Birthdate: 17 September 1864
Birthplace: Renton, Dunbartonshire, Scotland
Date of death: 29 May 1940
Other clubs:Renton (1883-1888), West Bromwich Albion (1888), Renton (2 / 1888-89), Everton (1889-91), Renton (3 / 1891-92), Rob Roy (1895-96), Clyde (1896-97)
Bought from:Renton (3)
Signed for LFC:May 1892
International debut:10.03.1888 vs. Wales
International caps:1/0 (cap as a Renton player)
Liverpool debut: 03.09.1892
Last appearance: 05.01.1895
Debut goal: 14.04.1894
Last goal: 14.04.1894
Contract expiry: October 1895
Win ratio: 62.32% W:43 D:13 L:13
Honours: Lancashire league 1892/93; Second Division 1893/94
LFC league games/goals: 40 / 1
Total LFC games/goals: 69 / 1
Player profileHannah was captain of the tremendous Renton team from a small town of 5,000 inhabitants in West Dunbartonshire in central Scotland. Renton beat Cambuslang 6-1 in the Scottish Cup final in 1888 after scoring 42 goals against seven in the previous seven rounds! Cup winners Renton played English Cup holders West Bromwich Albion in a game dubbed by the press no less as the "Championship of the United Kingdom and the World" at second Hampden Park. Renton were victorious 4-1 and placed a sign on the door of their pavilion at their home ground, Tontine Park, that said "Renton FC, Champions of the World". Renton then proved their superiority over the English by conquering "the Invincibles" of Preston North End, who had won the Championship in England without losing a single game. The Evening Telegraph described Hannah as a "man to be respected by opponents, for he could break up an attack either by skilful tackling or robust charging." The penalty kick wasn't introduced in Scotland until in the 1891/92 season so a big part of half-back's duties was to protect the goalkeeper who hardly got any sympathy from the referee. Forwards were allowed to "go for the goalie" and if a high dropping shot came into the penalty area Hannah forgot about the ball if it was out of his reach and focused on preventing the forwards by any means possible to charge his 'keeper.
His granddaughter, Edith, said that aside from playing right-back for Renton, Andrew worked as a shipyard detective and also owned a milk business in the village.
West Brom were impressed by Hannah and the Scotsman left the amateurs at Renton for the professional football in England in 1888. That move was not kindly looked upon by Scotland's international selectors and after making his debut for his country earlier that year was omitted from future squads. Hannah was homesick in England and after only a few weeks he returned to Renton. Hannah went back to England a year later joining Everton receiving a £100 signing-on fee and £3 a week, no doubt a significant raise for Hannah as the average week pay in Renton was around 13 shillings. Hannah was appointed Everton's captain, winning the League Championship in 1891 and rated as one of the best full-backs in the country. Meanwhile Renton and couple of other clubs had been thrown out of the Scottish League for payments to their players at a time when professionalism was outlawed in Scotland. The payments were hidden under "Chicken Bree" in their accounts, a diet that the club's players did nourish from consisting of port, mixed egg yolk and egg white on dry toast, but complimented by a few illegal pounds. When Renton were reinstated to the League in 1891 Hannah left champions Everton for his third spell with the Scottish club.
Scottish Sport reported on 16 May 1892 that Andrew Hannah was once more going to England, this time to the newly-created Liverpool AFC. He received a £150 signing-on fee and was paid £5 a week. The Birmingham Daily Post was impressed by Liverpool's capture: "Hannah will act as captain and his power of developing players is so well known that the Liverpool club are fortunate in having secured the man who did so much towards improving the all-round play of the Everton team." Right-back Hannah was Liverpool's first captain and undoubtedly one of the club's greatest legends. After Lancashire league success he was one of the eleven men who represented Liverpool in their first-ever Football League fixture on 2 September 1893. He played in 24 of the 28 matches that year and won a Second Division Championship medal, but also experienced relegation a year later when he shared the right-back spot with John Curran as he could hardly feature in the second half of the season due to knee and ankle injuries. Hannah was a great all-round athlete who won prizes at the prestigious Highland Games. He was also courageous on and off the field as reported by the Blackburn Standard on 25 November 1893: "On Friday evening Andrew Hannah, captain of the Liverpool Football Club, entered the den of forest bred lions and lionesses in Wombwell's Royal Menagerie. The daring act was to decide a wager, and Messrs Wombwell, upon Hannah completing his daring enterprise, handed to him the wager deposited to with them, and also presented him with a gold medal, value £5."
As Liverpool were relegated to the Second Division in 1895 Hannah went back north of the border, finishing his career in the 1896/97 season with Clyde in the first division. The 32-year-old wasn't as solid as in the "old days" but his "reputation still lives green both at Anfield and Goodison Park, Liverpool," reported the Dundee Courier. "Returning to his native “Rantin” three years ago Hannah gave a helping hand now and then to the club of his boyhood; but last season it was thought he had permanently retired from the ring of which he was such an ornament. Money, however is a very powerful lover in men’s lives, and Andy trotted out all gay under the colours of Barrowfield," the Dundee Courier said. "He played a good game against the Rangers, but he has a lot of adipose hanging about him [fat]. His heading lacks none of its old accuracy, and his long connection with the football ring gives him judgment second to none in the football realm. He looked uncomfortable now and again, but in the hands of the trainer he should even yet be able to give us a sample of his former greatness."
The Scotsman was a tremendous servant for Liverpool and "Field Sport" claimed that "his mature judgement, together with excellent defensive tactics, makes him most invaluable." His displays were on number of occasions plauded by newspapers none more so when Liverpool faced their biggest challenge to date, a second round FA Cup tie against Preston who still had players that were part of the "Invincibles". Hannah, was considered the star performer in Liverpool's famous 3-2 victory: "If any portion stood out better than the other it was the half-back trio, who were ubiquitous. McOwen was so well shielded by his captain [Hannah] and McLean that he had the occasion to use his hands only once throughout the game. Hannah's display was almost perfection, and that, too, against two of the finest forwards in England (Becton and Cowan). Against the wind it was a treat to see his coolness, now covering the impetuosity of McLean, and anon making virtually a second goalkeeper with his foot and head."
Appearances per season
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
|1||Preston North End|
Goals per season
A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring
|50||28.03.1894||Northwich Vict.||The Drill Field||League|
|1||82||14.04.1894||Burslem Port Vale||Anfield||League|
From the Liverpool Mercury on 19 March, 1894.More
The Liverpool Mercury on 11 January, 1894.More
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After winning the Lancashire league Liverpool's climb up the league ladder started in 2nd division. A real fairytale season was ahead and the club's biggest game to date against the most famous club in England in the FA Cup.More
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"Andrew Hannah, the famous Renton back, who played for Everton two years ago, has been engaged by the new Liverpool club for next season. Hannah will act as captain and his power of developing players is so well known that the Liverpool club are fortunate in having secured the man who did so much towards improving the all-round play of the Everton team."
Birmingham Daily Post on 6th of June 1892 on the capture of Liverpool's first ever captain
The merits of Andrew Hannah are well known both as skipper and also as a player, and his mature judgement, together with excellent defensive tactics, makes him most invaluable.
Field Sport on Andrew Hannah in 1892