Reuben Bennett Player Profile


  • Full Name: Reuben Bennett
  • Born: December 21st, 1913
  • Died: December 14th, 1989


Dundee Career Summary

Competitive Friendlies Other (War)
1944-45 - -35- - -
1945-46 - -34- - -
1946-47 26-8- - -
1947-48 - - - - - -
1948-49 4- - - - -
TOTAL 30-77- - -

Other Cups may include: Anglo-Scottish Cup, Challenge Cup, Cup Winners' Cup, Drybrough Cup, International Soccer League, League Cup, Summer Cup, Texaco Cup.


Reuben Bennett was born in Aberdeen in December 1913 and started his football career as a goalkeeper with Aberdeen East End in 1930. It was while playing with an Aberdeen Junior Select against Hull City that Bennett impressed and was offered terms and signed for the Boothferry Park side.

In 1936 he moved back north to Queen of the South after being released by Hull because of injury and he played for the Dumfries side until the outbreak of the Second World War.

After his war service Reuben signed for Dundee, having played for the Club as a guest during the conflict and turned out for the Dark Blues ninety-four times in the next five years. Well known for his daring saves, the big keeper was part of the side to win the Scottish League North-East Division (First Series) in 1944/45. An excellent shot stopper who was also an expert at cutting out cross balls, he would then win two back to back ‘B’ Division titles in 1946 and 1947 and in 1949, Bennett made four appearances as Dundee finished second in the Scottish League Championship.

By then he was at the veteran stage, sharing the goalkeeping duties with three other custodians and he hung up his gloves at the end of that runners-up season.

Almost immediately, Bennett was offered a coaching role at Dens and would work alongside Reggie Smith under manager George Anderson. Bennett proved himself to be an innovative coach alongside Smith and their newly devised training schedules had the Dundee players amongst the fittest in the land.

At the League Cup winners’ reception after the 1951 final win over Rangers, skipper Alfie Boyd acknowledged the work of Bennett in his speech and at the end of the season chairman James Gellatly also thanked Bennett for his efforts in getting the players so fit.

For the Kilmarnock Final twelve months later, Bennett was vital in assisting Smith during Anderson’s absence and he was delighted when the Dark Blues won their second winners’ medal in twelve months.

Just before the end of the season, Bennett moved to Ayr United to take up the manager’s post, meaning he missed out on Dundee’s trip to South Africa, but he discovered that management was not for him. He decided that coaching was his strength and in May 1955, he resigned to become assistant-trainer at Motherwell under Bobby Ancell; a former team mate at Dens.

He then became trainer at Third Lanark under Bob Shankly in 1959 but moved down south to Liverpool to take up a similar post at Anfield towards the end of manager Phil Taylor’s reign. When Taylor resigned in November, his replacement was Bob’s brother Bill and Shankly would go on to build Liverpool into his “bastion of invincibility.”

He created the infamous Anfield Boot Room, retaining the services of coaches Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Reuben Bennett. In this informal environment, between them they discussed tactics and plans, during which time Bennett was referred to as Sherlock, due to his preferred choice of headwear, a deerstalker. Thus the management philosophy behind Liverpool's success over the next three decades was born.

A fitness fanatic, at Liverpool Bennett was entrusted by Shankly with responsibility for player training and physical condition and indeed his whole outlook on the game was based on the premise that his players should be fitter than any other side and should be able to keep running longer than any other side; something he had preached successfully at Dens.

Reuben loved recounting his stories at Anfield, promoting the idea amongst the players that he was a hard man. He would tell tales about how he had played golf in Scotland on golf courses with bunkers so big, you needed a rope ladder to get in and out of them. He had a reputation for telling 'tall stories' - stories which many believed contained an element of truth but were embellished for the purposes of entertaining people. On one occasion he told Roy Evans that in a game for Dundee, he had gone in to challenge an oncoming striker and got concussion. He was carted off to hospital but decided he was fit enough to continue. Bennett insisted that he made his way back to the ground, paid at the turnstile to get back in the ground and then went back in goal and continued playing. Any other man telling this story would have been laughed at but even a wily Scouser like Evans wouldn't write off the possibility of this story being true - because he knew that Reuben Bennett was one of football's hard men.

Bennett was the only one of the original Anfield boot room quartet who didn’t manage Liverpool and he stayed at the club until he retired.

He died aged seventy-six in December 1989 and although he is best remembered as a member of Bill Shankly’s backroom team, he was a Dundee goalkeeper with three league winners medals in his gloves, a vital member of the Dark Blues coaching staff and one of Dundee’s Hampden Heroes of the early Fifties.


August 10th, 1946
East Fife 2 - 6 Dundee

League (B Division)

Playing Statistics - First Team Competitive matches (All Seasons)

Competition NPS Win % Draw % Loss %
League 21-- --
Scottish Cup 3-- --
League Cup 6-- --
Totals: 30-- --

 Recent Starting Appearances (First Team Competitive matches)
 12/03/49 A Division vs. St Mirren (A) 1 - 6
 05/03/49 Quarter Final vs. Hearts (A) 4 - 2
 26/02/49 A Division vs. Queen of South (A) 1 - 0
 19/02/49 A Division vs. Albion Rovers (H) 5 - 0
 22/03/47 B Division vs. Dunfermline (H) 10 - 0

 Recent Goals Scored (First Team Competitive matches)

 List of First Team Competitive matches played (click to expand)
 12/03/49 A Division vs. St Mirren (A)  1 - 6
 05/03/49 Quarter Final vs. Hearts (A)  4 - 2
 26/02/49 A Division vs. Queen of South (A)  1 - 0
 19/02/49 A Division vs. Albion Rovers (H)  5 - 0
 22/03/47 B Division vs. Dunfermline (H)  10 - 0
 08/03/47 B Division vs. Alloa (A)  10 - 0
 05/03/47 Quarter Final 2nd Leg vs. Aberdeen (A)  2 - 3
 01/03/47 Quarter Final 1st Leg vs. Aberdeen (H)  0 - 1
 22/02/47 3rd Round vs. Albion Rovers (H)  3 - 0
 25/01/47 1st Round vs. Celtic (H)  2 - 1
 18/01/47 B Division vs. St Johnstone (H)  2 - 0
 28/12/46 B Division vs. Airdrie (1878) (A)  1 - 2
 21/12/46 B Division vs. East Fife (H)  2 - 0
 14/12/46 B Division vs. Ayr Utd (A)  6 - 2
 07/12/46 B Division vs. St Johnstone (A)  5 - 1
 30/11/46 B Division vs. Albion Rovers (H)  6 - 2
 23/11/46 B Division vs. Dunfermline (A)  5 - 2
 16/11/46 B Division vs. Cowdenbeath (A)  8 - 2
 09/11/46 B Division vs. Stenhousemuir (H)  4 - 1
 02/11/46 B Division vs. Raith Rovers (A)  4 - 1
 19/10/46 Section 6 vs. Stenhousemuir (A)  4 - 0
 12/10/46 Section 6 vs. Raith Rovers (H)  3 - 1
 28/09/46 Section 6 vs. Stenhousemuir (H)  4 - 0
 21/09/46 Section 6 vs. Raith Rovers (A)  2 - 0
 14/09/46 B Division vs. Alloa (H)  6 - 2
 07/09/46 B Division vs. Dumbarton (A)  1 - 2
 31/08/46 B Division vs. Arbroath (H)  5 - 0
 24/08/46 B Division vs. Dundee Utd (A)  2 - 1
 17/08/46 B Division vs. Airdrie (1878) (H)  1 - 1
 10/08/46 B Division vs. East Fife (A)  6 - 2

 List of First Team Competitive goals scored

  = Starting Appearances (Sub Appearances) | = Goals | NPS = Squad Appearances (as Non-Playing Sub) | GtGR = Goals to Games Ratio
 Yel = Yellow Cards/Cautions | Red = Red Cards/Dismissals | W/D/L - Games won, drawn or lost as percentage of games played in


Timeline currently available.