerrard’s name in also is embarrassing,” wrote Carragher
Carragher continued: “I think Bobby Duncan should leave this guy before he gets sacked by the club.”
However, Rubie replied: “Do you want to give advice on how to spit at people from outside of a car? You’re the last person to say or know what’s really going on behind the scenes. Focus on your job and I’ll focus on mine.”
What happened after leaving Liverpool?
Unsurprisingly, there was no chance of Duncan remaining at the club after that outburst and he was soon sold to Fiorentina for £1.8m.
But it didn’t go to plan in Italy for the youngster.
Again, he wanted to play in the first-team but wasn’t deemed quite ready enough.
“In his head, he wanted to play immediately with Fiorentina,” their sporting director Daniele Prande said. “We are seeing what to do with him because playing in the ready-to-go first-team is not easy.”
Duncan finally split with controversial agent, Rubie, before he was allowed to leave on a free transfer to Derby in the summer of 2020.
For a third time, Gerrard’s cousin wanted first-team football and even demanded a meeting with fellow Liverpudlian and Derby manager, Wayne Rooney.
Rooney told Duncan to work hard in training and, despite struggling against relegation during the 2019/20 campaign, he wasn’t called upon. Well, other than their FA Cup third-round tie against Chorley after the senior squad were forced into self-isolation due to a Covid outbreak
Duncan played the 90 minutes as Derby lost 2-0 to the National League North side.
Last season, he wasn’t selected for any first team games as Derby were relegated from the Championship.
Now, 21, Duncan has left Derby and signed for Spanish third division side Real Balompédica Linense on a three-year deal.
It’s been an incredible and crazy three years for Duncan and it would have been interesting to see how his career would have panned out if his agent hadn’t embarked on his Twitter rant.
Now though, he will just be looking to get his career back on track in the third tier in Spain. Finally, he may be getting his wish for first-team football.