The Scottish Connection
Over the years, Liverpool has had many players from many countries, especially in recent years, with so many foreigners coming to play football in England. But has there been a country that has produced more influential players in the history of Liverpool Football Club than Scotland ?
Being a native Scot I am extremely proud of this fact. I remember when I was young and my dad would let me stay up late to watch Match Of The Day on a Saturday night, with the days’ football highlights, he would ask me to count how many Scots were in each team, because he would tell me that the team with the most Scottish players would win, and it seemed to me at the time that his theory was always right.
I have to point out that this was in the late seventies to early eighties, when there was an abundance of Scots playing in the first division in England. Unfortunately nowadays there is not so many. But when I was growing up supporting Liverpool the number of Scots in the team provided a massive reason why I started supporting them.
But throughout the history of Liverpool Football Club there have been many Scots that have played a massive part in shaping the club that we know today. Liverpool’s squad was mostly made up of Scots in their very first season and that has set a pattern throughout the history of the club. In fact in Liverpool’s eighteen title winning seasons, there has always been a Scot in the team.
Some Scots that have played important roles in the history of Liverpool are, Andrew Hannah, Liverpool’s first ever captain.
Alan Hansen, who captained Liverpool, and won many trophies in an illustrious career.
George Allan, Liverpool’s first great goal scorer.
Matt Busby who played over one hundred matches for Liverpool, but unfortunately moved to Manchester United to become manager, where the rest is history, he gets the credit for finding the great Billy Liddell before he left.
Ned Doig, a goalkeeper who is the oldest player to have made his debut at the age of thirty-seven and three hundred and seven days. Ned also holds the record for the oldest player to play for Liverpool when he played his last game, aged forty-one years and one hundred and sixty-five days old.
Matt McQueen who played in over one hundred matches for Liverpool before becoming manager, where he won the League title despite losing his leg in a car accident.
Malcolm McVean goes down in history as the man who scored Liverpool’s first ever League goal.
Alex Raisbeck played over ten years with Liverpool and captained the team to their first two titles. An early legend.
Tommy Lawrence, Shankly’s goalkeeper, played three hundred and ninety games for Liverpool and played a major role in the Shankly era.
Billy Liddell, arguably Liverpool’s greatest ever player, he played five hundred and thirty-four matches and scored two hundred and twenty-eight goals for Liverpool. He only won one league title in his career as he played at a time when Liverpool had a struggling team, but his tremendous play nicknamed the team “Liddellpool”.
Gary McAllister only came to Liverpool when he was thirty-five, but he played a major part in Liverpool’s treble winning season of two thousand and one.
Kenny Dalglish, in my opinion, the greatest Liverpool player of all time, although, Steven Gerrard is catching up. Dalglish played over five hundred games and scored one hundred and seventy-two goals for Liverpool. He also holds the record number of caps for Scotland with one hundred and two and is joint equal record goal scorer with thirty alongside Dennis Law. Dalglish won everything as a player and after the tragedy at Heysel he became player manager of the club, and won the double in his first season. Dalglish is best remembered for the role he played throughout the aftermath of the Hillsborough tragedy. Dalglish is adding to his legendary status by returning for a second spell as manager.
Ian St John was one of Shankly’s first signings and played a major part in Liverpool’s resurgence in the sixties under the leadership of Shankly. He played over four hundred goals and scored over one hundred goals for Liverpool.
Ron Yeats was another of Shankly’s early signings, Yeats was Shankly’s captain and captained Liverpool to their first ever FA Cup win. Yeats played for ten years with Liverpool and played over four hundred games for the club and like St John was a major influence in the success during Shankly’s reign.
Graeme Souness is regarded as one of Liverpool’s greatest players. A brilliant midfielder who could dominate games with his passing and his tackling. He later became captain and led Liverpool to another European Cup win in Rome in nineteen eighty-four in his last match for the club. Souness later became manager of the club in the nineties, but never had as much success, although he did manage Liverpool to an FA Cup success.
Bill Shankly is the greatest manager the club has known. Liverpool was a sleeping giant when he took over. The club were in the second division and Anfield was falling apart. But this man transformed the whole club, the stadium and most importantly the team. He might not be the most successful manager in the club’s history, but he placed the foundations for future success.
There are many more Scots that have played a part in the fabric of Liverpool’s history, in fact there has been one hundred and fifty-five players in the history of Liverpool Football Club and I’m sure there will be many more. At the moment we have young Danny Wilson and Charlie Adam who is playing regularly for the first team. So there are encouraging signs as we only win the league with a Scot in the team, so hopefully we are nearing our nineteenth title.