Author Topic: #SHANKLY100 The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...  (Read 11281 times)

Offline Em5y

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#SHANKLY100 The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« on: August 12, 2005, 03:44:45 AM »
The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett.

"Fellows, your jobs are safe. Some managers bring their own people with them. Not me. I have my own system and it will work in co-operation with you"

When any new manager arrives at a football club - players and backroom staff immediately begin to fear for their futures.  It is understandable of course that any new manager wants to surround themselves with people they can trust - familiar faces who can help them shape a side in their own image.

And loyalty was key to Bill Shankly.  It was the one thing he asked for from the team he inherited back in December 1959.

"I will lay down the plans and gradually we will all be on the same wavelength. I demand only one thing: loyalty."

Loyalty and honesty were the foundations which Shankly built his sides upon.  He was honest and loyal to his staff - and he demanded the same in return.

The Bootroom Boys have become legend to Liverpool supporters everywhere.  But for some reason - one 'Bootroom Boy' is talked of less than the others.  And it is a situation which should be redressed.

Reuben Bennett was born in Aberdeen in 1914 - he was a goalkeeper in his playing days - turning out for Hull City, Queen of the South and Dundee.  It was a pretty unremarkable playing career by all accounts, though Reuben did tell Roy Evans one story about his playing career.  Reuben had a reputation for telling 'tall stories' - stories which many believed contained an element of truth - but were embellished for the purposes of entertaining people.  He told Roy that in one tough Scottish game, he had gone in to challenge an oncoming striker and got concussion.  He was carted off to hospital - but decided he was fit enough to continue.  Reuben insisted that he made his way back to the ground, paid on the turnstile to get back in the ground - and then went back in goal and continued playing.  Any other man telling this story would have been laughed at - but even a wily scouser like Evans wouldn't write off the possibility of this story being true - because he knew that Reuben Bennett was one of football's hard men.

Reuben's real passion was fitness, and it is when he turned his attention to coaching that his career in football started to take off.

Reuben became a coach at Dundee alongside the brother of Bill Shankly.  Bob was Bill's older brother - and they were very similar in their style of management.  Reuben coached the Dundee side as Bob Shankly lead the team to  two Scottish League Cups in 1949 and 1952.  His success lead to management - and Reuben took the helm at Ayr United, Motherwell and Third Lanark.  His time in management did not go well however, and when a call came from Phil Taylor asking if Reuben would be interested in becoming coach at Anfield - the answer was 'yes'.

Bennett arrived toward the end of Taylor's reign in charge - and when Bill Shankly arrived - Reuben probably more than anybody else at the club would have felt confident about keeping his job.  For a start the men were both of Scottish origin and were fiercely proud of the fact.  Reuben would often wind the players up at Anfield about how Scotland had the greatest international side in the world, and whenever Scotland suffered a defeat - it was always due to the weather being too hot or a poor referee.

For Shanks to entrust his sides fitness to Reuben Bennett shows how much faith Bill had in Reuben.  Shankly was also a fitness fanatic.  Indeed his whole outlook on the game was based on the premise that his side should be fitter than any other side and should be able to keep running longer than any other side.  Shankly's attitude toward injured players has been well documented in the past - and so perhaps the biggest honour you could pay Reuben Bennett is to acknowledge that if Shanks believed Reuben could get the players fit to the level he required - the he was obviously a remarkable coach.

In  fact, Bennett and Shankly were also very much alike in character with regard to injuries.  If a player came in injured - they needn't expect sympathy from Reuben - "Rub it down with a kipper!" he would bark at them.  If a player came in with a bad cut or graze - Bennett would tell the tale of how he would scrub his own cuts with a wire brush to get the dirt out.

Reuben was hard as Iron and Shankly trusted him implicitly.  Every morning Shankly would pick Bennett up in his car and drive him to Anfield or Melwood.  They would take these opportunities to chat about players and opposition, also travelling to away games or on scouting missions together - Shanks using Reuben as a sounding board for many of his ideas.  Phil Chisnall once said about Bennett:

"We were in America one time, and something happened on the field.  Reuben was giving it all - he must have been 50-odd then, someone tackled him and I always remember Shanks saying that he was tackling the Strongest Man in the World.  He (Bennett) would smoke like a trooper - but he was very fit for his age.

Roger Hunt gave an interesting insight into how training would work under Bennett.  Apparently the players at that time referred to Reuben as 'The Warm Up Man'  He would start training off with gentle runs and exercises designed to warm the players up for the 3-a-side and 5-a-side games which would follow.  Bennett would put the players through their paces whilst Shanks, Paisley and Fagan would keep a watchful eye on things.  There was constant banter between the players and Reuben, and despite his dour nature on occasion - the players all found him to be approachable.

Hunt said of Reuben:

"Reuben was a very, very popular man - a real hard man.  In the afternoons you would see him standing outside Anfield in shirt-sleeves when it was ten degrees below.  he said he couldn't feel the cold.  We went away to Majorca once or twice on end of season tours and Reuben, who liked a drnk, used to say that he liked nothing better than to take the top off a bottle of Scotch and drink it until it was empty.  He was always awake first whenever we went away - and when the players came down for breakfast, he would say that he had been for a five-mile run or a five-mile swim".

Willie Stevenson backs up Roger Hunt when he said that Reuben was as hard as nails.

"Reuben didn't tolerate wimps too much.  He considered any feeling of pain or hurt as soft.  One time we were in Blackpool.  It was really, really cold.  I think it was the 1965 winter when a lot of games were abandoned.  We were on the beach playing in snow and the water was iced out to about 30 or 40 feet.  One of us kicked the ball into the water and Reuben says 'Go and get it'.  We told him to bugger off.  So he called us a load of wimps and promptly proceeded to run into the sea, swim out, get the ball, and come back and carry on playing.  He was only wearing a t-shirt and a pair of shorts.  We all had balaclavas, hats, gloves and pullovers"

Reuben loved recounting tales promoting the idea amongst the players that he was a hard man.  He would tell tales about how he had played golf in Scotland on golf courses with bunkers so big - you needed a rope ladder to get in and out of them.  One of his favorite tales was from Reubens time in the Army where he took Physical Instruction.  Men would run at him with bayonets - as they got near him, Reuben would push them aside and shout 'NEXT!".  One day, a man run at him with the bayonet - and ended up plunging the bayonet into Reuben's arm.  Reuben looked at it - pulled the bayonet out from the flesh and shouted 'NEXT!".  How may of these stories were true is up for debate - but in every account you read about Reuben three things keep cropping up.  Loyalty, Honesty - and the fact that Reuben Bennett was the hardest man at Liverpool FC.

It's a shame that Reuben doesn't warrant more attention from us fans - because his role at Liverpool FC and the growth of the team under Shankly was largely down to the work Bennett carried out with the players on a daily basis.  But Bennett wasn't one for attention - he knew his role at LFC - and he carried it out to the best of his ability.  One journalist tells a story about how he was thrilled when Reuben agreed to give him an interview.  He arrived at Reuben's house, the Scotch came out - and Reuben began to tell his tales which kept the journalist enthralled.  The journalist was happy that he had got enough from Reuben to write a detailed piece - until right at the end of the interview, Reuben says "By the way, I don't want any of what I have told you printed in your paper".

Reuben died in December 1989 - leaving behind him a legacy of success at Liverpool Football Club - one which deserves far more recognition that it receives.

That sums up Reuben Bennett.  It is difficult to find out much about him - largely because he kept his head down and did his job well.  I would love to hear of any other stories people may have about him.  But for now - I present - The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 10:56:34 AM by MichaelA »

Offline gjr1

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2005, 04:11:56 AM »
Awesome read!

:wellin
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Offline Ken-Obi

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2005, 05:40:12 AM »
I only knew him as one of the original Bootroom boys but that's it. That article is a good insight into who this person was.
Someone should do the right thing - go back in time to 1992 and destroy the codes to Championship Manager before it is ever released

Offline mjjason

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2005, 06:34:59 AM »
Are you the same Emsy that was on the .tv mbs?  I remember he also wrote great articles on the history of this club.  This one is just like the rest.  That's what I love about this club.  The huge history, fascinating stories, and supporters who are all to willing to share it with everyone.

Most other club supporters are of the plastic kind, only know about the current team but LFC and its supporters are pure gold.(I guess the title 'Golden Past, Red Future' is all the more clearer to me)

Offline Byrnee

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2005, 09:09:28 AM »
Quality mate, a very nice tribute to a great character, thanks!


 :wave
'Liverpool was made for me and I was made for Liverpool.'
Bill Shankly


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At The End Of The Storm I

Offline Tarpaulin

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2005, 09:24:04 AM »
Brilliant piece Ems....loved that.

p.s - did you see my reply on the skem thread about the footie game you asked about?

Offline wet echo

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2005, 09:25:59 AM »
great post,i remember as a young lad i missed the coach that had left for melwood five minutes before so my autograph hunting visit was about to be a disaster,but a guy came out the side door and noticed my disappointment.
He asked me "do you know your way back from melwood son"to which i replied "yes no problem",in truth i didn't have a bloody clue!.
I travelled with him in his ford consul whilst he chatted away about the club and Shanks,i remember him stopping for a packet of Players Senior service before driving me through the gates and into Melwood where he introduced me to the players as they stamped their boots in on the gravel,each took the time to sign my new book on the great liverpool with Cally signing his picture seven times,a great memory and just one more reason why i love this club so much,they where the true Peoples club. Oh the guy in the car was as you have guessed none other than the great Reuben Bennett.

Offline WOOLTONIAN

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2005, 09:36:45 AM »
there was a story about Bill Bob and Reuben down at melwood.

Aparantly when Shanks first turned up, he took a good look around and declared

"What a shithole"
over weeks the three would walk up and down the pitch areas picking up stones, glass, nails etc
Equal distaste was shown over the changing area and so called showers.
The whole set up was described by Shanks as amateur.

When people look at the current melwood they would do well to remember, what Bill Bob and Reuben did to make the place what it is today.

If I find anything, I'll let you know.
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Offline JP!

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2005, 10:02:58 AM »
Great piece.  An integral part of our great history.

Offline Byrnee

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2005, 10:04:13 AM »
there was a story about Bill Bob and Reuben down at melwood.

Aparantly when Shanks first turned up, he took a good look around and declared

"What a shithole"
over weeks the three would walk up and down the pitch areas picking up stones, glass, nails etc
Equal distaste was shown over the changing area and so called showers.
The whole set up was described by Shanks as amateur.

When people look at the current melwood they would do well to remember, what Bill Bob and Reuben did to make the place what it is today.

If I find anything, I'll let you know.


I've heard that before. Good story, showing how they changed all aspects of the club.

Shame to think that someone's never had the decency to do that over at Bellefield.


 :P
« Last Edit: August 12, 2005, 10:06:06 AM by Byrnee »
'Liverpool was made for me and I was made for Liverpool.'
Bill Shankly


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77 78 81 84 05 19


At The End Of The Storm I

Offline shankstheman

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2005, 10:08:29 AM »
Excellent read and a very moving tribute !
"Chairman Mao has never seen a greater show of red strength." Bill Shankly

"The difference between Everton and the Queen Mary is that Everton carry more passengers!" Bill Shankly

Offline koolkamal

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2005, 10:48:23 AM »
What a great read, great insight to a man, most fans know nothing about, great to be always learning and everyday I even more glad that I am a liverpool supporter.
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Offline Em5y

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2005, 12:40:50 PM »
Are you the same Emsy that was on the .tv mbs? 

Yep - Unless there's two of us!

Brilliant piece Ems....loved that.

p.s - did you see my reply on the skem thread about the footie game you asked about?

Cheers Roper - and yes I did thanks.

Offline Em5y

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #13 on: July 9, 2013, 09:58:08 AM »
Sorry if this appears to be a random bump - but I came across this piece on Reuben which I found interesting.  It's written by Reuben's son Mike, and gives a lot more info on Reuben and his Dad's time at Anfield.  Contains lots of little gems I didn't know about - apparently Reuben was offered the managers job at Liverpool before it was given to Shankly but he refused it, it also talks about the influence Reuben may have had on Shankly over two of his early signings Ian St John and Ron Yeats:

Quote
"In fact the first two critical signings made by Shankly were Ian St. John, who had been under Dad`s tutelage at Motherwell, and Ronnie Yeats, whose family in Aberdeen were known to Dad - I even knew Ronnie`s wife Maggie when I was a wee boy.”

The original piece is posted here:

http://qosfc.com/new_newsview.aspx?newsid=610

It has been a pleasure here at qosfc.com to hear from Mike Bennett whose father we have previously featured, Reuben Bennett. With Mike now adding some input we are able to provide an updated version of this article on Reuben Bennett`s career.

“He was born in Aberdeen on 21st December 1913. He was touring with an Aberdeenshire Select XI in Yorkshire and was spotted and then signed by Hull City. Dad joined Hull for the 1935/36 season. I do not know how many games he played for the first team, but the existing goalkeeper, Maddison, was a bit of a local legend. Dad`s first team games were consequently restricted.”

Geordie Maddison was indeed a Hull City legend with 456 first team appearances between 1924 and 1938.

“I have no date when Dad left. I presume it was at the end of this season, but because of his injury it may have been earlier. Regarding his injury it was to his knee and as a result Hull City terminated Dad`s contract.”

“Dad joined Queen of the South in the 1936/37 season. At the time he had offers from other clubs. It was Mother who told me about Dad having a choice of teams to select from, but I have nothing regarding the offers or details. This was over 70 years ago and the difference between one offer and another might have only been a few shillings a week, which in today`s terms is laughable. But that was how it was in the `30s. However I think his time at Palmerston was partly on a trial basis.”

“Remember he had left Hull City because of an injury which in those days should have finished his career, and he had been out of the game living back home in Aberdeen whilst recovering. So when, as I understand it, he was playing for Queens and broke his collar bone his opportunity to continue playing for the Queens was lost. As you know his was not a long time there, because the hoodoo of injury, a constant problem with Dad, struck again, which meant he was finished at Queens. With regard to his injury, this was something that my Mother told me and I never questioned it. So I can be of no greater help in this matter.”

Bennett joined the Queen of the South playing staff under George McLachlan in the Autumn after the QoS tour to Europe and North Africa. Bennett’s first team debut for Queens was on Saturday 14th November 1936 in a 2-1 defeat away to Clyde. Bennett played in the home 1-0 win against Kilmarnock the week after and his third and final game for the first team was the week after again – Hearts handed Queens a 4-0 gubbing at Palmerston. Bennett also played half a dozen reserve games for Queens in the month that he spent at Palmerston Park. Beyond this the details surrounding Bennett’s arrival and time at the club are otherwise unclear. What is known is that Bennett’s time at Palmerston was when the enormously experienced Willie Fotheringham was still there. It was Fotheringham who played in goals in January 1937 when Queens knocked Rangers out of the Scottish Cup by a goal to nil, only weeks after Bennett’s departure. 1937 was the year Fotheringham retired from playing.

“He then went down to London and played some works football (just as well paid in those days), until the outbreak of the War. Dad was a Staff Sergeant Instructor with the Gordon Highlanders during the war, and it was this activity that enabled him to regain full fitness, and represent the Army. He was amongst the first signings that George Anderson (who part owned Dundee) made before the end of the War.”

The post war years seen something of a renaissance for Dundee. The 1945/46 season was unofficial. Dundee though won the Scottish Southern League `B` Division. For good measure, on the resumption of official league structures the season after Dundee were the Scottish `B` Division champions. This took them to the top tier to this time.
“I have in front of me Dad`s contract for season 1946/47. His deal was £5 per week in the closed season, and £7 a week in the playing season. Not much compared to Wayne Rooney, but it was still well above the average working man`s wage, and that is exactly what footballers were in those days - working men, not superstars, nor celebrities, just ordinary folk with a special talent that their peers admired and respected and for which they would pay their hard-earned money to watch.”

“As far as the number of games that he played for Dundee, I have been given his statistics by the club historian. In all he played 94 games which would have been even more had he not suffered the injuries he did. The above does not include any reserve matches he might have played.”

Any league games anyone played in the unofficial 1945/46 season have not been regarded as counting to players official league appearances tally.

“In amongst the disarray of my filing lies what I think is my Dad`s last contract with Dundee, with the fitness clause inserted. It is said that his fearlessness cost him these injuries, and he often felt that they robbed him of the International cap that he yearned for. In the end the knee injury sustained at Hull City finally caught up with him.”

Someone Bennett played beside at Dundee was to play an important part later in his career – Dumfries born ex Scotland and Newcastle United left back, Bobby Ancell. Bennett then played very briefly for Elgin City before returning to Dundee this time in a coaching capacity. Dundee were a force to be reckoned with. Although Bennett was on the fringes for his 1948/49 last season at Dens as a player, his team mates ran up in the league only finishing a point behind Rangers. The Dee were a point clear on the morning of the last day of the season. Their 4-1 disaster at Falkirk though allowed Rangers to plunder the title in beating Albion Rovers by the same score as Dundee`s defeat. Then on 21st September 1950, the ambitious Anderson beamed to an astonished press conference, "Gentlemen, I want to introduce you to Billy Steel, ex-Derby County and now of Dundee." Steel had broken the British transfer fee when he joined Derby for £15,500. Dundee astounded the country when breaking the Scottish transfer fee record with Steel`s signature for £23,500 (the world record fee at the time was the £24,000 Derby had since paid for Johnny Morris).

“The `Management` team then consisted of George Anderson (Manager), with Reggie Smith and Reuben Bennett as the coaching team. Between then and 1953 (when Dad left Dundee), Dundee won back-to-back League Cups, and were Scottish Cup runners-up.”

After his impressive contribution at Dundee, Bennett was appointed Manager at Ayr United in May 1953. The highlights were winning the club`s League Cup groups to make it to the quarter finals twice. In the first of those quarter finals Rangers were beaten 3-2 at home as Ayr went out 6-5 on aggregate. League results though were inconsistent. April 9th 1955 was the date of the third of four straight Ayr wins. It is also the day Bennett resigned.

“He resigned because he had had enough of Directors interfering in what he was trying to achieve at the club. The job at  Ayr United meant that he was required to carry out many administrative duties, often some that a club secretary would perform. This side of the job he detested - he was coach, not an office manager. His experiences at Ayr United soured him so that, despite offers, he never wanted to take another managerial role again. Dad was out of the first-class game for some months. However he joined up with Bobby Ancell,  former colleague at Dundee (and who gave me my first watch) at Motherwell. He was the assistant trainer there, but in fact was the one who took the training sessions on Tuesday and Thursday nights (players were part-time at Motherwell then).”

Ancell was Manager at Motherwell and familiar with Bennett`s coaching talents from Bennett`s second stint at Dundee. In the first half of their second season together things were really happening at Fir Park for Ancell and Bennett. `Well had spent most of the season in second place and had led the league for a couple of weeks. From such attention catching form an offer was made to take Bennett elsewhere.

“In December 1956 Third Lanark approached him to become coach (then called trainer) and we moved to Glasgow. It was at Thirds that his abilities as a coach really came to the fore, and he was reported as being on a salary that most Managers would like.”

Thirds were in the second tier of Scottish football when Bennett arrived. This was short lived though. An excellent late season run of 13 wins from 17 games carried them to the promotion that accompanied a runners-up spot. They had a rude awakening in the top tier losing their first three league games. They then got a grip though. Only Hearts and Celtic took points from them in a run of only one defeat in the next eight games. Again this seems to have caught attention. Then followed the appointment where journeying Bennett was destined to make his greatest mark on football.

“In 1958 he was approached by Liverpool to come South and in December (a fateful month for Dad it seems) he joined them. Liverpool, although then a Second Division club, were a big club with as good a history as the best [clubs] in England. He was a coach in demand, and when he went to Liverpool it was as Chief Coach, not just as a member of the coaching staff.”

He joined Liverpool’s coaching staff during the reign of Manager Phil Taylor. Phil Taylor was not the power to take Liverpool back to the top flight. A year after Bennett’s arrival Taylor resigned on 17th November 1959.

“So highly was he thought of at Liverpool that he was offered the Manager`s job ahead of Shankly, but declined it. That was probably one of his greatest decisions because history shows how important that was.
 
In December Taylor`s replacement was announced as Bill Shankly. The first Liverpool Manager to have complete charge of matters of team selection, he immediately set about rejuvenating the club with relish. Shankly arrived at a decayed club in stagnation later saying of Anfield, “The place was a slum. Parts of the ground were dilapidated and crumbling.” Shankly recognised the strength of the existing coaching staff of Bennett, Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan. Shankly elected to retain all three. He was already aware of Bennett from his footballing brothers in Scotland. Bob Shankly was Third Lanark Manager for part of the time Bennett was there. This though was small beer as ‘personality-wise’, Bennett and Shankly simply hit it off.

The four coaches started holding their coaches meetings in the Anfield boot room. In this informal environment, between them they discussed tactics and plans. Thus the management philosophy behind Liverpool`s massive success over the next three decades was born.

“Dad was Chief Coach. He was never the Trainer at Liverpool - that was Bob Paisley. Dad was Shankly`s constant companion in these early years travelling with him to watch matches and players. They were like two peas in a pod, sharing the same love of the game, the same devotion to it. Long hours travelling together and with many conversations. In fact the first two critical signings made by Shankly were Ian St. John, who had been under Dad`s tutelage at Motherwell, and Ronnie Yeats, whose family in Aberdeen were known to Dad - I even knew Ronnie`s wife Maggie when I was a wee boy.”

The club embarked upon the clear out of clear outs releasing 24 players. Notably though they retained Roger Hunt and Gerry Byrne. After the season’s end in 1961 Liverpool signed St John and Dundee United`s Yeats. Yeats was promptly installed as captain with the Centre Back going on to become known as `The Colossus`.
 
Liverpool were emphatic winners of the Second Division title (then the second tier of English domestic football) in 1962 by eight points in the era of two points for a win. In the top division they were champions in 1964 and 1966. The 1965 FA Cup Final was 0-0 after 90 mins. An extra time goal by by each of Hunt and St John, a dynamic and prolific forward pairing, outscored the solitary Leeds goal by Billy Bremner.

Liverpool reached the European Cup semi final in 1965, losing to Inter Milan. Then at Hampden Park in Bennett`s native Scotland, Liverpool were European Cup Winners’ Cup finalists in 1966, losing to Borussia Dortmund after extra time.
 
With Ronnie Moran added to the coaching staff, Bennett in 1971 changed his role.

“He then went on to `special duties`. When he undertook his special duties role with Liverpool it meant that he travelled around visiting many football clubs as part of his dossier-building function.”

St John later recalled of Bennett being sent on trips to Europe for up to a week at a time to spy on opponents. Bennett and his fellow boot roomers steered Liverpool to become English champions again in 1973. This marked the green shoots of a gluttonous domestic trophy haul that lasted until 1990 as the team to beat in England. Liverpool returned to a European final again, the UEFA cup final in 1973. The opponents were Borussia Mönchengladbach captained by Berti Vogts and featuring Rainer Bonhof and Jupp Heynckes. Played over two legs, Euro agent Bennett had the satisfaction of his side running out 3-2 aggregate winners.
 
Bennett was retained by new manager Bob Paisley after Shankly resigned following the 1974 FA Cup final win. Another English Championship and UEFA Cup double was gathered in 1976 (Club Brugge were defeated 4-3 in the two leg UEFA Cup Final). Then, Mönchengladbach were again the final opponents this time in the 1977 European Cup. Vogts, Bonhof and Heynckes were both out of luck once more. Bonhof hit the post with the game at 0-0. At 2-1 down Vogts conceded a penalty for a challenge on Kevin Keegan. Phil Neal slotted it away to tie up the game.

Excluding a procession of domestic silverware successes, this gives Bennett a trophy count in the European Cup alone of four wins (1977 as mentioned above, Kenny Dalglish scoring the only goal against Club Brugge in `78, Alan Kennedy doing the same against Real Madrid in `81, and `84 was the final of the Bruce Grobbelaar ‘spaghetti legs’ penalty shoot out against Roma). Added to this is one runners up place (the 1985 final defeat by Juventus overshadowed by the off pitch events in the Heysel Tragedy). Liverpool won two UEFA Cups in Bennett’s time at Anfield and one UEFA Super Cup beating Kevin Keegan’s Hamburg 7-1 thanks to a 6-0 second leg apocalypse at Anfield. The trophy to elude Bennett was the European Cup Winners’ Cup with the nearest to success being the extra time defeat in 1966 at Hampden.

“He finally quit the game. This was after the 1985-86 Cup Final [A 3-1 win against Everton]. It was Dad`s decision to quit the game at the age of 72 - there was no pressure from the Club. He died on 14th December 1989 - one week short of his 76th birthday. At his funeral the church was so crowded that the only place for the representatives of Everton (the Manager and coaching staff) could sit was with us on the family pew.”

Bennett is the only member of the original Anfield boot room quartet who did not manage Liverpool at some point during his career. Thus the former keeper’s contribution and achievements remain relatively untrumpeted.

“My Father was a tough but modest man in many ways, although he had very strong opinions and ideas. Because Dad was the type to work in the background and bask in the reflected glory he never presented himself publicly in the same way as other members of the Boot Room did.”
 
 

Offline driftinwest

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #14 on: July 9, 2013, 10:43:54 AM »
Excellent read Em5y a nice distraction from the madness of the transfer thread.
If my assistant had not signalled a goal, I would have given a penalty and sent off goalkeeper Patr Cheh. he beeped me to signal the foul. The noise from the crowd  stopped me hearing it, I have been involved at places like Barcelona, Ibrox, Old Trafford, Arsenal, but I've never in my life been involved in such an atmosphere. IT WAS INCREDIBLE

Offline careca

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #15 on: July 9, 2013, 10:57:13 AM »
Two excellent pieces thanks to EM5y
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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #16 on: July 9, 2013, 11:16:30 AM »
WoW... great info on a great man. Thanks Em5y
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Offline elbow

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #17 on: July 9, 2013, 12:05:27 PM »
Excellent, really enjoyed both of those.
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Offline Red-juvenated

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #18 on: July 9, 2013, 12:34:50 PM »
That was an awesome read. What a character!

High standards indeed.
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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #19 on: July 9, 2013, 12:55:31 PM »
Excellent read. I have heard of Reuben Bennett previously, but his background is certainly interesting.

Offline 19th Nervous Title

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #20 on: July 9, 2013, 01:09:31 PM »
Glad you did 'bump' it Emsy. As someone already noted, nice to read something decent in transfer season. Especially about one who get's little press.
It's all good.

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #21 on: July 9, 2013, 04:12:54 PM »
Yes an excellent read! Thanks very much.

Sounded like a real character, telling stories that you want to believe regardless of whether there might be a bit of spice added. Love the story where he said he paid back in and finished off the game after being karted away with concussion!!  :)

Great stuff
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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #22 on: July 9, 2013, 04:34:49 PM »
Superb stuff on a great unsung hero.
That right peg hits it and you see the future arc of the ball and time goes al gluey like a Dali painting, and for a second there's a 20yr old StevenGerrard and your young self cheering him on through the prism. His big smile fades in an the net is shivering and J.Hart's trying not to look grateful for the privilege of being that close to greatness

Offline Barney_Rubble

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #23 on: July 9, 2013, 05:57:23 PM »


The "5th Beatle" ?

87:13

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2013, 12:11:23 AM »
wonderful read, my Dad's favourite was Reuben
for those of you watching in black and white Liverpool are the team with the ball

Offline Mutton Geoff

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2013, 12:16:25 AM »
The National Pensioners Convention (NPC)

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2013, 12:24:55 AM »
Prefer it in colour with the red trackies, but couldn't really find a decent sized version.

87:13

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #27 on: July 11, 2013, 01:41:36 AM »
St John later recalled of Bennett being sent on trips to Europe for up to a week at a time to spy on opponents.


I was at a sportsman's dinner a few years ago where St. John was the speaker. He told a great story about how Shankly sent Reuben to Cologne to spy on the team before a European Cup tie in 1965.

"A couple of days before the match, Shanks lined us all up in the dressing rooms at Melwood for a talk about the opposition. Reuben came in with this big pile of files containing dossiers on all the Cologne players. He started to read the first one out, and Shanks interrupted him with 'Reuben...REUBEN!! We're not INTERESTED in all that rubbish. All these boys need to know is that they're the best team in the world....and Cologne are shite'!"

Offline Gifted Right Foot

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #28 on: July 11, 2013, 01:58:49 AM »
Great read, thanks for posting. 

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #29 on: July 11, 2013, 02:41:30 AM »
Great articles, thanks. Could do with a few like him at the club today - to really show the players that playing for LFC is more than just a day job.

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #30 on: July 11, 2013, 07:46:03 AM »
Back in the good old days,if the Melwood pitches looked a bit dodgy after the rain we would train Tuesday evenings in Melwood and Thursday evenings at Anfield. In those days the Anfield pitch had a cinder track around it so we would do our jogging warm up on that, then out into the car park to do some sprints, then onto the Kop where we would run up the inside (foot touching every step) and down the outside, when we were totally knackered he let us rest by doing press ups on the barriers, then into the Gym to do circuit training with the weights and eventually those who could still walk played 5 a side in the car park.

A lot of that has been said tongue in cheek,Reuben was a great fitness trainer , he new just how far he could go with us, somebody asked me why didn't he become a manager, my feeling is that he stuck with what he new best, getting players fit for saturday. I met him quite a few times at Anfield in later years,we would sit and have a coffee and talk about the old days, his wicked dry sense of humour was still with him, despite all the pain he had visited upon me I loved him, an essential part of our success, a great man in his own right.
"Football is a simple game based on the giving and taking of passes, of controlling the ball and making yourself available to receive a pass, it is really that simple"

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Offline Tommypig

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #31 on: July 11, 2013, 09:11:49 AM »
Prefer it in colour with the red trackies, but couldn't really find a decent sized version.



I have been after a high res version of that for ages - can't find it for love or money

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #32 on: July 11, 2013, 09:44:45 AM »
smashing stuff
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Offline Red Ol

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #33 on: July 11, 2013, 01:30:32 PM »
Great stuff. Wonderful memories

And Vic, thanks as ever for your own personal stories. Always welcome and always interesting.

Offline subroc

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #34 on: July 11, 2013, 02:02:25 PM »
Great read - thanks for posting it.

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #35 on: July 11, 2013, 07:38:12 PM »
I don't remember seeing this first time around, so thanks for the bump. It's a cracking read about one of the key people involved in the rise to greatness.

Offline vicgill

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #36 on: July 12, 2013, 09:54:11 PM »
Just remembered another little story about Reuben, Whenever I had to wear new boots I got blisters on my heels, so when I had new boots I always tried to break them in during training nights, this particular night I had a new pair of boots on and Reuben had us jogging around Melwood, it was no good I had to stop and fix my boots, I pulled the sock as far as I could and doubled it over to give my heel a bit of relief, then a sound like thunder, Reuben shouting at me calling me a slacker, well that did it, I may have been many things but a slacker I was not, I threw the boots at him and told him to wear them, he sent me off the training ground. I really felt like shit, I had sworn at a man I held in great esteem, I showered and changed and just as I was leaving Reuben appeared from nowhere, he asked me why I swore at him, I apologised, I was truly sorry. Then I burst out with "You always pick on me, whenever you want to show the lads a new exercise you pull me out and I have to demonstrate it and then do it all over again with the rest of the lads" I don't know where it came from but it was like I had a list of all the things that I felt he was picking on me.

"Vic son, when I stop picking on you that is the time for you to worry"

simple really 
"Football is a simple game based on the giving and taking of passes, of controlling the ball and making yourself available to receive a pass, it is really that simple"

"Friend, mourn not, though he premature departs, his wisdom marches on within our hearts"
  
RIP Ray Osbourne, comrade, epic swindler, and Internet Terrorist Extraordinaire.

Offline JamesG L4

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #37 on: July 13, 2013, 12:07:21 AM »
Loved reading these stories.

Love reading about the quiet men who built our club alongside the more famous icons.
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Offline JP!

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Re: The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #38 on: July 13, 2013, 12:04:56 PM »
That was a good read.  Nice job.

Great man, too.

Offline vicgill

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Re: #SHANKLY100 The One...The Only...Mr Reuben Bennett...
« Reply #39 on: December 3, 2013, 09:41:52 AM »
Hi Mike, I have given it a bump just in case those links don't work
"Football is a simple game based on the giving and taking of passes, of controlling the ball and making yourself available to receive a pass, it is really that simple"

"Friend, mourn not, though he premature departs, his wisdom marches on within our hearts"
  
RIP Ray Osbourne, comrade, epic swindler, and Internet Terrorist Extraordinaire.