18 May 2011 by Lucy
Ever wondered who spotted the likes of Keegan, Toshack and Hansen and brought them to Liverpool?
Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley are rightly credited for turning Liverpool Football Club into a winning side during the 1960s, 70s and 80s, but few people know about the major role played by Geoff Twentyman, the club’s chief scout from 1967 to 1985.
A former Anfield player, Twentyman was recruited into the boot room team by Shankly and went on to unearth a host of world-famous stars that helped to maintain the Reds’ position as one of Europe’s greatest teams during a glittering era that saw them claim the Football League championship 18 times.
Twentyman worked tirelessly, travelling up and down the country in his trademark Cortina to write reports on young up-and-coming professionals such as Alan Hansen, Terry McDermott, Steve Nicol, Ian Rush and other household names that went on to forge successful careers at other clubs.
His son William has kept his father’s fascinating scouting book, which reveals Twentyman’s early reports as he cast his expert eye over young hopefuls that were to become legends of the game, as well as others that failed to make the grade.
Here at the Museum of Liverpool, we are really lucky that William Twentyman has kindly loaned the book to the Museum of Liverpool to display in the Wondrous Place Gallery, where you will be able to see it from 19 July when the Museum opens.
If you want to find out more, a great book has just been published which tells the story of Twentyman’s life and legacy at Liverpool under Shankly, Paisley, and Dalglish and how he changed modern football forever through his dedication to scouting.
Secret Diary of a Liverpool Scout includes interviews with more than 30 players; those Twentyman recommended including Keegan, Neal and Hansen and it also reveals, and interviews, the great names that Liverpool scouted but never signed.
The book is available at www.merseyshop.com.
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