Have Liverpool Ever Won The League Without A Scotsman? (Revealed)

Scottish flag flying

There are some pretty crazy stats out there in the football world, but is it true Liverpool have never won the league without a Scotsman?

They have 19 league titles (as of October 2022), so that is an amazing statistic if it is true.

We have decided to analyze all of their title wins, and find out how important Scottish players really have been in their success.

Without further ado let’s get started…

Have Liverpool Ever Won The League Without A Scotsman?

Of Liverpool’s 19 titles, only one has been won without a Scottish influence, their title triumph in 1976/77. Every other league-winning campaign has featured (usually multiple) players born in Scotland. In fact, as of 2022, 40 of Liverpool’s 45 major honours have been won with Scottish players in the team.

Two men wearing retro football inspired t shirts with text in between them

Liverpool’s League Titles

TITLE WIN 1: 1900/01 Season
SCOTTISH PLAYERS (Apps/Goals): Billy Dunlop 32, Bill Goldie 34/2, Sailor Hunter 8/3, Andy Guigan 13/4, Alex Raisbeck 31/1, Jack Robertson 25, Tommy Robertson 34/9, John Walker 29/7

Liverpool’s first-ever title was a close run thing, finishing two points ahead of Sunderland thanks largely to a great end to the season that saw them win 9 and draw 3 of their last 12 games.

With a strong Scottish influence, the team was skippered by a Scotsman, Alex Raisbeck, who made over 300 appearances for Liverpool in an 11-year spell.

TITLE WIN 2: 1905/06 Season
SCOTTISH PLAYERS (Apps/Goals): Ned Doig 8, Billy Dunlop 31, George Fleming 4, David Murray 3, Alex Raisbeck 36/1

Although the Scottish contingent was smaller, Raisbeck was again the captain as Liverpool clinched their second title.

It was a more comfortable victory this time, with Liverpool securing the title was two games to spare.

Also present in both title victories was Billy Dunlop. Born in Ayrshire, Dunlop also made over 300 appearances for Liverpool in a 15-year spell.

TITLE WIN 3: 1921/22 Season
SCOTTISH PLAYERS (Apps/Goals): Donald MacKinlay 29/1, John McNab 29/2, Frank Mitchell 3

Liverpool’s third win was by a six-point margin over Tottenham Hotspur.

After losing their first game of the season convincingly, 3-0 to Sunderland, Liverpool then embarked on a three-month unbeaten run that sent them to the top of the table.

They faltered momentarily in a three-week spell in March and April, losing three games from five, but still had enough to win the league with three games to spare.

Again the team was skippered by a Scot, Boghall-born Donald MacKinlay had been at the club since 1910 and appeared almost 400 times in 19 years at Liverpool.

TITLE WIN 4: 1922/23 Season
SCOTTISH PLAYERS (Apps/Goals): Donald MacKinlay 42/5, John McNab 39/1, David Pratt 7.

Liverpool clinched a second successive title, once again skippered by Donald MacKinlay, meaning all four of their title wins had been achieved with a Scotsman as captain.

Again they won by a six-point margin despite a slow start that saw them lose two of their first three games.

Eventually it was a run of 11 wins from 13 games, conceding only one goal in the process, between December and March that made the difference.

John McNab also picked up a second title medal. Born in Lanarkshire, McNab played exactly 200 league games for Liverpool in total.

TITLE WIN 5: 1946/47 Season
SCOTTISH PLAYERS (Apps/Goals): John Easdale 2, Willie Fagan 18/7, Jim Harley 17, Billy Liddell 35/7, Tommy McLeod 3

Liverpool’s 1946/47 title win was undoubtedly their most dramatic yet.

A run of seven defeats in ten games, including four in a row, seemed to have put them well out of contention by the start of February.

However, Liverpool’s second half of the season was near on flawless as they then won 12, drew 3 and lost just 1 of their last 16 games. 

Their last game of the season was away against Wolves, who were top of the table. Liverpool won 2-1 and finished one point ahead of both Wolves and Manchester United and two points ahead of Stoke.

This was to be Liverpool legend Billy Liddell’s only trophy for the club. The Scotsman is often considered one of Liverpool’s greatest ever players.

The season was also notable for Liverpool’s Jack Balmer scoring three successive league hat-tricks, a feat only achieved by six other players and no one has done so since Balmer.

TITLE WIN 6: 1963/64 Season
SCOTTISH PLAYERS (Apps/Goals): Tommy Lawrence 40, Ian St John 40/21, Willie Stevenson 38/1, Bobby Thomson 2, Gordon Wallace 1, Ron Yeats 36/1

Liverpool’s sixth title win had a strong Scottish influence both on and off the pitch with Bill Shankly now at the helm.

Ian St John was part of a deadly three-pronged strike trio alongside Roger Hunt and Alf Arrowsmith, the three of them scored 67 of Liverpool’s 92 goals.

Once again a Scot, Ron Yeats, captained the team with another Scot, Tommy Lawrence, proving dependable in goal.

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TITLE WIN 7: 1965/66 Season
SCOTTISH PLAYERS (Apps/Goals): Bobby Graham 1, Tommy Lawrence 42, Ian St John 41/10, Willie Stevenson 41/5, Ron Yeats 42/2

There was again a strong Scottish presence as Liverpool took home a second league title in three seasons.

The Reds finished six points ahead of Leeds and Burnley and also made it to the European Cup Winners’ Cup Final where they lost in extra-time to Borussia Dortmund.

Along with Lawrence, Yeats and St John, Willie Lawrence won his second league title. Lawrence was moved on the following year to Stoke to make way for Emlyn Hughes who replaced him.

TITLE WIN 8: 1972/73 Season
SCOTTISH PLAYERS (Apps/Goals): Peter Cormack 30/8, Brian Hall 17/2

After seven years with no trophies, Bill Shankly was rewarded as Liverpool won the league and the UEFA Cup beating Borussia Mönchengladbach convincingly in the Final.

Liverpool had signed Peter Cormack from Nottingham Forest in the summer and he would prove to be an inspired addition to the squad.

When Liverpool beat Crystal Palace at Anfield in December 1972, it was their 21st successive home win in the league. This was an English top-flight record until Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool team broke it in March 2020.

TITLE WIN 9: 1975/76 Season
SCOTTISH PLAYERS (Apps/Goals): Peter Cormack 17/1, Brian Hall 13/2

With Bob Paisley now at the helm, this was a narrow title win for Liverpool.

In fact it was a run of 7 wins from 8 games that put them just ahead of QPR going into the last game of the season against Wolves.

With 15 minutes to play Liverpool trailed 1-0 away at Wolves and with QPR winning, the title was going to Loftus Road for the first ever time.

But three goals in the last 15 minutes turned the game on its head and Liverpool won the league, later adding the UEFA Cup to it when they beat Club Brugge 3-2.

The Scottish influence was not quite as strong this season, but both Peter Cormack and Brian Hall won their second league title.

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TITLE WIN 11: 1978/79 Season
SCOTTISH PLAYERS (Apps/Goals): Kenny Dalglish 41/21, Alan Hansen 43/1, Graeme Souness 41/8

Liverpool’s title win in 1978/79 had a very Scottish spine, with Kenny Dalglish, Alan Hansen and Graeme Souness all commanding influences as Liverpool amassed a record points total at the time of 68 points.

Liverpool conceded just 16 league goals in 42 games and only conceded more than once on one occasion.

They also reached the FA Cup semi-final but were knocked out of the European Cup at the first hurdle by Nottingham Forest who went on to win the tournament.

TITLE WIN 12: 1979/80 Season
SCOTTISH PLAYERS (Apps/Goals): Kenny Dalglish 42/16, Alan Hansen 38/4, Graeme Souness 41/1

A second successive league title was underpinned by the same Scottish trio.

Once again there was disappointment in the European Cup though, another first-round exit, this time at the hands of Dinamo Tbilisi.

But domestically, as well as winning the league, Liverpool also reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup and League Cup.

TITLE WIN 13: 1981/82 Season
SCOTTISH PLAYERS (Apps/Goals): Kenny Dalglish 42/13, Alan Hansen 35, Graeme Souness 35/5

Dalglish, Souness and Hansen made up for a disappointing 1980/81 season when Liverpool finished 5th by once again all playing vital roles in another title triumph.

Liverpool’s 5th place finish the previous season was the only time between 1972 and 1992 that they finished outside of the top two.

Eleven league wins in a row from 9 March to 1 May 1982, effectively cemented the league win for Liverpool although they were pushed hard by Bobby Robson’s Ipswich who finished as runners-up, four points behind.

TITLE WIN 14: 1982/83 Season
SCOTTISH PLAYERS (Apps/Goals): Kenny Dalglish 42/18, Alan Hansen 34, Steve Nicol 4, Graeme Souness 41/9

This was another hugely dominant Liverpool season, with the same dependable Scottish trio being instrumental in the club’s 14th league title.

Also making his first league appearances for Liverpool that season was future legend Steve Nicol, who had signed from Ayr United the previous season.

Once again there was an unexpected name in 2nd place, Watford finished 11 points behind Liverpool in their first ever season at this level.

Liverpool lost eight league games all season, two in successive weeks in October, one in December, then their final five defeat came in their last six league games when they had already wrapped up the title.

TITLE WIN 15: 1983/84 Season
SCOTTISH PLAYERS (Apps/Goals): Kenny Dalglish 33/7, Alan Hansen 42/1, Steve Nicol 23/5, Graeme Souness 37/7, John Wark 9/2

With Bob Paisley having retired at the end of the previous season, Liverpool took home their third successive league title under the stewardship of Joe Fagan.

Liverpool also became the first English team to win three major trophies in the same season, as they won both the European Cup and the League Cup as well.

The club’s Scottish contingent was briefly expanded further as Liverpool signed John Wark from Ipswich in March 1984, but fellow Scot Graeme Souness was then sold at the end of the campaign after six trophy-laden years at Anfield.

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TITLE WIN 16: 1985/86 Season
SCOTTISH PLAYERS (Apps/Goals): Kenny Dalglish 21/3, Gary Gillespie 14/3, Alan Hansen 41, Kevin MacDonald 17/1, Steve Nicol 34/4, John Wark 9/3.

With six Scottish players featuring strongly throughout the season Liverpool became the fifth team to do the League and FA Cup double in English football, beating Mersey rivals Everton to 2nd place in both competitions.

It looked as if Liverpool would have to settle for second place in the league again after losing 2-0 at home to Everton on 22 February 1986, but a run of 11 wins and one draw in their last 12 games saw them win the title by two points from Everton.

Rather unusually Scottish centre-back Gary Gillespie scored three goals that season, all in the same game.

He had scored twice from open play against Birmingham City when Liverpool were awarded a penalty with seven minutes left.

Already 4-0 up the fans chanted Gillespie’s name, who duly stepped up to convert and achieve that rare feat of a defender scoring a hat-trick!

TITLE WIN 17: 1987/88 Season
SCOTTISH PLAYERS (Apps/Goals): Kenny Dalglish 2, Gary Gillespie 35/4, Alan Hansen 39/1, Kevin MacDonald 1, Steve Nicol 40/6, John Wark 1

Steve Nicol, Gary Gillespie and Alan Hansen were all huge influences as Liverpool finished nine points clear of Manchester United.

They were denied another double by a surprising defeat to underdogs Wimbledon in the FA Cup Final.

Early on in the season, Steve Nicol had been in fine form

The full-back started the season in a more attacking role and scored six goals in the first six games, including a hat-trick against Newcastle United.

TITLE WIN 18: 1989/90 Season
SCOTTISH PLAYERS (Apps/Goals): Kenny Dalglish 1, Gary Gillespie 13/4, Alan Hansen 31, Steve Nicol 23/6

Once again Alan Hansen and Steve Nicol featured heavily as Liverpool won their 18th league title, finishing nine points ahead of Aston Villa.

The season included a 9-0 win over Crystal Palace, who would then go on to beat Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final.

On 5 May 1990, Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish made his last appearance for the club, coming on as a substitute in a 1-0 win over Derby County.

At 39 years old, the player-manager was one of the oldest players ever to pull on the famous red and white shirt.

TITLE WIN 19: 2019/20 Season
SCOTTISH PLAYERS (Apps/Goals): Andy Robertson 36/2

Liverpool’s first title win in 20 years was also probably their most impressive.

They set a number of records including winning the Premier League in the quickest time, there were seven games remaining, winning 24 consecutive home games and having the biggest points lead at any time (25 points).

They won 20 of their first 21 games and only lost three games all season, two of them when the title had already been secured.

Andy Robertson made an important contribution as the sole Scotsman in the team, although Glasgow-born Tony Gallacher also featured in the League Cup.

The Odd One Out

TITLE WIN 10: 1976/77 Season

The eagle-eyed amongst you might have noticed we went straight from title win 9 to title win 11 in the list above.

Liverpool’s title win in 1976/77 is the club’s only not to feature a Scotsman in any form.

Peter Cormack was part of the squad at the start of the campaign but he left in November 1976 to join Bristol City without playing a game.

Final Thoughts

Have Liverpool Ever Won the League Without a Scotsman infographic

So there you have it, Liverpool have won the league 19 times (as of 2022) and only once did they achieve it without a Scotsman in their team!

In fact, currently only five of Liverpool’s 45 major honours have come without a Scottish influence.

Many of Liverpool’s title wins have also been skippered by Scots, not to mention the Scottish influence of the great Bill Shankly (and then later Kenny Dalglish) in the dugout.

Any Scottish players that join Liverpool certainly have big boots to fill!

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