An unsung Boot Room stalwart, the role played by Tom Saunders during the glory years of the 70s and 80s is immeasurable.
A former schoolmaster, he never played the game professionally but possessed one of the shrewdest footballing brains in the business.
After successful stints in charge of the Liverpool and England Schoolboy teams during the 1960s, Saunders was enlisted to join the staff on a full-time basis as youth development officer in 1970 and helped nurture the careers of countless future Anfield stars.
His role evolved over time and in a scouting capacity his opinion was highly valued. He had a big say in all major transfers and, as the club’s renowned master European spy, travelled all over the continent to assess upcoming opponents.
Respected as both a close confidant and advisor by a succession of Liverpool managers - from Bill Shankly to Gerard Houllier - the trust placed in him was implicit.
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