The life and career of Elisha Scott

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In our new weekly feature we shall take a look at an ex Red who unfortunately is no longer with us and go over the life and career of that player, first up is Elisha Scott.

Elisha Scott and Dixie Dean

Born on 24th August 1893 in Belfast, Elisha Scott would actually start his career as a striker for Belfast’s Boys’ Brigade and only moved into goal because of a falling out with his teammate who by all accounts was having a stinker.

What’s the use of us scoring goals against the other team and you’re letting them in, my granny could be a better goalie than you!

Scott was the brother of ex Everton keeper Bill Scott who had recommended his younger brother to the blues but they turned down the chance to sign him due to his relative small size (5’8), his brother then recommended him to Everton’s rivals Liverpool who were not put off by his size.

Elisha signed for Liverpool on 1 September 1912 with the Anfield club making a small donation to Broadway United to help with their pitch, the Ulsterman would have to wait for new years day 1913 to make his debut against Newcastle United.

He kept a clean sheet that day and got a glowing review from the Liverpool Echo, in their match report they stated.

“Hats off to Scott, Liverpool’s youthful guardian. His debut was brilliant and a pleasing augury.”

Newcastle United must also have been impressed as after the game they offered Liverpool £1000 to take the Irishman to Tynecastle.

Kenneth Campbell was Liverpool’s number one at the time and as such Elisha Scott would have to bide his time, he would need to wait a further 10 months before making his Anfield debut, again the Echo were impressed.

“Campbell’s excellence has kept Scott back from senior football, but today Scott made his first appearance at Anfield for the first team, and was accorded a hearty welcome. Very much like Hardy in appearance and in his method of clearing Elisha Scott is described by one critic as ‘more promising at his age than even Hardy was’, high praise.”

He would finish the 1914/15 season as the clubs number one playing the last 23 games but war was coming to Europe and Scott would again have to bide his time before returning between the sticks at Liverpool.

He returned to Belfast in 1916 where he would win two consecutive Irish cups playing for Belfast Celtic before returning to Liverpool after the war ended.

Elisa Scott would become an ever present from the 1920/21 season going on to win the league titles in 1921/22 and 1922/23 season.

After more than 10 years at the club Liverpool had transfer listed Scott and were willing to sell him to bitter rivals Everton for £250, however the Anfield faithful were having none of it and started a newspaper campaign to ensure Elisha stayed at the club.

“To think, the one and only Elisha should have to submit to the indignity of a transfer is unthinkable, especially as it is being proved week in and week out where the weakness is. He is the world’s best. The ‘owld man’ could do for me if he came out and played in goal on crutches

This led the club to allow Elisha to say goodbye to the Anfield faithful who so adorned him, in the final game of the 1934 season against Chelsea, Scott was address the crowd.

“We have always been the best of friends and shall always remain so. I have finished with English association football. Last, but not least, my friends of the Kop. I cannot thank them sufficiently. They have inspired me. God bless you all.” 

After leaving Liverpool Elisha Scott would return to his homeland to be the manager of Belfast Celtic where he led them to 10 Irish League titles and 6 Irish Cups before retiring from the game in 1949.

He died only 10 years later in 1959 at the age of 65 and is buried in Belfast city cementary.

Elisha Scott gravesite Belfast city