Alan A'Court

Last updated

Alan A'Court
Personal information
Full nameAlan A'Court [1]
Date of birth(1934-09-30)30 September 1934 [1]
Place of birth Rainhill, England
Date of death 14 December 2009(2009-12-14) (aged 75) [1]
Place of death Nantwich, England
Position(s) Winger
Youth career
0000–1952 Prescot Cables
Senior career*
1952–1964 Liverpool 354 (61)
1964–1966 Tranmere Rovers 50 (11)
1966–1967 Norwich City 0 (0)
National team
1957–1958 England 5 (1)
Teams managed
1978 Stoke City (caretaker)
1983–1984 Nantwich Town
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Alan A'Court (30 September 1934 – 14 December 2009) was an English footballer who mostly played for Liverpool. He gained five caps for England and represented the nation at the 1958 FIFA World Cup.


Playing career

Born in Rainhill, Lancashire, England, A'Court was a winger who started out at Prescot Cables as an amateur before he was signed by Reds manager Don Welsh. A'Court made his debut in a league match at Ayresome Park on 7 February 1953, a game that saw Liverpool take both the points from a 3–2 win. His first goal came a month later on 14 March, again, in a league match, this time at Anfield in a 2–0 victory over Sunderland.

A'Court, who followed Rugby league, signed from Prescot as an 18-year-old in September 1952, spurning the advances of Everton and Bolton Wanderers to become an Anfield apprentice, a decision that paid off as just six months after joining he made his first team debut. The following season A'Court played 16 times but Liverpool were relegated to the Second Division.

During the Anfield club's first season in the second tier of English football A'Court established himself as a first team regular making 33 league and cup appearances. A'Court remained consistent even though Liverpool failed to regain their top flight status. By the age of 24 years and 89 days he had played 200 league games for the Reds becoming the youngest player to do so, a record that still stands.

Although the strong and talented A'Court could have left to play for teams in the First Division, his loyalty to Liverpool was rewarded in 1961–62 when, as an ever-present, he and the Reds celebrated promotion back to the First Division under the guidance of the great Bill Shankly a full 8 points, in the days of 2 points for a win, clear of second placed Leyton Orient. A'Court was selected 23 times during Liverpool's first season back amongst football's elite teams; he helped Liverpool to a more than healthy eighth place.

Whilst still in Division 2 A'Court's skill alerted England manager Walter Winterbottom, who was looking for a player to replace an injured Tom Finney; Winterbottom handed the left winger the first of his 5 caps on 6 November 1957 in a British Championship match against Northern Ireland at Wembley. A'Court's only goal for his country and a goal for Duncan Edwards were not enough to prevent England losing the game 3–2. The highlight of his career was representing England at the 1958 FIFA World Cup in Sweden, where he played in England's last three matches against Brazil (0–0), Austria (2–2), and the group stage play-off game against the USSR (0–1). He did this despite playing for a club in the Second Division.

Unfortunately for A'Court, injuries began to take their toll. He missed the whole of the 1963–64 championship winning season, so Shankly signed Peter Thompson from Preston North End. After spending most of his career at Liverpool, playing 382 times and scoring 63 goals, A'Court was allowed to leave. He joined Tranmere Rovers for a fee of £4,500 in October 1964. A'Court's final outing in a Red shirt was in a historic match: Liverpool's first ever European match at Anfield, the game was a European Cup preliminary round 2nd leg match on 14 September 1964. Liverpool had won the first encounter with Icelandic side KR 5–0 but rather than treat the return leg as a mere formality, the Reds finished off the job with a comprehensive 6–1 victory.

Coaching career

He later became player-coach at Norwich City before taking on various coaching jobs, including posts in Zambia and New Zealand, he also became assistant manager at Stoke City when Tony Waddington called upon his services in 1969. In January 1978 George Eastham was sacked and A'Court was put in caretaker charge. His only match in charge of Stoke came in the FA Cup at home to non-league Blyth Spartans in 1977–78, Stoke lost the match 3–2. [2]

Once new manager Alan Durban was appointed A'Court moved to Crewe Alexandra as an assistant manager. He then went to join the sport staff at North Staffordshire Polytechnic. He managed Nantwich Town from September 1983 to April 1984.

Post retirement

After finally retiring from football, A'Court ran a tobacconist/newsagent shop on the borders of Birkenhead and Bebington. A'Court died of cancer on 14 December 2009. [3] He is survived by wife Alma, son Steven and daughter Sara. [4]

Career statistics


Source: [5]

ClubSeasonLeagueFA CupLeague CupEuropeTotal
Liverpool 1952–53 First Division 1220000120
1953–54 First Division1630000163
1954–55 Second Division 3023100333
1955–56 Second Division4065000456
1956–57 Second Division381010003910
1957–58 Second Division3965000446
1958–59 Second Division3971000407
1959–60 Second Division4282000448
1960–61 Second Division3372020377
1961–62 Second Division4285100479
1962–63 First Division2320000232
1963–64 First Division00000000
1964–65 First Division0000001010
Tranmere Rovers 1964–65 Fourth Division2442000264
1965–66 Fourth Division2671010287
Career Total40472272301043574


Source: [6]

National teamYearAppsGoals
England 195711

International goals

Scores and results list England's goal tally first.
16 November 1957 Wembley Stadium, London Ulster Banner.svg Northern Ireland 1–12–3 1958 British Home Championship


Managerial record by club and tenure
Stoke City [2] 9 January 197813 February 19781001000.0

Related Research Articles

Kenny Dalglish Scottish association football player and manager

Sir Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish is a Scottish former football player and manager. During his career, he made 338 appearances for Celtic and 515 for Liverpool and earned a record 102 full caps for the Scotland national team scoring 30 goals, also a joint-record. Dalglish won the Ballon d'Or Silver Award in 1983, the PFA Players' Player of the Year in 1983, and the FWA Footballer of the Year in 1979 and 1983. In 2009, FourFourTwo named Dalglish the greatest striker in post-war British football, and in 2006, he topped a Liverpool fans' poll of "100 Players Who Shook the Kop". He has been inducted into both the Scottish and English Football Halls of Fame.

Bill Shankly Scottish footballer and manager

William Shankly was a Scottish football player and manager, who is best known for his time as manager of Liverpool. Shankly brought success to Liverpool, gaining promotion to the First Division and winning three League Championships and the UEFA Cup. He laid foundations on which his successors Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan were able to build by winning seven league titles and four European Cups in the ten seasons after Shankly retired in 1974. A charismatic, iconic figure at the club, his oratory stirred the emotions of the fanbase. In 2019, 60 years after Shankly arrived at Liverpool, Tony Evans of The Independent wrote, “Shankly created the idea of Liverpool, transforming the football club by emphasising the importance of the Kop and making supporters feel like participants.”

Emlyn Hughes

Emlyn Walter Hughes was an English footballer. He started his career in 1964 at Blackpool before moving to Liverpool in 1967. He made 665 appearances for Liverpool, and captained the side to four league titles and an FA Cup victory in the 1970s. Added to these domestic honours were two European Cups, including Liverpool's first in 1977; and two UEFA Cup titles. Hughes won the Football Writers' Player of the Year in 1977. Hughes completed a full set of English football domestic honours by winning the League Cup with Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1980. In addition to Wolves, he later played for Rotherham United, Hull City, Mansfield Town and Swansea City. Hughes earned 62 caps for the England national team, which he also captained.

Michael Thomas (footballer, born 1967) English footballer

Michael Lauriston Thomas is an English former professional footballer who played as a midfielder from 1986 to 2001.

Roger Hunt English footballer

Roger Hunt, is an English former footballer who played as a forward. He spent eleven years at Liverpool and was the club's record goalscorer with 286 goals until that number was surpassed by Ian Rush. Hunt remains Liverpool's record league goalscorer. Under Bill Shankly, Hunt won two league titles and an FA Cup. Regarded as one of Liverpool's greatest ever players, Hunt is referred to as Sir Roger by the club's fans. He was ranked 13th on the 100 Players Who Shook the Kop, an official fan poll.

Bob Paisley

Robert Paisley OBE was an English football manager and player who played as a wing half. He spent almost 50 years with Liverpool and is regarded, due to his achievements with the club, as one of the greatest British managers of all time. Reluctantly taking the job in 1974, he built on the foundations laid by his predecessor Bill Shankly. Paisley is the first of three managers to have won the European Cup three times. He is also one of five managers to have won the English top-flight championship as both a player and manager at the same club.

Alan Hansen Scottish footballer and pundit

Alan David Hansen is a Scottish former football player and BBC television football pundit. He played as a central defender for Partick Thistle, for the successful Liverpool team of the late 1970s and 1980s, and for Scotland. As a football pundit, Hansen became known for his outspoken views, particularly on teams' defensive performances, frequently criticising what he believed was "diabolical" or "shocking" defending. He made his name as a pundit on Match of the Day from 1992 to 2014.

Ronnie Whelan Irish soccer player and manager

Ronald Andrew Whelan is an Irish former professional footballer player who played as a midfielder and sometimes as a defender. He played an integral role in the dominant Liverpool side that won a wealth of titles in the 1980s. He was at the club from 1979 until 1994, scoring a number of vital goals. In 100 Players Who Shook The Kop, a poll of 110,000 Liverpool fans conducted by Liverpool's official website, Whelan came in 30th.

David Fairclough

David Fairclough is an English retired footballer, most famous for playing for Liverpool as a striker during the 1970s and 1980s.

Alec Lindsay is an English former footballer who played in the Football League for Bury, Liverpool and Stoke City.

Chris Lawler

Chris Lawler is a former footballer who enjoyed much of Liverpool's success of the mid 1960s to early 1970s.

Howard Gayle English footballer

Howard Anthony Gayle is an English former footballer who played for Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers, Fulham, Halifax Town, Liverpool, Newcastle United, Sunderland and Stoke City.

Gerry Byrne (footballer, born 1938) English footballer

Gerald Byrne was an English footballer who spent his entire playing career at Liverpool Football Club.

Jimmy Melia is an English former footballer who spent most of his career playing for Liverpool and went on to become a manager.

Billy Liddell

William Beveridge Liddell was a Scottish footballer, who played his entire professional career with Liverpool. He signed with the club as a teenager in 1938 and retired in 1961, having scored 228 goals in 534 appearances. He was Liverpool's leading goalscorer in the league in eight out of nine seasons from 1949–50 to 1957–58, and surpassed Elisha Scott's club record for most league appearances in 1957.

The 1971–72 season was the 92nd season of competitive football in England.

Philip Henry Taylor was an English footballer who played for and managed Liverpool.

Willie Stevenson Scottish footballer and manager

William Stevenson is a Scottish former professional football player and manager. He played for Rangers, Liverpool, Stoke City, Tranmere Rovers and the Vancouver Whitecaps.

John Molyneux was an English footballer who played as a right-back.

1974 FA Charity Shield

The 1974 FA Charity Shield was the 52nd FA Charity Shield, an annual English association football match played between the winners of the previous season's Football League First Division and FA Cup. The match was contested by Leeds United, the champions of the 1973–74 Football League First Division, and Liverpool, the 1973–74 FA Cup winners. It was held at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 10 August 1974. Watched by a crowd of 67,000 and televised, the match ended in a 1–1 draw and was decided by a penalty shoot-out which was won 6–5 by Liverpool.


  1. 1 2 3 Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2015). The PFA Premier & Football League Players' Records 1946–2015. G2 Entertainment Ltd. ISBN   9781782811671.
  2. 1 2 Matthews, Tony (1994). The Encyclopaedia of Stoke City. Lion Press. ISBN   0-9524151-0-0.
  3. Former Stoke boss A'Court dies, aged 75, Retrieved on 15 December 2009
  4. Oliver, James A (16 December 1009). "Nantwich's former Liverpool and England winger Alan A'Court dies of cancer". Crewe Chronicle. Archived from the original on 26 December 2010. Retrieved 19 December 2009.
  5. Alan A'Court at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
  6. Alan A'Court at