Saul Percy Image 1 Liverpool 1907

Saul Percy Image 1 Liverpool 1907


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Mexborough, Yorkshire born right back Percy Saul began his football career with local side Thornhill United, a forerunner of Rotherham United in 1900 and in 1901 he joined Second Division Gainsborough Trinity, making his Football League debut against Newton Heath in January 1902, and over the next three years he played 73 times for the club, mostly at right half, scoring 9 goals.

In May 1904 he moved to Southern League Plymouth Argyle and was virtually ever-present in the team over the next two seasons. Described as a versatile, yet safe player, he again played in both positions and the 1905-06 Argyle handbook describes him as “the apostle of backs and half-backs, but a better back than half. He does not believe in doing things by half, neither did the management when they played Percy at back. Must continue to improve, no retrograde movement here. Please note!”

Such was Saul’s impressive form that he was much in demand, and he was reluctantly sold to Liverpool at the end of April 1906 after 4 goals in 94 appearances for The Pilgrims. In his debut season at Anfield, he played 24 consecutive First Division appearances and made 33 in all as a right-back taking over from Alf West who was injured four games into the campaign. Saul was inconsistent in his debut season at Liverpool but had been making progress in his second season as was commented upon in the club programme on 30th September 1907: “The most improved back in England is Percy Saul. Last season he showed flashes of great brilliance, but these were darkened by a number of unaccountable mistakes. He was most erratic. But this season, while the brilliancy remains, consistency has also been added, and Saul’s performances have attracted attention all round. Perhaps he is taking more care in training. He is remarkably speedy, and he kicks with remarkable precision while in the most extraordinary positions.”

Alf West had returned to the side in the 1907-08 season but Saul was preferred to Billy Dunlop on the left and he made further 27 appearances and scored his only League goal for the club in a home match against Sheffield United at the end of December 1907 as well as a goal in the FA Cup in a 3rd round defeat at Newcastle United. Saul was picked only 16 times for League and Cup fixtures in 1908-09 in what turned out to be his last season at Anfield, and after 83 appearances he returned to Southern League action joining Coventry City in the 1909 close season. He made 66 appearances for Coventry during a two season stint at Highfield Road before joining Midland League Rotherham Town in 1911, moving to play for local rivals Rotherham County in 1912 where he finished his career.

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