logo

Graeme Souness Biography

Tue 30 November 2021 | 17:30

Being known as a complete original, as a footballer, he was a combative, brilliant midfielder and as a player, manager, and analyst never afraid to express his opinion. One of the few genuinely itinerant professionals of the twentieth century, in Graeme Souness biography, we learn about his career.

Souness was the captain of the successful Liverpool team of the early 1980s, player-manager of Rangers in the late 1980s, and captain of the

Scotland

national team. He also played for Tottenham Hotspur, Middlesbrough, and Sampdoria later in his career before taking a player-manager role at Rangers. One of only five men to lift the European Cup for Liverpool, his hard-man image and fearless commitment sometimes disguised a player of touch, vision, and ability.

Graeme Souness is a name that will conjure up all sorts of images for football fans depending on their age. Some will know him only as of the straight-talking pundit, others will remember him in the dugout from a managerial career but when the history books are written he’ll predominantly be remembered as a legendary midfielder.

Souness was born in Edinburgh and began his career as an apprentice with Tottenham Hotspur, signing professional forms as a 15-year-old in 1968. He made one first-team appearance for Spurs, as a substitute in a UEFA Cup match.

All You Need to Know About Graeme Souness Biography

Narrating

Graeme Souness life story

, we will take a look at the Liverpool icon’s career and his life inside and outside the pitch.

Graeme Souness Information

Graeme Souness date of birth

is 6 May 1953, and here are some basic facts about the Scottish football icon.

  • Full name: Graeme James Souness

  • Nickname: Ulubatli Souness

Personal information

  • Date of birth: 6 May 1953

  • Zodiac sign: Taurus

  • Place of birth: Edinburgh, Scotland

  • Religion: Christian

  • Mother’s name: James Souness

  • Father’s name: Elizabeth Souness

  • Nationality: Scottish

  • Marital status: Married

  • Wife: Karen Souness

Body Measurements

  • Hair color: Black

  • Eye color: Black

  • Height: 1.8 m

  • Weight: 75 kg

  • Body Type: Athletic

Graeme Souness Early Life

Born in the same day and the same city as the former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair,

Graeme Souness childhood

started in the Saughton Mains area of Edinburgh.

His father, James, a glazier, took on a second job, and mum Elizabeth worked, too. “My father doted on me, never once raised his hand.” His mother was firmer, reminding him he wasn’t yet the great player he reckoned himself to be. Although he grew up on the Hearts side of town both parents hailed from just off Leith Walk.

Journalists have regularly attributed Souness's rumbustious playing style to his modest upbringing. As a teenager, Souness played for the local boys club North Merchiston.

Graeme Souness Profile

Although many of Liverpool fans remember Souness for being the man who killed the spirit of the last great Liverpool team and the one who set the chain in motion for a self-destruction process that has rendered the club in 1992 after he take the reign from Kenny Dalglish, Souness was the last person on the planet that an opposition player would want to run into, an assassin in the field.

Here, in this part of

Graeme Souness bio

, we take a look at his decorative football career and understand why he will forever be among Liverpool and Scotland’s best players in their history

Tottenham

Starting his professional career as an apprentice at Tottenham Hotspur under Bill Nicholson, he signed his first professional contract when he was only 15-year-old in 1968. Frustrated at a lack of first-team opportunities, the teenage Souness reputedly informed Nicholson that he was the best player at the club.

Being loaned once to North American Soccer League, Montreal Olympique in the summer of 1972, Souness appeared in 10 of his team’s 14 games and was named in the league’s All-Star team for that season.

Middlesbrough

After returning to England, Souness made a £30,000 move to the second-tier side,

Middlesbrough

. His first season saw Middlesbrough finish fourth, two places, and 14 points short of promotion. In May 1973, the recently retired Jack Charlton was appointed to his first managerial post and guided the club to become the league’s champions.

Souness's growing influence was demonstrated in a hat-trick in the season's final fixture, an 8-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday as his tenacious style began to garner increasing acclaim during his time at Middlesbrough.

He had still left a strong impression on Middlesbrough fans as one of the best players to serve the club in the post-war years as he stayed at until 1978. Following a week’s suspension imposed by Boro, he got a call telling him to go to a hotel in Leeds to talk to a certain club. To Souness’ delight, the European champions were the party interested. The sum Liverpool paid for him was £352,000 which was at that time a transfer record between English clubs, £2,000 more than Manchester United paid for Leeds’ Joe Jordan a week earlier.

Liverpool

Souness's playing career is best remembered for his seven seasons at Liverpool, where he won five League Championships, three European Cups, and four League Cups.

Souness played a critical role in Liverpool's retention of the European Cup against FC Bruges in 1978 at Wembley Stadium, providing the pass for Kenny Dalglish to score the match's only goal. Sustained success followed.

After another successful season where Souness's first League title medal arrived in season, a second European Cup medal for Souness arrived in 1981 with a 1–0 victory over Real Madrid, where Souness scored a hat-trick in the quarter-final against CSKA Sofia.

This burst of success prompted Paisley to award Souness the club captaincy for season 1981–82, to the chagrin of the incumbent Phil Thompson who had made some errors that season and with whom Paisley had a vicious row during one match at Aston Villa.

Under Souness' captaincy, two trophies followed as Liverpool regained the League championship and retained the League Cup, trophies that were successfully defended in season 1982–83. For the trophy award presentation after the 2–1 win over Manchester United in 1983, Souness stepped back and insisted that Paisley collect the trophy, it was Paisley’s retirement season.

Souness' Liverpool career ended in 1984 after 358 appearances and 56 goals, before making a £650,000 move to

Sampdoria

.

Sampdoria and Rangers

Adding experience to an emerging group of future Italian internationals, including

Roberto Mancini

, Pietro Vierchowod, and Gianluca Vialli, in his first season, Sampdoria won the Coppa Italia with a 3–1 aggregate victory over Serie A rivals Milan in the final, securing the trophy for the first time in club history. Souness scored the only goal of the game in the first leg of the final.

He left the club in 1986 as he took up the position of player-manager at Rangers. Disciplinary problems resurfaced on several occasions during his time as a player at Rangers, and the spell was also blighted by injury. He made 73 appearances in total for Rangers.

Before retiring as a player in 1991 at age 38. His final appearance as a player was at Ibrox in a 2–0 victory over Dunfermline Athletic in Rangers' last home match of the 1989–90 season, when he brought himself on for the final 20 minutes.

Managerial

What came popularly to be termed the "Souness Revolution" began with a string of major signings from English clubs. Significantly, this reversed the historic pattern of Scotland's most able footballers playing in England.

Souness’s revitalized Rangers quickly began to dominate Scottish football. In his first season, 1986–87, they won the Championship and the League Cup, defeating Celtic 2–1 in the final. They retained the League Cup in 1987-88, defeating Aberdeen on penalties after extra-time, although they surrendered their league title to Celtic. Two more Championships and a further two League Cup victories were to follow this time in successive seasons.

Despite having won three league titles and two FA Cups in the previous five seasons,

Kenny Dalglish

resigned as Liverpool manager in February 1991. Souness was appointed Liverpool manager, having signed a five-year contract, on 16 April. He made a major reorganization of the squad in his first six months as manager.

In his first season, Liverpool came sixth in the league. They returned to European competition that season after six years of isolation following the Heysel disaster of 1985, and reached the UEFA Cup quarter-finals, where they were eliminated by Genoa. By April 1992, they were only in contention for the FA Cup.

After heart surgery, Liverpool fans reacted with fury to Souness's interview with the Sun which was published at the third anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. The Sun had been reviled and widely shunned on Merseyside following its false reporting on the disaster. Souness himself had restricted Liverpool players from talking to The Sun. Although he apologized at the time, Souness has since said that he probably should have resigned there and then. There were continued calls from fans for Souness to resign or be sacked. Souness attended the 1992 FA Cup Final, in which Liverpool won 2–0 against Sunderland, against the advice of his doctors.

In the next season, there was no success in any of the cup competitions, meaning that there would be no European action for Liverpool in the 1993-94 season. Aside from the six seasons when Liverpool was banned from European competitions, this was the first time since 1963 that Liverpool had failed to qualify for Europe. Souness finally resigned as Liverpool manager at the end of January 1994 when Liverpool had suffered a shock FA Cup exit at the hands of Bristol City. He was succeeded by long-serving coach Roy Evans.

He had spells at Galatasaray, Southampton, Torino,

Benfica

, Blackburn Rovers, and Newcastle United before retiring as a manager in 2006. After that, he took roles as a pundit for outlets such as Sky Sports and Bein Sport.

Style of Play

In this part of

Graeme Souness biography

, we look in-depth at the Liverpool legend’s style of play.

Legitimate arguments rage as to Liverpool’s greatest-ever player. Old stagers will argue for Billy Liddell, the majority, backed by the claims of

Bob Paisley

, proffer Kenny Dalglish. While the aesthetes herald John Barnes, newer to the game trumpet the great Steven Gerrard.

A woeful spell as manager in later years and an appalling misjudgement relating to the Sun newspaper have seen to that. However, as a player, from his debut at West Bromwich Albion in January 1978 until his departure to Italy in the summer of 1984, this man of football style and substance ran the midfield roost.

Before the days of pass-completion statistics, Souness’s unerring, arcing balls to switch play from left to right stretched the opposition to the limit, with full-backs Phil Neal and Alan Kennedy supplementing the wide midfielders Case and Ray Kennedy. In tighter confines the Scot, amid the passing triangles that became an on-field Liverpool Way, played shorter, intelligent wall-passes with team-mates to create space before seeking a more imaginative ball. Often the recipient would be McDermott galloping through the middle on one of his surging runs. Rightly lauded as Liverpool’s greatest midfield, the foursome’s effectiveness was predicated on Souness’s ability to resist challenges, retain the ball, draw in opponents and release it into space at the apposite moment.

The admiration for Souness and the integral role he played in the same team was seldom communicated from terrace to pitch, something that confused his understanding of the supporters’ respect for his talent. He was all too aware that his off-field reputation went before him; a glamorous, affluent lifestyle setting him apart from the man on the street. Souness appeared determined to leave a working class Edinburgh background behind, to the extent that he deliberately cultivated an aloofness and persona that was hard to love. On the field though, it was impossible not to drool over his majesty.

He may have been the player the term ‘reducer’ was coined for, but Souness could maintain his discipline when required, and could certainly play too.

His range of passing was outstanding, his shifting feet and dribbling ability allowed him to navigate challenges and his technique in cutting across the ball to fire home helped him to 55 goals from midfield.

He even shared the European Cup Golden Boot with McDermott in 1981 having both scored six goals in a remarkable campaign that saw hat-tricks against both Oulu Palloseura and CSKA Sofia on the way to the final.

Reception

Souness' playing career is best remembered for his seven seasons at Liverpool, where he won five League Championships, three European Cups, and four League Cups. In an astonishing seven-year stint he won 15 major trophies with the club, making him one of Liverpool’s most decorated players of all time.

He is considered by many, including legendary sportswriter Hugh McIlvanney, to be Scotland’s greatest ever midfielder. His achievements for club and country confirm him to be a special talent.

Souey will always be considered an automatic choice whenever any all-time Reds XI is discussed. Even his unsuccessful spell as a manager cannot change that.

Goal Celebration

Souness gained the nickname ‘Ulubatli Souness’ after planting a

Galatasaray

flag in the centre circle of arch-rivals Fenerbahce, liking himself to Turkish Siege of Constantinople hero Ulubalti Hasan.

It came as his side defeated them to win the Turkish Cup in 1996, and Souness is remembered as a legend for the incident, though not by Fenerbahce supporters.

The brave act almost sparked a riot among furious spectators after a tense derby, with Souness claiming he was motivated after Fenerbahce’s vice-President labeled him a “cripple” in the media following Scot’s open-heart surgery.

Graeme Souness Outside Football

Being born in Edinburgh,

Graeme Souness religion

is Protestantism. To achieve what he did, he had to have a good grounding. “Because I lived in Gorgie, obviously I went to see Hearts. But I wasn’t a great watcher of football,” says Souness in an exclusive Evening News interview. “I was too busy playing it so there wasn’t anyone team I used to go and see. I remember standing on that great big terracing at Easter Road. I recall a few games there when the place was full.”

In 1982, Souness and teammate Sammy Lee made cameo appearances, as themselves, in an episode of the BBC's Liverpudlian drama series Boys from the Blackstuff. Written by Alan Bleasdale, the series offered a critique of Thatcherism, and in particular the large-scale unemployment then evident in urban Britain, apparently at odds with Souness's own Conservative politics.

Graeme Souness Personal Life

Graeme Souness was born in the year 1953. He was raised in the suburbs of Saughton in Edinburgh. As a young sports fan, he grew up supporting the Rangers and Hearts. As a teenager, Graeme Souness was playing in the North Merchiston club of local boys.

Being born in Edinburgh,

Graeme Souness nationality

is Scottish, and in 2007, in the lead-up to elections to the Scottish Parliament, Souness was one of 15 prominent current and former footballers named in a newspaper advertisement urging "every patriotic Scot to help maintain Scotland's place in the United Kingdom which has served Scotland well."

He has married twice and has five children as he currently works as a pundit for Sky Sports.

Family, Children and Relationships

Souness’ first wife was Danielle Wilson; they met in 1982 and married in 1984. He adopted her young daughter, and they had three more children together. They separated in 1989 and later divorced.

He remarried again in 1994 to Karen Souness, an actress. Together, the couple have a son and Souness has two stepchildren from Karen’s previous relationship.

Philanthropy

Off the field, he was an affable character who helped foster camaraderie in the dressing room, and many strong personal relationships of his own, as the late Michael Robinson previously said:

“Obviously I was very nervous, but also extremely excited joining up with the squad,” Robinson explained of his move from Brighton in 1983.

“I arrived when all the players were about to have lunch and I looked over and there was an empty seat next to Graeme Souness. He shouted me over and told me he had saved that seat for me.

“He gave me such a warm welcome and made me feel comfortable straight away. He reminded me that Liverpool last season had only conceded 37 goals all season and I scored a couple of them, so now they have one less heartache to worry about. Graeme was a great leader and was the best player I ever played with.”

Legal Issues

In 1995, Graeme Souness won pounds 750,000 in libel damages from Mirror Group Newspapers, the highest award by a jury against a national newspaper. The Sunday People newspaper called Souness him a 'tightfisted dirty rat.'

Graeme Souness brought the lawsuit against the newspaper for publishing an interview with his former wife in which it was alleged that Souness had behaved badly toward her.

Throughout the highly publicized trial, which lasted just over a week, Souness appeared in the courtroom accompanied by his second wife, Karen, an actress who had a role in one of the James Bond films.

Graeme Souness Career Statistics

In this part of

Graeme Souness biography

, we take a look at the details of Scot’s career, both as a player and a manager.

Club

In a total of 347 appearances for Liverpool, Souness scored 54 goals and contributed 23 assists. During his time at Sampdoria, he contributed 11 goals and 4 assists in 78 appearances as he scored a further two goals for Middlesbrough.

In a total of 673 club appearances, Souness scored 92 goals.

International

While a Middlesbrough player, Souness received his first international cap for Scotland on 30 October 1974 in a 3–0 friendly victory over East Germany at Hampden Park.

His international career ended after the 1986 World Cup. He had made 54 appearances in almost 12 years, scoring four goals while he captained Scotland for a wide period in his career.

Managerial

In 880 games during his managerial spells in 5 countries, his clubs won 434 times and lost 229 times, holding a 49.32 percentage win rate.

Graeme Souness Honors

In this last part of

Graeme Souness biography

we take a look at the Scottish icon's honor.

In addition to winning five League Championships, three European Cups, and four League Cups during his 6-year career at Liverpool, he won a Scottish Premier Division and a Scottish League Cup with Rangers, a Football League Second Division with Middlesbrough, and a Coppa Italia with Sampdoria as a player.

He also won a European Cup Golden Boot in the 1980–81 season and was included in the PFA Team of the Century.

As a manager, he won 3 league titles and four Scottish League Cups with Rangers, a FA Cup with Liverpool, a Turkish Cup with Galatasaray, and a Football League Cup with Blackburn Rovers.

Souness has been inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame (in 2007), the Scottish Football Hall of Fame (in 2004), and the

Rangers F.C.

Hall of Fame.

Now that you read Graeme Souness biography, you might also like these articles that were previously written in Sportmob.

READ MORE:

Follow 

Sportmob

 for the 

latest football news

source: SportMob

DISCLAIMER! Sportmob does not claim ownership of any of the pictures posted on this website. Again, we do not host pictures or videos ourselves. Our authors merely link to the rightful owner. Lastly, Sportmob have carefully considered and reviewed all of its content. Despite that, it is possible that some information might be out-dated or incomplete.