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Geoff Twentyman – the scout behind Bill Shankly’s Liverpool team

Written by on April 30, 2024

Geoff Twentyman was recruited by Liverpool manager Bill Shankly in 1967 to find up-and-coming football talent. Over a period spanning two decades, the revered scout helped build Liverpool’s most successful teams of the seventies and eighties.

Twentyman’s son, Geoff Jr, spoke to the Sporting Witness podcast about his late father, whom he described as “fundamental” to the “resurgence” Shankly created at Anfield.

Between 1967 and 1986, Twentyman was responsible for discovering a string of Liverpool legends, including Ian Rush, Phil Neal, Kevin Keegan and Alan Hansen. During that time, the club won nine league titles, four European Cups, two Uefa Cups, one Uefa Super Cup, two FA Cups and four League Cup trophies.

Twentyman had been a defender in Shankly’s Carlisle side during the 1950s and went into management for a period after retiring from his playing career. However, his son says that the former footballer was working in a job that involved collecting eggs from farms when he received a call from his old boss in 1967.

Geoff Jr was eight years old at the time and says his father had little sense of the “magnitude of the opportunity,” about to greet him as he set off on a 240-mile round trip from Carlisle to Liverpool to meet with Shankly.

“Shankly liked people he knew,” says Geoff Jr, adding, “he liked people who he could trust.”

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