Andy Robertson’s rise from the lower leagues of Scottish football to Premier League and European champion has been remarkable and yet there is more left to add to his storied career so far.
The 28-year-old has been a vital cog in Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side in their recent domination both domestically and in Europe, while also leading his country to their first major tournament since 1998.
The left-back came from humble beginnings in Scotland before his journey took him to Dundee, Hull and then his big move to Liverpool in 2017.
Robertson was released by Celtic as a youngster for being too small and was picked up by amateur side Queen’s Park.
A 10-year old tweet of his often does the rounds where a then 18-year-old wrote: “Life at this age is rubbish with no money #needajob.”
And get a job he did.
He was juggling playing for Queen’s Park, training with them in the evenings, and working full-time at Hampden Park answering the phones.
“Queen’s Park was amateur so you don’t get paid,” Robertson told the Liverpool Echo in 2017.
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“I worked in the corporate side of things. It was taking calls and orders for tickets for the concerts and the football games.
“There was a guy Andrew McGlennan who had worked at Queen’s Park for years. He sorted a lot of the boys out with jobs.
“He looked after me and made sure I had some money in my pocket with a bit of hard work.
“We trained twice a week at night and played games on Saturday so I was working 9am to 5pm and then having to train at 6pm.”
When Robertson was 18 he hit a crossroads; he had to decide whether to carry on pursuing football or go down a different route and apply for university or college.
He gave football one more year and broke into the Queen’s Park first team. They were in the Scottish Third Division at the time but Robertson was getting noticed.
He was snapped up by Dundee United in June 2013 and won the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year award in his first season. He also got his first call-up to Scotland’s senior side.
His performances meant clubs in England started taking notice.
Hull came calling in the summer of 2014 and signed him for £3million while Steve Bruce was their manager, joining alongside Harry Maguire, who had a similar rise through the ranks and ended up playing for Manchester United and England.
Hull’s then chief scout, Stan Ternent, told the Hull Daily Mail: “I think I left after 25 minutes. I’d watched Robbo before, away to Kilmarnock, and he’d stood out by a mile. So I went again and I was gone by half-time to ring Steve Bruce. ‘Are you sure?’ he said. ‘Of course I’m sure’. And that was that.”
“I’d been looking at Stuart Armstrong [then of Dundee United and now at Southampton] but Robbo was the no-brainer.
“He’d a history with Celtic and he was always a determined lad given how he’d recovered from his setbacks. You could see straight away he had ability and he can only get better.”
It was a turbulent time at the KCOM Stadium as Hull were relegated in Robertson’s first season and then promoted straight back to the Premier League the following campaign.
Despite Hull’s struggles on the pitch, Robertson’s stock continued to rise and Liverpool saw his potential and signed him for an initial £8m.
He initially started as an understudy to Alberto Moreno but quickly won his place in the first-team midway through the 2017/18 season and has not looked back.
Robertson is now widely recognised as one of the best left-backs in world football and he is evolving the role of the full-back along with Reds teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold.
So it’s a good thing it didn’t work at Celtic and told talkSPORT as much when speaking on My Unsung Hero.
“At that moment, I would’ve loved to play for Celtic at Parkhead in front of 60,00 fans,” he explained.
“That was my aim when I was younger and it got taken away from me – but it stood me in good stead for what was next in my career.
“The day I got released, it was hard. I went home, I cried, I made sure I surrounded myself with my family, and then the next day you’re back into school.
“I felt a bit embarrassed going in and telling my friends. I’ve got a good bubble which I never take for granted, friends I’ve had since I was two or three years old.
“Football is people’s life, some people struggle when their dream is taken away from them and they’ve got no way back.
“Luckily, I went to Queen’s Park and just tried to enjoy my football.”
Jose Mourinho even admitted his Manchester United team couldn’t cope with the intensity of Robertson’s play during Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over the Red Devils in December 2018.
In just four seasons at Anfield Robertson has become a Premier League winner, won the FA Cup and reached the Champions League three times. He’s one ‘Old Big Ears’ once and is eyeing more glory against Real Madrid in Paris on Saturday night.
And Robertson will be ready for any dark arts Spain’s champions have for them given that he is not afraid of a confrontation with the very best, having pushed Lionel Messi’s head down while the referee wasn’t looking during the second leg of Liverpool’s famous Champions League triumph over Barcelona in 2019. He also clashed with Luis Suarez several times for good measure.
Robertson has since admitted he ‘maybe went over the line‘ in that clash with Messi, but that’s unlikely to placate the Argentine.
But all this success isn’t to say all this success ‘Robbo’ has experienced has led to him losing touch with his true self.
He’s known as the ‘working class hero’ by Liverpool fans having done voluntary work with people from Liverpool’s foodbank service in the lead-up to Christmas 2018.
It’s things like that which have made him a fans’ favourite – and now he’s one of the stars in a golden period for the club, making Robertson a club legend.
He knows how far desire can take you. The boy from Glasgow did good.