Players - Roy Saunders

Roy Saunders
Birthdate: 4 September 1930
Birthplace: Salford, England
Date of death: 29 January 2009
Other clubs: Hull City (1946-48), Swansea Town (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: 06.03.1959
Win ratio: 43.15% W:63 D:31 L:52
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 3 / 0
League games / goals: 134 / 1
Total 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
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 134 12 0 0 0 146
1952-1953 14 1 0 0 0 15
1953-1954 20 0 0 0 0 20
1954-1955 28 4 0 0 0 32
1955-1956 37 5 0 0 0 42
1956-1957 27 1 0 0 0 28
1957-1958 4 1 0 0 0 5
1958-1959 4 0 0 0 0 4
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
Apps Minutes Opponent
9 840 Lincoln City
7 630 Middlesbrough
6 540 Swansea City
6 540 Rotherham United
6 540 Bury
6 540 Blackburn Rovers
6 540 Fulham
5 450 Port Vale
5 450 Notts County
5 450 Stoke City
4 360 Hull City
4 360 Huddersfield Town
4 360 Nottingham Forest
4 360 Sheffield Wednesday
3 270 Barnsley
3 270 West Ham United
3 270 Wolves
3 270 Leicester City
3 270 Blackpool
3 270 Manchester City
3 270 Leeds United
3 270 Bristol Rovers
3 270 Sheffield United
3 270 Cardiff City
3 270 Derby
2 210 Scunthorpe United
2 180 Bristol City
2 180 Plymouth Argyle
2 180 Leyton Orient
2 180 Sunderland
2 180 Aston Villa
2 180 Luton Town
2 180 Bolton Wanderers
2 180 Doncaster Rovers
2 180 Southend
2 180 Arsenal
2 180 Chelsea
1 90 Accrington Stanley
1 90 Gateshead
1 90 Birmingham City
1 90 Tottenham
1 90 Grimsby Town
1 90 WBA
1 90 Everton
1 90 Newcastle United
1 90 Preston North End
1 90 Charlton Athletic
1 90 Manchester United
1 90 Portsmouth
Total Venue
76 Away
70 Home
Total Competition
134 League
12 FA Cup
Total Manager
109 Don Welsh
37 Phil Taylor
Goals per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 1 0 0 0 0 1
1952-1953 0 0 0 0 0 0
1953-1954 0 0 0 0 0 0
1954-1955 0 0 0 0 0 0
1955-1956 0 0 0 0 0 0
1956-1957 1 0 0 0 0 1
1957-1958 0 0 0 0 0 0
1958-1959 0 0 0 0 0 0
A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring
Total Opponent
1 Bury
Total Competition
1 League
Total Goal minute period
1 16-30 minutes
Total Goal origin
1 Open play
Milestone Appearances
# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 10.01.1953 Gateshead Redheugh Park FA Cup
50 22.01.1955 Blackburn Rovers Anfield League
100 22.02.1956 Manchester City Anfield FA Cup
Milestone Goals
# Minute Date Against Stadium Competition
1 17 25.08.1956 Bury Gigg Lane League
Scrapbook
Pre-match talks not a waste of time -  Football Monthly December 1957
Pre-match talks not a waste of time - Football Monthly December 1957
Saunders on the cover of the Evening Express on 18 January 1958
Saunders on the cover of the Evening Express on 18 January 1958
Other Clubs
Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
Hull City 1946-1948 England Third Division North N/A N/A N/A N/A
Swansea City 1958-1959 England Second Division 12 0 12 0
Swansea City 1959-1960 England Second Division 19 1 20 1
Swansea City 1960-1961 England Second Division 26 1 29 1
Swansea City 1961-1962 England Second Division 8 1 8 1
Swansea City 1962-1963 England Second Division 29 0 31 0
Ammanford Town 1964-1969 Welsh League N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total 94 3 100 3