With Scotland international Caroline Weir signing for Liverpool yesterday, we look at five of the many connections that link the Anfield club to Scotland.

1) The “Team of Macs”

When Everton’s president and landlord John Houlding controversially fell out with the Blues in 1892 over the cost of renting Anfield, the future Mayor of Liverpool decided to establish a new club to become the ground’s new inhabitants. His new club, Liverpool FC, was to have a “first class player on every position of the pitch”, and to do this he appointed John McKenna as the club’s manager. With Scottish football (unlike in England) not yet professionalised, McKenna looked north for star players.

In doing so, McKenna created a team with a strong Scottish nucleus - to field a team with as many as nine Scotsman was not an unusual occurrence - so much so that they were known as the “Team of Macs”. They were a successful team, too; in Liverpool’s debut season they won the Lancashire League, beating Blackpool on goal difference. 

2) Bill Shankly

It is often argued that the story of Liverpool’s rise in world football begins with Bill Shankly. The Scotsman became manager of the Merseyside club in 1959 when they were in the Second Division. By the time he left, 15 years later in 1974, they had become one of the powerhouses of English football, winning the First Division three times, the FA Cup twice and the UEFA Cup in 1973 (their first of many European honours).

Shankly laid the foundations for the dynasty of Bob Paisley, Shankly’s assistant throughout his time at Anfield, who went on to dominate domestic football throughout the next decade. 

3) Kenny Dalglish

Over 150 Scottish players have worn the famous red jersey, but none have been as influential as Kenny Dalglish. Signing from Celtic in 1977 for a British record fee of £440,000 from Celtic, Dalglish incredibly won 22 honours in a decade playing in Merseyside, scoring 188 goals in 355 appearances in the process.

He won the European Cup three times (1978, 1981 and 1984), and scored the winner in the 1978 final against Club Brugges at Wembley, before guiding the Reds to the title as manager in 1988 and 1990.

4) Wales 0-2 Scotland, 1977

To reach the 1978 FIFA World Cup, Scotland had to win the final two matches in their qualifying group. They achieved the first victory in style, defeating then-European Champions Czechoslovakia 3-1 at Hampden Park in September 1977, meaning a victory away to Wales a month later would all but seal their place in Argentina. The match, due to crowd trouble at Cardiff’s Ninian Park the year before against Yugoslavia, was moved to Anfield.

The switch to Liverpool’s stadium was done to ensure a bigger crowd, and it certainly did. Unfortunately for the Welsh, a massive Scottish support descended south, where they witnessed a famous Scotland victory. Don Masson and Kenny Dalglish scored late goals to send Ally McLeod’s team to Scotland second consecutive World Cup.

5) A competitive history against Scottish clubs in Europe

Liverpool have played against Scottish teams in European competition 14 times, the first encounter going as far back as 1966, when the Reds knocked out Celtic in the semi-finals of the European Cup Winners’ Cup. Overturning a one-goal deficit to defeat the following season’s European champions,  Bill Shankly’s side went on to the final at Hampden Park, losing to Borussia Dortmund.

Since then, Liverpool have lost just twice to Scottish teams (Hibernian in 1970 and Celtic in 2003), with the latter the only time they have been knocked out by a side from north of the border. The most recent encounter was in 2012 against Heart of Midlothian in the Europa League, when the Edinburgh side were but two minutes away from a famous victory at Anfield and taking Brendan Rodgers’ side to extra time, but for a late Luis Suarez goal.