Hall of Fame - Ron Yeats
Ronald 'Ron' Yeats (born 15 November 1937 in Aberdeen, Scotland) is a Scottish former footballer. He was the captain of the first great Liverpool team of the 1960s.
Yeats was an Under 15 Schoolboy international who played for Aberdeen Lads clubs when he was signed by Dundee United. Previously, he worked in a slaughter house before he turned professional.
Yeats, a stockily-built 6 ft 2 in central defender, was bought by manager Bill Shankly in 1961 from United and was immediately installed as captain as Liverpool gained promotion from the Second Division after eight seasons away from football's top flight. He made his debut in a 2-0 league victory over Bristol Rovers at Eastville on the 19 August 1961, his first goal came 2 years later in the 75th minute of the 1-0 First Division victory over bitter rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford on the 23 November 1963.
When Yeats was signed, Shankly was so impressed and proud of the physical presence of his new player that he told waiting journalists to "come in and walk around him". Yeats lived up to the reputation and the nickname ("The Colossus") his huge frame gave him, playing at the heart of Liverpool's defence for a decade and winning the club's first major honours in nearly 20 years.
Liverpool won the League championship in 1964 and then picked up their first-ever FA Cup a year later, beating Leeds United 2-1 in the final at Wembley. Yeats was gleeful as his lifted the trophy, though he suffered disappointment at the same time as Liverpool lost in the European Cup semi-final to Inter Milan.
Yeats skippered Liverpool to another League title in 1966 and during this period also won two caps for Scotland, the first came on the 3 October '64 in a 3-2 defeat to Wales at Ninian Park Cardiff. The success of Liverpool then dried up, and he was one of the high-profile victims of a massive cull of the older players which Shankly ruthlessly undertook in 1970 in an effort to rebuild the side for a new decade. After 454 games, Yeats left for Tranmere Rovers in 1971 and eventually became their manager.
In 1976 at age 38, he joined the American Soccer League's Los Angeles Skyhawks at the request of Skyhawk coach Ron Newman. In his only season there, he played sweeper and anchored the defence of the A.S.L. champion Skyhawks. In 1977, he became the player coach of the American Soccer League's Santa Barbara Condors expansion team.
In 1986, Yeats returned to Anfield as the club's chief scout, responsible for delegating duties to the club's talent spotters. He remained in that role until his retirement in May, 2006. Still held in high regard amongst the Liverpool faithful he was voted 29th in the Official Liverpool website poll '100 Players Who Shook The Kop'. In April 2009, Yeats was made an 'Honourary Scouser' by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool.
Birthplace: Aberdeen, Scotland
Other clubs: Dundee Utd, Tranmere, Los Angeles Skyhawks, Santa Barbara Condors (USA), Stalybridge Celtic (amateur), Barrow (amateur)
Bought from: Dundee Utd
Signed for LFC: £22000 22.07.1961
International debut: 03.10.1964 vs. Wales
International caps: 2/0 - 07.12.1965
Liverpool debut: 19.08.1961
Last appearance: 28.04.1971
Debut goal: 23.11.1963
Last goal: 17.10.1970
Contract expiry: 30.12.1971
LFC league games/goals: 358 / 13
Total LFC games/goals: 454 / 16
1961-62 Football League Second Division (Level 2)
1963-64 Football League First Division (Level 1)
1964-65 Charity Shield (Shared)
1964-65 FA Cup
1965-66 Charity Shield (Shared)
1965-66 Football League First Division (Level 1)
1966-67 [[FA Community Shield|Charity Shield]
1965-66 European Cup Winners Cup
1968-69 Football League First Division (Level 1)