Tommy Smith

Tommy Smith was born in Liverpool on 5 April 1945. He joined the groundstaff at Anfield in 1960, becoming a schoolboy for the club he had supported all his life.

Initially a centre-forward, he impressed Bill Shankly enough to step straight up to play for the first team. He turned professional in 1962, on wages of £18 per week.

Shankly once famously said “Tommy Smith wasn’t born, he was quarried”. The former Reds skipper had an 18-year career at Anfield, during which he won four league titles, and lifted the European Cup in 1977. He won one England cap and went on play for one season in the newly-formed NASL for Los Angeles Aztecs in 1978. He started as a player but became player coach halfway through the season.

Smith returned to the UK to join Swansea City in 1978, receiving the MBE for services to football that same year. He hung up his playing boots in 1979.

Tommy was a fan favourite, loved for his no nonsense approach to defending which earned him the nickname ‘The Anfield Iron’. It would see referees smoking out of their ears in the modern era!

In his own words, “”I was born with football in my blood. Red of course, not Blue. There are no half measures in Liverpool, either in the pubs or in a football sense. My grandfather and father supported Liverpool. There was no debate. No arguement. I was a fanatic, brought up on a diet of football, football and more football.”

Tommy died, at the age of 74, on 12 April 2019 after previously suffering from heart problems and Alzheimer’s disease.