Player profile

Roy Saunders

Birthdate: 4 September 1930
Birthplace: Salford, England
Date of death: 29 January 2009
Other clubs: Hull City (1946-48), Swansea City (1959-63), Ammanford Town (1964-69)
Bought from: Hull City
Signed for LFC: 24.05.1948
International caps: England youth
Liverpool debut: 10.01.1953
Last appearance: 15.11.1958
Debut goal: 25.08.1956
Last goal: 25.08.1956
Contract expiry: March 1959
Win ratio: 43.15% W: 63 D: 31 L: 52
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 3 / 0
LFC league games/goals: 134 / 1
Total LFC games/goals: 146 / 1

Player profile

The right-half had to wait nearly five years before getting his chance in the first team. After a dreadful run of eight defeats in the previous 11 League games, Liverpool beat Middlesbrough 3-2 at Ayresome Park. Leslie Edwards at the Liverpool Echo saw promise in Saunders in his fifth game for Liverpool against Bolton at Anfield on 4 March 1953. “I have never seen a greater contribution of sheer graft than came from Saunders. He must be as strong in the tackle as any player in the game. And how tireless! Besides his link with the attack when his shot hit the bar, he did sufficient to show that the material he possesses can be developed.” Saunders played in 13 of the last 16 League fixtures as the club narrowly avoided relegation, something which was however only delayed by one more year.

After the drop into Second Division, which coincided with the retirement of Phil Taylor, Saunders became more of a regular in the side. But after making only five first-team appearances in 1957/58 and one fewer the next season, he moved on to Swansea in March 1959 in part-exchange with Desmond Palmer, who never featured for Liverpool's first team and was sold to Durban City in South Africa later that same year. The Daily Express reported on 4 March that "Saunders can claim today that he must be the first Soccer player to be sold in bed. And 26 year old Roy will not know until he reads this morning’s papers. Liverpool have not told him officially yet. He was ill at home with flu yesterday when Liverpool agreed to pay Swansea Town £8,000 AND Saunders for 27 year old Wales centre Des Palmer. Swansea manager Trevor Morris is waiting to go to Merseyside and ask Saunders: “Is it all right with you?” If Saunders says “No,” promotion chasing Liverpool will pay Swansea an extra £6,000 to make it a straight £14,000 cash deal for Palmer, who once smacked a World Cup hat trick against East Germany."

Saunders eventually said yes to Swansea and played in nearly a hundred League games for the South Wales club. Saunders was appointed player-manager of Welsh side Ammanford Town in 1964. The club's most successful spell coincided with his spell in charge, The club won division one in 1965/66 and finished runners-up to Cardiff the two following seasons in the Premier Division. He later joined Swansea's coaching staff. Roy is the father of Dean Saunders who also graced the Liverpool shirt and the Welsh international side was without a doubt grateful to Roy for moving to Swansea as Dean was a regular for Wales.

Appearances per season

1952-1953 14100015
1953-1954 20000020
1954-1955 28400032
1955-1956 37500042
1956-1957 27100028
1957-1958 410005
1958-1959 400004

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

9Lincoln City
6Swansea City
6Rotherham United
6Blackburn Rovers
5Port Vale
5Notts County
5Stoke City
4Hull City
4Huddersfield Town
4Nottingham Forest
4Sheffield Wednesday
3West Ham United
3Leicester City
3Manchester City
3Leeds United
3Bristol Rovers
3Sheffield United
3Cardiff City
2Plymouth Argyle
2Bristol City
2Scunthorpe United
2Leyton Orient
2Aston Villa
2Luton Town
2Bolton Wanderers
2Doncaster Rovers
1Accrington Stanley
1Birmingham City
1Grimsby Town
1Newcastle United
1Preston North End
1Charlton Athletic
1Manchester United
12FA Cup

Goals per season

1952-1953 000000
1953-1954 000000
1954-1955 000000
1955-1956 000000
1956-1957 100001
1957-1958 000000
1958-1959 000000

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

1 Bury
TotalGoal minute period
116-30 minutes
TotalOpen play/Penalty
1Open play

Wartime Appearances / Goals

No records to display.

Stats note

Milestone Appearances

110.01.1953GatesheadRedheugh ParkFA Cup
5022.01.1955Blackburn RoversAnfieldLeague
10022.02.1956Manchester CityAnfieldFA Cup

Milestone Goals

11725.08.1956BuryGigg LaneLeague

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Related Quotes

The player was in the squad the following season

SeasonShirt #Position
1952-1953 * Midfielder
1953-1954 * Midfielder
1954-1955 * Midfielder
1955-1956 * Midfielder
1956-1957 * Midfielder
1957-1958 * Midfielder
1958-1959 * Midfielder
* Note, Since the 1993-94 season players have been allocated a fixed number.