Birthdate: 2 September 1913
Birthplace: Glenbuck, Scotland
Other clubs as manager: Carlisle United, Grimsby Town, Workington, Huddersfield Town
Arrived from: Huddersfield Town
Signed for LFC: 1 December 1959
First game in charge: 19.12.1959
Contract Expiry: 12.07.1974
LFC league games as manager: 609
Total LFC games as manager: 783
Honours: League Championship 1963/64, 1965/66, 1972/73; Second Division 1961/62; FA Cup 1965, 1974; UEFA Cup 1973; Manager of the Year 1973
Bill Shankly was a tremendous competitor as a player making his name at second division Preston North End after arriving from Carlisle United, one division below, in 1933 at twenty years of age. He eventually made his full debut for them on 9 December 1933 against Hull City and quickly established himself as a regular and a crowd favourite owing to his whole-hearted attitude and commitment to the side. At the end of the season Preston had gained promotion to First Division. In an otherwise disappointing season, in 1936/37, Preston had the satisfaction of reaching the FA Cup final. At Wembley they came up against a strong Sunderland team who ran out 3-1 winners. The following year, Shankly scored his first League goal for Preston in a 2-2 draw against Liverpool at Anfield on 2 February 1938. North End were again to reach the Cup Final that season and this time they ran out 1-0 winners against Huddersfield. It was the pinnacle of Shankly's playing career. When Shankly was at the peak of his powers seven years of his career were lost to World War I. Shankly, who was in the RAF, starred for Norwich, Luton, Arsenal and Partick Thistle in the war as well as playing a single game for Liverpool in a 4-1 win over Everton at Anfield. When full League football resumed for the 1946/47 season Preston still held his registration, and it was at Deepdale where he resumed his full professional career after hostilities had ceased. Shankly was now viewed as being part of a pre-war generation. Many clubs were throwing in youngsters in an attempt to make a fresh post-war start. Shankly, still a hugely accomplished player, soon found himself on the fringe of things and would often find himself helping to bring on the kids in the reserves. In 1949, Shankly was Preston's captain as the side struggled in the First Division and was eventually relegated in the spring. Before the end of the campaign, Shankly's old club, Carlisle United offered him the chance to become their manager and he took it. When Tommy Docherty took Shankly's place in the Preston team, Shanks told him, 'Congratulations. You are now the greatest right-half in the world. Just put the number 4 shirt on and let it run round, it knows where to go.'
Shankly was never short of confidence in his own ability. Referring in his autobiography to his first managerial appointment at Carlisle United in March 1949, he said “I had the knowledge. I had been with people who knew how to train teams and I had my own conception of human beings and psychology.” His methods were certainly different from some of his contemporaries. Shankly was prepared to do any job however menial and instead of writing notes in the programme for the supporters to read, he preferred to use the tannoy to speak to them shortly before the start of each home fixture. Carlisle were a struggling Third Division North side who found it hard to attract southern-based players because of their geographic remoteness. Shankly immediately turned this disadvantage on its head and turned Brunton Park into something of a fortress. He would tell his players how tired the opposition must be at having to travel up to such a remote corner of the country. Carlisle was good for Bill Shankly and he for them as when he took over the club had won 14 games in the season,finishing fifteenth, but when he left it boasted 25 wins and third place. After a squabble with the club who had reneged on a bonus promise should the team finish in the top three, Shankly resigned. Grimsby Town had been relegated in 1951 and would be playing in Third Division North just as Carlisle but he wanted the job as "Carlisle did not have the money to make progress and because I thought there was more potential at Grimsby." Five months earlier Shankly had applied for a post in the First Division. George Kay had to resign from Liverpool due to health reasons and as Shankly recalled in his autobiography: "I got a telephone call from Liverpool and was asked if I’d like to be interviewed for the manager’s job.” Shankly wanted to put his own stamp on his team, but back in those days the members of the board had a big say in team matters. "The big snag had cropped up when the Liverpool board had said the manager could put down his team for matches and the directors would scrutinize it and alter it if they wanted to," Shankly explained. "So I just said, ‘If I don’t pick the team, what am I manager of?”
The Blundell Park outfit had been in the First Division in 1948 and was in free fall. The morale of the players and supporters of Grimsby was low. However, the players who had been at the club when Grimsby were in the top flight were still there, there being little point in players swapping and changing clubs in those days due to the maximum wage. Shankly was quickly able to use the raw material at his disposal to weld the players into a good side. In 1951/52, Grimsby just missed promotion, despite picking up an incredible 36 points out a possible 40 in the last 20 matches. The 1952/53 season started with much optimism around the club but the players still felt the disappointment of the previous season. The team too, was an ageing one, and struggled after a bright start and the season fizzled out. Shankly was given no money to buy new players and was reluctant to blood some promising reserves because of the loyalty he felt to these older stalwarts, a fault that was to surface at Liverpool years later. Disillusioned by events, he quit in January 1954, citing a lack of ambition by the club as his main reason.
Shankly was only a few days without a job after leaving Grimsby but had undoubtedly taken a step down the football ladder by taking over as manager at Workington. The club had only been a League side for two years and forced to to apply for re-election at the end of both seasons. At the end of the 1953/54 season, Shankly had lifted them to twentieth position, six points clear of re-election. Workington were transformed, playing a delightful brand of football. Season 1954/55 saw them finish a creditable eighth in Third Division North. Shankly had recharged the batteries that had run so low after his experiences at Grimsby and he was looking to step up the managerial ladder again. When he heard his old colleague from his Preston days, Andy Beattie was in trouble at first division Huddersfield, he was only too glad to tend his resignation at Workington on 15 November 1955 to go and help him out.
"If my father was my guiding light in life, Bill Shankly was my football mentor. Has there been anyone with a greater love for the game? If there has, I have yet to meet him. He was an established player when I first encountered him during my days as a junior. He invariably popped along to our matches. Bill would stop off anywhere a game of football was being played and, even at that early stage of his career, you knew he would go into coaching and management and make a damn good job of it." - Sir Stanley Matthews.
Shankly became assistant manager and coached the reserves at Huddersfield but on 5 November 1956, after the club had been relegated to the Second Division, Beattie left and Shankly took over as manager. On Christmas Eve 1956, Shankly gave a full first-team debut to one of the rising stars of the club, 16-year-old Denis Law. Shankly was unable to take Huddersfield back into the top division but was making a mark for himself as a manager. When Bill Shankly arrived at Anfield in 1959, Liverpool were in Second Division and going nowhere. The training ground, Melwood was a shambles, Anfield not a pretty sight and Liverpool overburdened with average players, but with quality players in the reserves. Shankly was immediately at home here as he sensed in the huge crowds a kinship with the supporters from the word go. They were his kind of people. With the backing of Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan and the enthusiasm of the fans behind him he set about rebuilding the team. Liverpool conceded seven goals without a reply in Shankly's first two games in charge. As well improving the club's training conditions Shankly cleared the squad of any dead wood. He tried to convince the directors at the club that Liverpool should spare no expense in strengthening the team. Finally 18 months after Shankly took over at Liverpool in came Yeats and St John, the two players he had wanted at Huddersfield. Shankly was quite confident that they would prove key signings. "St John and Yeats were both twenty-three, and I said to Mr Sawyer (Liverpool's financial director), 'You sack me if they can't play. I'm telling you now, I'll stake my life on it.'"
"In pre-season you got in an at Anfield and you then put a pair of trainers on," Tommy Lawrence said, recollecting life at Liverpool pre-Shankly. "They weren’t like trainers like you have today for running on the roads. They were pumps. You need to run from Anfield to Melwood. Around Melwood three or four times and then run all the way back. Roger Hunt and I used to travel with the train from Warrington and after about three days, we couldn’t even go down the steps, the backs of our calves were just gone. As soon as Shanks came he just changed it. ‘You play on grass and you will train on grass.’ And that was it. Then we actually saw a bag of balls. We had never seen a bag of balls." Ronnie Moran was an experienced campaigner but was very impressed by the new boss. "I learned more in the first three months than I'd done in the seven years that I'd been a pro. I wish I'd been five years younger."
Shankly felt Liverpool were ready for promotion with key players in place in defence and attack. If Liverpool were nervous it didn't show as they had opened up a seven-point lead in October. The Reds lost two games on the trot over Christmas with their lead down to just two points, but were soon back in the swing of things and ensured their long-awaited place in the First Division with five rounds to go with a 2-0 win over Southampton. Yeats told LFChistory.net that the 1961/62 season was the most vital one in his and arguably Shankly's career. "The most successful thing we did and I’ll say this always, was winning the Second Division. Without that nothing else would have happened, because we couldn’t progress without winning it." A season of consolidation followed in which Liverpool finished eighth, the only problem being Everton finishing as champions. As would happen again twenty years down the line, Liverpool and Everton were about to carve up the domestic honours between them in the next five or six seasons, but as the 1963/64 season started, it was Everton who were top dogs on Merseyside, a fact that rankled with Shankly. The Scotsman had the nucleus of side who had gained promotion two seasons previously but with the important addition of left-winger Peter Thompson. After a less than stellar beginning of the season Liverpool finally reached the top spot on 23 November 1963 following a win over Manchester United, their eighth in the last nine League games. The League title was secured with an incredible 5-0 win over Arsenal at Anfield with three games remaining of the season.
Celebration time in 1964
The following season Liverpool finished a disappointing seventh in the League with 13 less points than the previous campaign. Liverpool's participation in the European Cup took a lot of energy from them, only denied at the semi-final stage due to a dishonest referee in Milan. Liverpool were also doing brilliantly in the FA Cup, reaching their third final in the club's history. Liverpool had lost both their FA Cup finals to date in 1914 and 1950, but Shankly finally managed to bring the Cup home after St John headed in the winner. "Grown men were crying and it was the greatest feeling any human being could have to see what we had done," Shankly remembered. "There have been many proud moments. Wonderful, fantastic moments. But that was the greatest day." In season 65/66 Liverpool won the title again, easing up at the end, while neighbours Everton took the FA Cup. Liverpool lost the final of the European Cup Winners' Cup at Hampden Park to Borussia Dortmund. The great sixties side had gained promotion from Second Division, won the League twice, the FA Cup once, and progressed in Europe. It was a transitional time for the club. After that second title in 1966 the club didn't win the League again in that decade, but would not finish lower than fifth. for the rest of the decade. Shankly's mistake was to let the side rumble on without any major rebuilding too long. "We were all at the same age when we started so around ‘67 we were all around 30," Yeats explained to LFChistory.net. "He started to change the side, changing tactics, changing players, it took maybe three years to come together."
Not all of Bill Shankly’s signings turned out to be as successful as he would have liked. Alun Evans and Tony Hateley had short Anfield careers but Emlyn Hughes was someone who didn’t fall into that category. Shankly tried to sign him after watching him play in his very first professional match but had to be patient before he finally got his man. One cold afternoon in February 1970 Liverpool were dumped out of the FA Cup at second division Watford. “After Watford I knew I had to do my job and change the team," recalled Shankly. “It had to be done and if I didn’t do it I was shirking my obligations." Most of the old guard were phased out and in their place came the likes of Ray Clemence, Larry Lloyd, John Toshack, Steve Heighway and Brian Hall, not to mention the inspirational signing of Kevin Keegan from Scunthorpe United. These newcomers plus the younger players from the 60’s like Tommy Smith, Chris Lawler, Ian Callaghan and Emlyn Hughes who had survived the post-Watford cull would be the nucleus for his next great team who went on to win the UEFA Cup and the League in 1973 and the FA Cup in 1974. Newcastle's humiliation in the cup final turned out to be Shankly's swansong. He was 60-years-old and remembered sitting down in the dressing room at Wembley feeling "tired from all the years. I knew I was going to finish."
The conclusion of Eric Todd's Guardian interview with Shankly in December 1968: "Before I left him, Shankly summoned the manager of a hotel and gave him his instructions. 'There'll be 17 in the party,' he said. 'So, that'll be 17 fillet steaks and I'll let you know how we want them done when we arrive - with chips. For afterwards, there'll be 17 fresh fruit salads and fresh cream. Right? Then for breakfast, eh ...' A players' man indeed."
It is terribly sad that after so much success, things became difficult between himself and the club he had served so well for nearly 15 years. Maybe there was fault on both sides? It was a difficult situation. “I still wanted to help Liverpool, because the club had become my life. But I wasn’t given the chance”, recalled Shankly. It looks as if the club wanted a clean break, that it felt things could become too complicated if Bill was still around. He continued to go to Melwood for a while but got the impression it would be better if he stopped going. He said he would have been honoured if he had been invited to become a Director of the club, which he surely deserved because of what he had achieved as a manager, but the offer never came. Bill Shankly seemed indestructible but he suffered a heart attack in the autumn of 1981 and died shortly afterwards on 29 September. His legacy can be seen at Anfield today, but not just in the gates that bear his name or the statue at the back of the Kop. Shankly was the catalyst that Liverpool Football club needed. Other men carried on the job that he started but he was the father of the modern-day Liverpool and did as much as anyone and more than most to turn them into one of the great powers of first English and then European football. The debt the club owes him can never be repaid.
|Competition||Total||Won||Draw||Lost||Goals for||Goals against|
Matches that are won or lost in a penalty shoot-out are counted as a win/loss not as a draw.
Republishing of the first chapter of Liverpool's exploits in Europe now including a video of the dramatic Inter Milan - Liverpool clashes where a certain Spanish referee bumped LFC out of Europe.More
Having previously reviewed what is probably the most valuable Liverpool home match programme in monetary terms it is now worth looking at one that could be seen as being the most valuable in historic terms – that which saw Bill Shankly’s first match in charge of the Reds.More
Chris Wood has been looking into aspects of LFC statistics for LFChistory that are often difficult to find and difficult to check... like players sent off and missed penalties etc.More
Chris Wood received a letter from Shankly, visited him at his home and met him on a few different occasions. Here are his recollections of the GREAT man.More
Wooltonian, one of the most accomplished writers on the Net and in print on matters relating to Liverpool recalls his favourite Shankly quotes.More
Wooltonian's excellent portrayal of Shanks, the foundation on which Liverpool is based on.More
Mr Bill Shankly, manager of Huddersfield Town was last night appointed manager of Liverpool Football Club in succession to Mr Phil Taylor, who resigned on November 17. More
Match report from News Chronicle and Daily Dispatch on Liverpool - Cardiff City 19.12.1959. This was Bill Shankly's first game in charge.More
John Martin followed the team's fortunes when the team got relegated in 1954.More
George Best's take on Shanks from his book 'The Best of Times'.More
An article by Kevin Sampson on 29 September 2006. First published in Esquire magazine.More
A former resereve team player at Liverpool shows his appreciation for Bill Shankly.More
"Not so long ago, I found myself standing alone behind the Kop at Liverpool's football ground, staring intently at the bronze image of Bill Shankly. Bill Shankly, for me, will always be flesh and blood, human to a fault."More
Bill Shankly convinced Ray Clemence that the first team's goalkeeper's position would be his and his only soon after his arrival. A slight exaggeration on Shankly's part.More
Kevin Keegan waited for Shankly on a dustbin to complete his move to Liverpool.More
Ray Kennedy's official arrival at Liverpool couldn't have come in more dramatic circumstances.More
Liverpool drew West Ham 2-2 in the penultimate league game of the 1973-1974 season. Phil Thompson recalls a funny incident after the final whistle with Bill Shankly who clearly was oblivious to the result.More
In an article from December 17 1968, now republished in The Guardian book of football, Eric Todd talks to the legendary Liverpool manager - a players' man who has always been 'daft about fitba'.More
A great interview with Bill Shankly on Scottish television from 1976.More
Robbie Ashcroft (aka Mottman) relives the infamous Charity Shield where Keegan got sent off.More
LFChistory.net had the great pleasure of interviewing the Saint. I was a bit unprepared for our talk, but considering the circumstances coped pretty well.More
Paul Tomkins' book, Dynasty, is a reassessment and an in-depth analysis of every manager of the club over the last 50 years.More
The relationship between Bill Shankly and the two-footed wizard winger, Peter Thompson, was quite complicated. More
On 16 December 2009 Bil Shankly was honoured as 50 years had passed since he signed his contract to become manager of Liverpool Football Club.More
Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Bill Shankly's arrival at Anfield. A mosaic across the top of the Kop spelt the word 'SHANKS'. Below were two images of Shanks' face flanking the Cross of St Andrew.More
When asked if I was ready to take a 550-mile round trip to spend a couple of hours with Peter Thompson in Kent, I said instantly 'Yes, I am going all-in.'More
Chris Wood shares his opinion on the latest Shankly book by David PeaceMore
Written on 15 December 2009 by David Randles, Liverpool Echo.More
Liverpool fans remember Shankly on 2 December 2009.More
From 17 December 2009. More
By David Randles on 2 December 2009 in the Liverpool Echo.More
Article written by Patrick Collins 1st October 2006 in memory of Bill Shankly 25 years after his death. More
Tommy Smith on Bill Shankly's wife, Nessie on 3rd August 2002.More
Celebrating 50 years of Shankly. Interview By Louise Goulding on 30 November 2009.More
Published in the Daily Mirror on 24 December 1976.More
16 months after leaving the managerial seat at Liverpool, Shankly returned to watch his beloved Liverpool on the Kop among the Reds faithful on 22 November 1975. More
The Daily Mirror on 13 August, 1964.More
The Daily Express on 20 April, 1964.More
Shankly said his final goodbyes to Liverpool fans at his testimonial amid scenes that will be forever etched in everyone's memory who was so lucky to be at Anfield on Tuesday evening 29th April 1975.More
Last week we introduced you to Billy Howard, an ardent Kopite who also had the pleasure and privilege to be on Liverpool Football Club's books. We hope you will enjoy reading this article as much as we enjoyed interviewing this gentleman.More
"I was like any other Liverpool fan, in awe of the team and in awe of Bill Shankly. Everyone knew that Shankly was creating a monster; this was no ordinary football team."
Liverpool legend Ron Yeats was awarded the Bill Shankly Memorial Award for 2002
"I'm incredibly proud to receive this award. I loved Bill Shankly. I just wish he was here to hand me this award himself. He made me feel I could do anything. I never felt I was the greatest centre half, or most skilful player, but I would always give everything for him and the team.
It's been a pleasure for me as both a player for 11 years, and chief scout for the last 17, to be able to go to work, no matter what's been happening on the field."
Ron Yeats, February 2003
"In his first season here I made him captain at Rotherham. He broke a bone in his hand that day. He was a natural to be a captain; a big man who commanded respect and his position in the centre of defence meant that he could see everything going on in front of him. A captain should be like a puppeteer, with the other players on his strings all the time."
Bill Shankly in May 1974 on Ron Yeats
"I had spent a decade and a half in the Bill Shankly School of football. Now it was if a part of me had died. I took some consolation from the fact that Bill Shankly was getting out at the top, retiring as football’s greatest winner. Later on, chief executive Peter Robinson told that Bill used to threaten to retire every year. They had always cajoled him out of it. This time there was no going back."
Tommy Smith on Shankly's retirement
"Shanks frightened me to death. It wasn’t what he said. It was just the way he looked at you. He’d growl."
Alec Lindsay on Shanks
"Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that."
"If he isn't named Footballer of the Year, football should be stopped and the men who picked any other player should be sent to the Kremlin."
Bill Shankly on Tommy Smith in the 1970-71 season. Members of the Football writers' association voted Frank McLintock.
"Bill depended a lot on Bob. They were like the terrible twins when they got going. I think Bill needed Bob. I think he calmed him down a bit."
"Bob and I never had any rows. We didn’t have any time for that. We had to plan where we were going to keep all the cups we won."
"There is no doubt Kennedy will do a good job for Liverpool. He is big, brave and strong. His signing means that we now have the greatest strength in depth we have ever had.
It has been a momentous day, but his signing shows that I am not running away. Maybe it will be said that one of the last things I did at this club was a to sign a great new player."
Shankly says goodbye to Liverpool on the same day he signs Ray Kennedy
"The change that came over the place was incredible. Where there had been the nice approach of Phil Taylor, now there was this bristling, rasping fellow like James Cagney, who was setting out to conquer the world. Everything changed. Suddenly everyone was walking about with a new sense of purpose."
Roger Hunt on Bill Shankly
"Shanks always preached that we had eleven captains. He wanted to see players think things out and rectify things if they were going wrong. You never got shouted at for trying to change something out on the pitch. You were always taught to work things out for yourself. Mind you if you tried something stupid and it didn't come off we had a saying that we would 'hit you on the head with a big stick from the touchline'. I remember Steve Nicol getting a hat-trick once at Newcastle. Nobody told him where he had to go and what to do, he just worked it out himself. He got the match ball and I told him it was probably the only one he'd ever get ! but nobody told him off for joining in the attack."
Ronnie Moran in an interview on ronniemoran.com
"I'm a people's man - only the people matter."
Bill Shankly in 1965
"I had spent a decade and a half in the Bill Shankly School of football. Now it was if a part of me had died. I took some consolation from the fact that Bill Shankly was getting out at the top, retiring as football’s greatest winner. Later on, chief executive Peter Robinson told that Bill used to threaten to retire every year. They had always cajoled him out of it. This time there was no going back."
Tommy Smith on missing Shankly
"Liverpool sold tough winger Johnny Morrissey to archrivals Everton without really giving the manager any choice in the matter. It was the last time they would undermine his authority. He threatened to leave and gained complete control."
Tommy Smith on Shanks' relationship with the Liverpool board
"Hold on a minute, John Wayne hasn't arrived yet."
Bill Shankly to the awaiting TV crews and journalists for the press conference to announce he was retiring from football
"I was just as sure of Keegan as I was of Denis Law and I never had cause to think again about Denis. These two players are so much alike in number of ways. Keegan is an exciting boy all right."
Keegan and Shankly developed a close friendship during their time at Liverpool as Keegan remembers: "I always carry a picture of him, he comes into my conversation a lot. I learned a lot from him and owe the man a great deal."
Shankly could see straight away he has signed a true gem as he revealed in late August 1971.
"The difference between Everton and the Queen Mary is that Everton carry more passengers!"
"At a football club, there's a holy trinity - the players, the manager and the supporters. Directors don't come into it. They are only there to sign the cheques".
Bill Shankly on the role of the board
"He was such a wonderful character and a wonderful player to have in your side because he didn't know what the word 'defeat' meant. He was a very good player and an extremely fit person. All he lived for was the game and he had no time for players who didn't look after themselves off the field as well as on it. We used to train in the morning and we'd finish around 1 o'clock and Bill was always one of the first to see if anyone was interested in coming back for a game of head tennis, or interested in doing something to improve some aspect of their game. He wanted to pass that enthusiasm onto the youngsters in the squad. I quite often came back with him. He was a real team man, a good passer of the ball, and a good winner of the ball because of his fitness. He never had any worries about who he played against either. He would say 'there's nobody better than me and if we get out on the field and they show they're better then good luck to them'. He was a great character to have in the dressing room, very calm but very jocular. Most of the players would be tense and uptight but he would quieten everything down by dressing up in his 'John Sullivan' pants as he called them and fooling around. He would tell us we were going out to enjoy the game and that we shouldn't go out as if we were going to war."
From the interview with Sir Tom Finney on shankly.com. Bill Shankly was Finney's teammate at Preston
"He was inspirational. If he told you, you were going to hell, you would look forward to the trip."
Keegan on Shankly in 2008
"I remember a home game the week after we had lost to Everton. Shanks was signing autographs at the Anfield players entrance and he would not sign with a pen that had blue ink, so all of us kids were running round looking for somebody who had red or green ones. He was the greatest - never to be replaced no matter what we win."
Kopulater from RAWK forum
"There was humour without him knowing it. He didn't say things because he thought they were funny. They were funny to us, and we would all have a laugh at the things he said but we would never ever laugh at him or in his presence. We just believed in him and he commanded total respect from us. It was like a school kid and headmaster relationship that you had with him."
Ian Callaghan on Bill Shankly in his interview at Shankly.com
"Ladies and Gentlemen, yesterday at Wembley we might have lost the Cup but you the Liverpool people have won everything. You have won the admiration of the policemen in London and you have won the admiration of the public in London."
Bill Shankly after losing the FA Cup in 1971 to Arsenal
"Liverpool is not only a club. It's an institution. And my aim was to bring the people close to the club and the team and for them to accepted as a part of it. The effect was that wives brought their late husband's ashes to Anfield and scattered them on the pitch after saying a little prayer. That's how close the people have come to this club. When they wanted to scatter the ashes of their loved one, who wanted to be part of the club when they were dead, I said to them: 'In you come, you're welcome.' And they trooped in by the dozen.
One young boy got killed at his work and a bus load of 50 people came to Anfield one Sunday to scatter his ashes at the Kop end. It was very, very sad. Another family came with a man's ashes when the ground was frost-bound. So the groundsman had the difficult job of digging a hole in the pitch inside the Kop net. He dug it a foot down at the right-hand side of the post facing the Kop and casket containing the man's ashes were placed in it. So people not only support Liverpool when they're alive. They support them when they are dead. This is the true story of Liverpool. This is possibly why Liverpool are so great. There is no hypocrisy about it. It is sheer honesty.
Laughingly I have said, when a ball has been headed out of that particular corner of the net: 'That's the bloke in there again! He's having a blinder today.' But I wasn't trying to be funny really. I don't think we lost a goal at that end for years after the man's ashes were placed in there."
What Liverpool Football Club means to people by Shankly
"When people ask me my credentials for being a manager or a coach I have one answer... Bill Shankly. They're my qualifications, the way I was born. And that's all the qualifications anyone needs in the game I'm in. I didn't think it was necessary to take an FA coaching course. I didn't think it was going to make me any better. If I take a course am I going to be a better man six days later because I've got a piece of paper? That's nonsense. Chamberlain came back from Germany with a piece of paper.. . the worst fucking piece of paper we've ever had!!
As manager of Liverpool I got two FA Cup winner's medals, three championships and a Second Division championship, one UEFA Cup, three Charity Shields and six Central League winner's medals... that's 16 in 15 seasons. So I'd like them [FA coaches] to come to my coaching school! I'd have probably failed some of them."
Shankly never cared for FA coaching badges
"I was told before the game in Milan that whatever happened we would not go through to the final. I had the feeling that something was wrong politically and I believe there were some investigations later about Inter and Liverpool. We can't really prove anything but I remember being told that we would not win. It was just like a war that night. Two of the Inter goals weren't legal and I think the atmosphere affected them as well as us.
I'm not saying that if the decisions on the pitch had been right we wouldn't have lost. Perhaps we would have done. But of all the people I've seen and met that referee is the one man who haunts me. But we went close to winning the European Cup at a time when no British club had won it. Celtic became the first two years later."
Shankly was not so pleased with the performance of the referee after the 3-0 loss to Inter in the European Cup semi-finals in 1965
"Shankly signed a boy called Jack Whitham. He was always getting injured. Training for Jack was like jogging in between injuries. He was driving Shanks mad because he hated people who were like that. Finally he said one day to Jack in training, 'You, go up to the corner (where the pigsty was) and train up there. I don't want you to contaminate the rest of the team.' Poor Jack was jogging up there in the pigsty with the smell of the pigs and all that."
One of Ian St John's favourite stories. From LFChistory's exclusive interview with Saint in 2008
I might well have become a Liverpool player. There was a time when I always thought that I would follow Shankly, and, when he went to Liverpool, I fully expected to be joining him. I know Shankly wanted to buy me, but the board said they couldn't afford it. I think Huddersfield wanted 40,000 or 50,000 pounds which was a lot of money in those days. But the Liverpool board said no. I would have loved to have played there, and I know would have enjoyed it. I would have thrived on the Kop atmosphere. But it was not to be.
"Above all, I would like to be remembered as a man who was selfless, who strove and worried so that others could share the glory, and who built up a family of people who could hold their heads up high and say... WE ARE LIVERPOOL."
"Welcome to Liverpool, son. You have come from Sunday School into Church."
What Bill Shankly told John Toshack when he greeted him at Lime Street Station on 11 November 1970
|Sammy Reid||Motherwell||Free||24 February 1960|
|Kevin Lewis||Sheffield United||£13,000||16 June 1960|
|Gordon Milne||Preston North End||£16,000||30 August 1960|
|Alf Arrowsmith||Ashton United||£1,250||30 August 1960|
|Ian St John||Motherwell||£37,500||2 May 1961|
|Ron Yeats||Dundee United||£22,000||22 July 1961|
|John Sealey||Warrington Town||£25||1962|
|Jim Furnell||Burnley||£18,000||23 February 1962|
|Willie Stevenson||Rangers||£20,000||19 October 1962|
|Bobby Thomson||Partick Thistle||£7,000||7 December 1962|
|Peter Thompson||Preston North End||£37,000||14 August 1963|
|Phil Chisnall||Manchester United||£25,000||15 April 1964|
|Geoff Strong||Arsenal||£40,000||6 November 1964|
|John Ogston||Aberdeen||£10,000||September 1965|
|Peter Wall||Wrexham||£6,000 *||6 October 1966|
|Stuart Mason||Wrexham||£20,000 *||6 October 1966|
|Dave Wilson||Preston North End||£20,000||February 1967|
|Emlyn Hughes||Blackpool||£65,000||27 February 1967|
|Ray Clemence||Scunthorpe United||£18,000||24 June 1967|
|Tony Hateley||Chelsea||£96,000||5 July 1967|
|Alun Evans||Wolves||£100,000||16 September 1968|
|Alec Lindsay||Bury||£67,000||March 1969|
|Larry Lloyd||Bristol Rovers||£50,000||23 April 1969|
|Jack Whitham||Sheffield Wednesday||£57,000||April 1970|
|Steve Heighway||Skelmersdale||Free||May 1970|
|Steve Arnold||Crewe||£10,000||9 September 1970|
|John Toshack||Cardiff City||£110,000||11 November 1970|
|Kevin Keegan||Scunthorpe United||£33,000||3 May 1971|
|Frank Lane||Tranmere Rovers||£15,000||30 September 1971|
|Trevor Storton||Tranmere Rovers||£25,000||July 1972|
|Peter Cormack||Nottingham Forest||£110,000||14 July 1972|
|Peter Spiring||Bristol City||£60,000||6 March 1973|
|Jimmy Case||South Liverpool||£500||1 May 1973|
|Alan Waddle||Halifax Town||£40,000||22 June 1973|
|Ray Kennedy||Arsenal||£180,000||12 July 1974|
|Don Woan||Leyton Orient||Player Exchange *||5 November 1951|
|Geoff Twentyman||Ballymena Utd||Free||29 March 1960|
|Doug Rudham||Johannesburgh Ramblers||Free||May 1960|
|Fred Morris||Crewe||£4,000||June 1960|
|Reginald Blore||Southport||Free||4 July 1960|
|Barry Wilkinson||Bangor City||£5,000||August 1960|
|Alan Banks||Cambridge City||£3,000||1961|
|Bobby Campbell||Wigan Athletic||£1,000||1961|
|Alan Arnell||Tranmere Rovers||Free||February 1961|
|Jimmy Harrower||Newcastle United||£15,000||March 1961|
|Dave Hickson||Cambridge City||£1,000||July 1961|
|John Nicholson||Port Vale||£2,000||August 1961|
|Dick White||Doncaster Rovers||£4,000||May 1962|
|Bert Slater||Dundee||£2,500||3 July 1962|
|Willie Carlin||Halifax Town||£1,500||August 1962|
|John Molyneux||Chester City||£2,000||August 1962|
|Johnny Morrissey||Everton||£10,000||1 September 1962|
|Tommy Leishman||Hibernian||£12,000||January 1963|
|Kevin Lewis||Huddersfield Town||£18,000||August 1963|
|Allan Jones||Brentford||£5,000||August 1963|
|Jim Furnell||Arsenal||£15,000||22 November 1963|
|Jimmy Melia||Wolves||£48,000||9 March 1964|
|Alan A'Court||Tranmere Rovers||£9,000||October 1964|
|Phil Ferns||Bournemouth||£5,000||August 1965|
|Bobby Thomson||Luton Town||£3,000||1 August 1965|
|Thomas Lowry||Crewe||Free||June 1966|
|John Sealey||Chester City||Free||June 1966|
|Alan Hignett||Chester City||Free||August 1966|
|Ted MacDougall||York City||£5,000||1967|
|Gordon Milne||Blackpool||£32,000||May 1967|
|Billy Molyneux||Oldham Athletic||Free||16 June 1967|
|Phil Chisnall||Southend||£12,000||3 August 1967|
|Gordon Wallace||Crewe||£5,000||October 1967|
|Willie Stevenson||Stoke City||£48,000||December 1967|
|Dave Wilson||Preston North End||£4,000||30 May 1968|
|Tony Hateley||Coventry City||£80,000||19 September 1968|
|Alf Arrowsmith||Bury||£25,000||December 1968|
|John Ogston||Doncaster Rovers||£2,500||July 1969|
|Roger Hunt||Bolton Wanderers||£32,000||16 December 1969|
|Peter Wall||Crystal Palace||£35,000||May 1970|
|Geoff Strong||Coventry City||£30,000||10 August 1970|
|Doug Livermore||Norwich City||£25,000||26 November 1970|
|Ian St John||Hellenic||Free||1971|
|Steve Peplow||Swindon Town||Free||14 June 1971|
|Chris Fagan||Tranmere Rovers||Free||July 1971|
|Tommy Lawrence||Tranmere Rovers||Free||10 November 1971|
|Ron Yeats||Tranmere Rovers||Free||30 December 1971|
|Ian Ross||Aston Villa||£60,000||23 February 1972|
|Bobby Graham||Coventry City||£70,000||9 March 1972|
|Alun Evans||Aston Villa||£72,000||9 June 1972|
|Steve Arnold||Rochdale||Free||12 June 1973|
|Peter Thompson||Bolton Wanderers||£18,000||5 January 1974|
- A legend in his own lifetime - Football Monthly 1970
- A picture that tells all! Fans celebrate with Shankly after UEFA Cup win
- A schoolmaster to the players, says former keeper Tommy Lawrence
- Architect of glory - 1979 Echo interview
- Borussia lose but enhance status - May 1973
- Brian Glanville's memories of Shankly
- Deciding whether to buy a player can be difficult
- Dedicated demagogue in a track suit
- Do not retire, say Liverpool players
- Faith and Pride - Football Monthly April 1966
- Farewell Bill - 2 October 1981
- From pit boy to King of the Kop - 1969/70
- Front of Bill Shankly scrapbook
- Give us the cup! Shankly demands in 1971
- Harry Catterick on Shanks
- He exudes the spirit of the game
- I have waited ten years for this result, says Shankly on 6 December 1969
- I've got to break free of Shankly, says Paisley - July 1974
- It hurts me when they lose - April 1964
- Like walking to the electric chair - Daily Mail 13 July 1974
- Liverpool equal to any team in the country - 25 July 1963
- Liverpool's living legend - 1973
- Liverpool: the team of the 70s? - Football Monthly June 1972
- Look at Yeats!
- Looking good for Europe - 11 March 1972
- Nessie talks about Bill
- Now for the big one, says Shankly after 1973 UEFA Cup win
- Power build-up at Anfield as 1967/8 season begins
- Rebuilding 60's team
- Shankly and Catterick are Soccer's superb bosses - 1971
- Shankly can't wait for the 1971/72 season
- Shankly cleaned house - 8 May 1971
- Shankly could see Gladbach were tiring in the UEFA Cup final second leg in 1973
- Shankly had the utmost respect for Tom Finney and Jock Stein
- Shankly hails the 1970/71 season
- Shankly in their own words - LFC Official Matchday Magazine
- Shankly keeps his promise - Horace Yates
- Shankly on the cover of Charlie Buchan's Soccer Annual 1973
- Shankly quits! - Daily Mail
- Shankly signs new contract - 1963
- Shankly stories
- Shankly was unique
- Shankly won our respect, says Ron Yeats -1974
- Shankly's best - 12 March 1960
- Shankly's Liverpool in 1968/69
- Shankly's psychology works wonders, by Ron Yeats
- Shankly's record - November 1969
- Shankly's Secret - 31 March 1973
- Shankly's view of Arsenal's 1971 final team
- Shanks a wonderful person, says Alan Ball
- Shanks did it for me, says Nessie
- Shanks for the memory - 13 July 1974
- Shanks puts his finger on the injury pile-up - 2 September 1978
- Shanks' final fling - Daily Mirror 13 July 1974
- Soccer bombshell - Shankly quits!
- St John all set for King Bill's Anfield throne
- Stand up the real Bill Shankly
- Sunday Express series in 1973 - King of the Kop
- Sunday Express series in 1973 - Preston pay out 500 pounds to sign me!
- Sunday Express series in 1973 - Today's stars not as good as Finney and co.
- Talk us through it - LFC Official Matchday Magazine
- Thanks Shanks for a load of laughs - Daily Mirror 13 July 1974
- That man Shankly, by Brian Clough - July 1974
- The greatest enthusiast of the lot - 1974
- The greatest players of the 1970/71 season
- The legend of Shankly the king - 1974
- The legend that is Bill Shankly - 27 March 1971
- The man we would miss most - March 1967
- The monarch of Merseyside
- The proudest moment of my life - 1962
- The seven wistful years - 3 October 1981
- The trump card I snatched at the last minute - the cup final win in 1965
- When I leave it will be sudden, Shankly revealed on 2 May 1974
- When they heard Shankly had quit
- Who follows Shankly? - Daily Express 13 July 1974
- Why I sold Ian Ross - February 1972
- You can't buy club loyalty, says Shankly prior to the 1971 FA Cup final
- You'll never walk alone - 13 July 1974