How Hull spotted and scouted Liverpool star Robertson by accidents

After witnessing Andy ­Robertson’s lung-busting runs down the left flank, superspy Stan Ternent grabbed his phone to begin the Scotland captain’s ­Premier League adventure.

As Hull City’s head of ­recruitment, Ternent had crossed the border to take in a couple of games which could be of benefit to then Tigers boss Steve Bruce.

“We were building a nice team there, which gained promotion into the Premier League, reached an FA Cup final and got into ­Europe,” explained Ternent.

“I went up to Kilmarnock for a Friday night game. They were ­playing Dundee United. I was also planning to take in a game on the Saturday.

“Really I had gone up to watch a player called Jonny Russell, who was playing for Dundee United. He eventually went to Derby and is now in the USA.

“There were two other players who took my eye – one in ­particular and that was Robbo. He was non-stop, going up and down the left side, and I thought to ­myself, ‘Who the hell’s that?’.

“The other was Stuart ­Armstrong, who is now at ­ Southampton. The pair are great mates and I’ve got to know the lad who looks after them – Liam O’Donnell.

“I stayed up in Scotland on the Friday night, rang Brucie and I told him I thought I’d seen a good one, but the game had been played on a synthetic surface.

“Dundee United were playing again at ­Hibernian on the ­Tuesday night on grass, so I told Steve I’d take ­another look.

“I rang him at half-time on the Tuesday night and said to Brucie, ‘You’ve got to take him’. I also liked the look of Stuart Armstrong, but we were well stocked in ­midfield.”

Bruce has ­always trusted the former Blackpool, Hull City and ­ Burnley manager’s ­opinions.

Ternent (left) had also recommended Harry Maguire, who was starting to make an ­impression with Sheffield United.

“I told Steve that Harry could be the new Steve Bruce – I don’t think I’ve been too far off the mark,” he added. “As far as Robbo was concerned, I knew Celtic had ­released him as a youngster. I think at the time they thought he was too small.

“But he went to Queen’s Park, who were in Scotland’s lowest tier, and showed great ­determination in ­fighting back.

“Dundee United picked him up. I could see straightaway that he was a fantastic ­athlete, a really strong runner. He was up and down the pitch so much anyone would have thought he had three lungs.

“Amazingly, I don’t think there was any other interest in him. It was just by chance, though, that I spotted him.”

Bruce heeded Ternent’s advice and Robertson ­arrived at the KCOM Stadium in 2014 for a £2.85million fee.

Three years later, he was on his way to Anfield to join ­Jurgen Klopp’s revolution for £8m and ­become a Kop hero.

Ternent admitted: “Obviously, no one could have envisaged the amazing progress he has made. I’m just glad I stuck to my guns and ­persuaded Steve to take him.

“I’ve watched his development at Liverpool with pride.

“Some people have already ­labelled him the best left-back in the world, which is staggering when you think that just a few years ago he was playing for Queen’s Park.

“He’s got a great ­temperament and plays with huge confidence. It’s no surprise he is now Scotland ­captain. I keep in touch with Liam and I’ve been invited to watch ­Liverpool a few times, but I haven’t got around to it yet.

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“Goodness knows what he must be worth now – not that Liverpool would ­contemplate selling him.

“Playing at Anfield doesn’t faze him at all. It doesn’t bother him – whether it’s the Champions League final or the World Club ­championship – he takes it all in his stride. He has been incredible.

“Any top club in Europe would love him in his side.

“He’s certainly come a long way since that night when I first saw him at Kilmarnock.

“I’m pleased for him ­because he’s a nice lad.”

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