It was only 21 days but Paul Jones considers the time he spent as a Liverpool player to be an unparalleled high in his footballing career.

Even now, 16 years following his shock move, he still can't quite believe it happened. 

Aged 36, the experienced goalkeeper was out of favour at Southampton in January 2004. But a phone call out of the blue would see his lifelong dream come true.

Liverpool had to act when Jerzy Dudek sustained an injury during a win at Chelsea, with Chris Kirkland already sidelined. It left Patrice Luzi as the only senior 'keeper available. And so, Jones joined on a one-month loan to ease the Reds' crisis between the sticks.

It was quite the opportunity for someone who grew up idolising the likes of Ray Clemence, Kevin Keegan and John Toshack on the radio.

"I just had a smile on my face from the minute I spoke to Gerard Houllier, just buzzing and couldn't believe it," Jones recalls to "It was just a no-brainer for me. What an opportunity. I was late 30s then and I'd never get the opportunity again, I'm sure. 

"It was just the opportunity to play for Liverpool – I don't care if it's one game."

There was little time to soak it all up. Jones signed his paperwork on the Friday morning, then trained with his teammates for the first time before becoming the Reds' oldest post-war debutant the following day.

Admittedly, Liverpool 1-0 Aston Villa at Anfield on January 10, 2004 may have slipped the mind of plenty of supporters. "It wasn't really a game to remember from a playing well point of view," Jones acknowledges.

But the occasion – settled by a Mark Delaney own goal – is one the retired Wales international will, understandably, never forget. 

"I'd played at Anfield many times but to actually go in the home dressing room with all that history, actually put on the shirt and run out, it was amazing," Jones, who framed his jersey from that afternoon, continues.

"We're talking now 16 years on and it feels like two minutes ago. It was just absolutely unbelievable.

"It just sort of flew by. As much as it wasn't the most exciting game for people to watch, for me it was brilliant!"

He retained his place the following weekend away at Tottenham Hotspur – a 2-1 defeat. But Dudek would return sooner than initially anticipated to reclaim his starting spot.

Jones was on the bench for the next two matches before his time at Anfield came to an end.

An opportunity to join Wolverhampton Wanderers permanently arrived and, with Houllier's blessing, Liverpool agreed to cut short the loan to allow the switch to happen. 

"I spoke to Gerard Houllier and he sort of said, 'Well I'd like you to stay if possible but obviously Jerzy is going to play'. It was a tough one," Jones recalls. 

"It was just that I was only there for the month and if things didn't turn out I'd be sort of stuck at Southampton because it was the end of the January transfer window.

"It was there and back really! They appreciated that I'd helped them out and vice versa."

Despite having the briefest of Liverpool careers, Jones can attest to how playing just twice for one of the biggest clubs in the world can be truly life-changing.

"Honestly, it's amazing," he concludes. "Especially when I go up north and in and around Liverpool, the amount of requests, 'Would you just sign this? I can't believe you came down for the two games for us.' 

"You're getting so much stuff on Facebook with Liverpool fans asking, 'Can I send you stuff and you can sign it and send it back for me?' It's no problem, it's lovely.

"I played a lot of the five-a-side tournaments where we went to Asia with the boys. It was unbelievable in Asia for Liverpool fans and they know who I am. It was ridiculous really because I played twice!

"That's what Liverpool fans are about. They love the club and they know every player and what you've done. It's just phenomenal."