- Fondly Remembered on Merseyside
Ron Yeats (born Aberdeen, Scotland, November 15, 1937) was the captain of the first great Liverpool team of the 1960s.
Yeats, a stockily-built central defender, was bought by manager Bill Shankly in 1961 from Dundee United and was installed as captain as Liverpool gained promotion from the Second Division after eight seasons away from football’s top flight.
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 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. Then the success of Liverpool dried up, and he was one of the high-profile victims of a massive cull of 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 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.
Ron played in a career total of some 669 games during his career and scored 22 goals, and is fondly remembered on Merseyside, from his 2 spells with both Liverpool and Tranmere.