A rugged defender whose versatility served Bill Shankly well, Ferns was born in Liverpool and signed professional forms for his local club in September 1957.
Aged 19, he was unable to force his way into the first-team until the 1962-63 season when he briefly covered for Tommy Leishman (three times) and Ronnie Moran (twice) as Liverpool returned to the top division after an eight-year absence.
When the club won the League Championship for the sixth time in 1964, Phil played in enough games (18) to qualify for a winners' medal but was only selected on four more occasions the following season before being transferred to Bournemouth in August 1965.
He later made over 100 appearances for Bournemouth and Mansfield.
Other clubs: Everton, Manchester City, Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic, Mansfield Town, Rhyl (amateur), Poole Town (amateur)