Celebrating the 50th anniversary of his arrival at Anfield
R Bill Shankly, manager of Huddersfield Town FC, was last night appointed manager of Liverpool Football Club in succession to Mr Phil Taylor, who resigned on November 17. He has accepted the position but has agreed to stay on at Leeds Road for another month unless circumstances permit an earlier release. Those unremarkable words, issued to the Liverpool Daily Post and ECHO on the morning of December 1, 1959, came from an unremarkable chairman of an unremarkable club to announce the arrival of a truly remarkable man. When TV Williams confirmed the appointment of William Shankly as Liverpool’s new manager, few could have foreseen he had just made a decision which altered the shape of the club so dramatically forever. The only direction in which the Reds were headed 50 years ago was backwards. Everything about the club was poor. Anfield was dilapidated, Melwood training ground was in a state of ruin and the team, to be kind, lacked direction.
“From the first day I resolved not to be just another manager. I didn’t go to Carlisle as a triallist. I went there to make a success of it.” 1959, remember, saw Liverpool – then of the old Second Division – suffer possibly the most embarrassing result in their history, a 2-1 defeat to non-league Worcester City in the FA Cup; they were not, in any way, shape or form, upwardly mobile. So when Williams, a man who carried great power in the Liverpool boardroom and was not afraid to use it, appointed Shankly to replace Taylor, supporters did not have great expectations, particularly as the new manager’s track record did not scream success. Yes, he had been a player of some note for Preston North End but, he had hardly set the world alight in previous roles with Carlisle, Grimsby, Workington and Huddersfield. What’s more, he had even been overlooked for the role of Liverpool manager once before – in 1951 – missing out to Don Welsh, which suggested the Reds board, who were eager to get back to the days of the 1947 title winning side, remained to be convinced. Shankly, though, breezed into Anfield bursting with enthusiasm and a determination to rouse a sleeping giant from its slumber. From the moment he pulled his Austin A40 into Melwood on the morning of December 14, things would never be the same again. “I am very pleased and proud to have been chosen as manager of Liverpool FC, a club of such great potential,” he said at the time. “It is my opinion that Liverpool have a crowd of followers which rank with
The day the the greatest in the game. “They deserve success and I hope, in my own small way, I am able to do something to achieve that. I make no promises except that I shall put everything I have into the job I so willingly undertake.” From that point, Liverpool came under Shankly’s spell; a forward thinker and innovator blessed with supreme confidence,
football was his life and those who did not tune into his wavelength soon found themselves give short shrift; he did not suffer fools. Occasionally irascible, he was also way ahead of his time. Further on in this supplement, you will read Rafa Benitez’s thoughts about how he was taken aback by Shankly’s radical approach but it was clear
from the outset he was unique. Leslie Edwards, the Echo’s Football Correspondent when Shankly arrived, made several shrewd notes after his first meeting with him and was instantly struck by his passion. “Quite a character, this new Liverpool manager, Bill Shankly,” Edwards wrote. “He is a disciple of the game as played by the
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SHANKLY Having appeared destined for another season of mid-table obscurity in 1959-60, Liverpool finished the campaign with such a rattle that they ended up third, behind Aston Villa and Cardiff. They finished third the following season, too, but in 1962, the breakthrough Shankly wanted came; Liverpool won the old Second Division in a canter, scoring an unheard of 99 goals in the league – 41 of which came from Roger Hunt – and amassing 62 points. Debuts were given that year to Ian St John and Ron Yeats, two players who would become Anfield giants, while another, Ian Callaghan, was well on his way to becoming a permanent fixture on the right side of midfield. Not surprisingly, the crowds were flocking back to Anfield and Shankly now had his sights fixed on the target he craved most of all – usurping Everton as the major football powerhouse on Merseyside. It is well known he moved into a house in West Derby that overlooked Everton’s Bellefield training ground and it’s quite possible winning the First Division Championship in 1964 gave him as much satisfaction as anything else. Mind you, there were so many highs during 15 unforgettable seasons; winning the FA Cup for the first time (1965), a first European final (1966), a first European trophy (1973), two more titles and the building of two unforgettable teams. Yet, quite honestly, you could fill this paper 20 times over with stories
Nightmare start for Shankly Liverpool 0 Cardiff City 4 – Second Division Anfield – December 19, 1959. Att: 27,291
BILL SHANKLY'S reign started in the worst possible fashion as his charges gave an early Christmas present to their Welsh visitors. And the jeers from the home faithful towards those sat in the directors' box showed how unhappy they were at the final whistle. Liverpool barely threatened throughout and were undone through a Derek Tapscott brace on 12 and 57 minutes while Bluebirds' teammates Johnny Watkins (34) and Joe Bonson (67) added a goal each
to complete a thoroughly miserable afternoon for Shankly in his first official game as Liverpool manager. A 3-0 defeat at Charlton Athletic followed on Boxing Day before Shankly could finally celebrate the first of his many victories as Liverpool boss when they defeated the Addicks 2-0 on December 28 in the return match at Anfield, Alan A'Court and Roger Hunt netting in the second-half.
LIVERPOOL: Slater, Jones, Moran, Wheeler, White, Campbell, Morris, Hunt, Hickson, Melia, A'Court.
earth shook Continentals. The man out of possession, he believes, is just as important as the man with the ball at his feet. “If every Anfield fan could talk with Shankly as I did, they could not help but be impressed by his sincerity; for sustenance in this task, there will be no smoke, no hard drink, just plentiful supplies of the herbal tea from Brazil. Good luck, Mr Shankly!”
Luck, however, didn’t come into it. After assessing the squad he had inherited in games against Cardiff City and Charlton Athletic, Shankly started to implement the style of play he had been brought up on in Ayrshire, a simple brand of pass and move. He also had the idea to improve team spirit, by asking his squad to congregate at Anfield of a morning before getting on a coach to
Melwood; when they returned, the players would sit down and have a meal together. True, he might have been lucky Liverpool had such a good coaching set up in place with Bob Paisley, Reuben Bennett and Joe Fagan already at the club but there was nothing fortuitous about the way they set about turning the Reds from ordinary to extraordinary.
“I'd played at Anfield and I knew the crowd were fantastic. I knew there was a public just waiting. I wanted results for the club, for the love of the game, to make the people happy." chronicling Shankly’s achievements and the fact that is possible 50 years after he was appointed speaks volumes for what he did for Liverpool Football Club. That’s why when he resigned in July 1974, to spend more time with his wife, Nessie, the shockwaves spread far beyond the city boundaries; he might have left the club in the exceptional hands of Paisley but things would never be the same again. Shankly, more than anything, gave the club its spirit back. Without him it’s possible all the glorious nights that have been celebrated since would never have happened; you can see why, then, one of his great strikers, John Toshack said he “invented Liverpool”. When he died prematurely of a heart problem in September 1981, a banner was unfurled on the Kop that night declaring that “Shankly Lives Forever” and, 28 years on, it is certainly true to say his spirit lives on at Anfield. Melwood has, of course, changed dramatically but there is a bust of Shankly in the entrance with one of his emotive sayings inscribed next to it, to provide inspiration for the current generation and, possibly, remind them of who they are fighting for. But perhaps it is the statue of Shankly that stands proudly outside the Kop that sums everything about the man – “He made the people happy”, it is proclaimed on the base. In so many ways, he still does.
The pride and glory returns to Anfield Day a great Scot led the Reds from an abyss
N APRIL 21 1962 there were scenes of jubilation at Anfield as Liverpool finally regained their top flight status with a 2-0 win over Southampton. Less than two and a half years earlier Bill Shankly had inherited a dilapidated stadium, inadequate training facilities and an average playing squad. However, he swiftly transformed the club on and off the pitch and helped restore pride on the Kop. Shankly rebuilt the team around two key signings, Ron Yeats and Ian St John, and the Scotsmen were influential as the Reds finished eight points clear of Leyton Orient to wrap up the Second Division title. In the days of two points for a win Liverpool amassed a remarkable 62 human could have to see what we had points and scored 99 goals. done.” Roger Hunt led the way with Three days later Liverpool beat the 41, while St John struck 18 and mighty Inter Milan 3-1 in the first leg of skipper Yeats marshalled the their European Cup semi-final at Anfield. defence superbly. However, a controversial 3-0 defeat in Italy “When we won promotion to the wrecked Shankly’s hopes of conquering First Division I went to a the continent. shareholders’ meeting and they were so The following year Shankly used just 14 thrilled about it that they presented us players as the Reds won the title again but with cigarette boxes,” Shankly said. they lost 2-1 to Borussia Dortmund in the “I told them, ‘we got promotion, but you final of the European Cup Winners Cup at don’t think that is satisfactory, do you? Hampden Park. Next time we come back here for presents However, a great side had peaked and at we will have won the big league, the First the end of the 1960s Shankly dismantled Division’.” his team. Out went the likes of St John, Shankly was true to his word and two Hunt, Yeats and Tommy Lawrence, in years later the Reds were crowned First Division champions for the first time since came Ray Clemence, Larry Lloyd, John Toshack, Brian Hall and Steve Heighway. 1947. The title was wrapped up by an Liverpool reached the FA Cup final in emphatic 5-0 victory over Arsenal at 1971 but lost 2-1 in extra time to Arsenal. Anfield. Manchester United finished four The club’s seven-year wait for more points adrift with reigning champions silverware under Shanks was finally Everton forced back into third place. ended in style in 1973. Arsenal were beaten “We won seven games on the trot, to the championship by three points and running through teams and tearing them Shankly said: “This title gave me greater to pieces,” Shankly recalled. pleasure than the previous two, simply In 1964-65 Liverpool finished a disappointing seventh but it still proved to because here we had a rebuilt side, some of them only two or three seasons in first be an historic campaign. team football and they stayed the course On May 1 1965 Shankly ended the club’s like veterans. I wanted that title more than 73-year wait to lift the FA Cup as they beat at any time in my life. That’s why it is Leeds United 2-1 after extra time at such a relief.” Wembley. There was more glory to come as the “You’re going to win because you’re the best team,” Shankly told his players before club’s first European trophy was secured with a 3-2 win on aggregate against the game. “Leeds are honoured to be on Borussia Moenchengladbach in the final of the same field as you and you’re not going the UEFA Cup seeing skipper Tommy to disappoint the greatest supporters in Smith raise the giant trophy. the world.” For the only time in his career Shankly After a goalless 90 minutes Hunt opened was voted Manager of the Year. the scoring but Billy Bremner restored His final trophy arrived 12 months later parity. With nine minutes to go St John when Liverpool demolished Newcastle 3-0 headed home the winner from Ian in the FA Cup final courtesy of Kevin Callaghan’s cross. Keegan’s double and a strike from Steve Shankly said: “To think a club like Heighway. Liverpool had never won the FA Cup was It would be another two months before unbelievable. So many had prayed for it to he stunned the football world but as he sat happen over all the years but it had never in the Wembley dressing room his mind come to pass. was made up. “So when we beat Leeds, the emotion “I felt tired from all the years. I knew I was unforgettable. Grown men were was going to finish,” he said. crying and it was the greatest feeling any
by JAMES PEARCE
EUROPEAN GLORY: Bill Shankly in the dressing room with the UEFA Cup in 1973
SHANKLY’S HONOURS 1961-62 - Second Division champions
1963-64 - First Division champions 1964-65 - FA Cup winners 1965-66 - First Division champions, European Cup Winners Cup finalists 1970-71 - FA Cup finalists 1972-73 - First Division champions, UEFA Cup winners 1973-74 - FA Cup winners
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Boot Room boys Moran reflects on the ‘office’ of Shankly’s trusted lieutenants EXCLUSIVE by DAVID RANDLES
ROOM in Ronnie Moran's comfortable Crosby bungalow offers a collection of reminders from a 49-year Liverpool career that saw him progress from teenage apprentice to assistant manager. Adorning the walls are a variety of pictures, from famous league championship and European Cup wins, to a snapshot of Moran shaking hands with Prince Charles. He uses it as a television room, somewhere to watch the football when his wife of 52 years, Joyce, needs a well-earned break from the second love of his life. The room doubles up as a spare bedroom where the grandchildren sleep when they stay over. The kids refer to it simply as 'The Boot Room’. It is an apt title for a place where Moran spends much of his time. “That's the grandchildren,” he says proudly, pointing to a photograph on a small table beneath a print of another triumphant night at Anfield. “The eldest one, she's got a daughter too, our greatgrandaughter. She's three now, a real handful.” At 75, Moran is the last surviving member of Liverpool's original Boot Room Boys. Asked by Bill Shankly to take charge of the youth team when his playing days at Anfield were up, Moran was a permanent fixture in the room beneath the Main Stand. It is the stuff of legend in football circles, an idea says Moran, that was conceived by Shankly and embraced by his trusted lieutenants, Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan. “Initially Joe and Bob had all their kit in a room that was right down towards the Anfield Road end. “They started that off as the first Boot Room I suppose. It wasn't an official boot room but that's where the idea came from. It was full of old kit and you had to knock at the door to get in there. It wasn't a big room but you'd sometimes get about 20 to 30 people in there. “It was a place where people could go and have a good natter. I was in there a lot from when I hung up my boots and started working with the kids. “Fellas like Reuben Bennett and Tom Saunders would come in occasionally but the original Boot Room was mainly the three of us;
THE BOOT ROOM BOYS: Bill Shankly with trusted lieutenants Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan, Ronnie Moran, Reuben Bennett and Tom Saunders Joe, Bob and myself, plus whoever would come in after games.” After Shankly through to Roy Evans it was pretty much a pre-requisite for the Liverpool manager to have learned his trade under the traditions of the Boot Room. It was perceived as the nerve centre of the club where the so-called Liverpool Way was formulated by those privy to the mysterious goings on that took place within its four walls. Moran remembers it as a much simpler place, however. Although Shankly was instrumental in its foundation, the myth of him holding court in the Boot Room, hatching plans for domestic and European domination is quickly dispelled. “It always gets mentioned with Shanks in mind,” says Moran. “He brought the Boot Room to the club but he didn't actually come in too
“Some people believe that football is a matter of life and death. I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you that it is much more important than that.”
visiting staff to come and have drink in the Boot Room before they left. “They'd always come down. I remember Cloughie (Brian) being in there a couple of times. “We used to have all the kit bags in there. They were big straw things back then. Cloughie came in and sat on one of them just listening to what was going on, taking it all in. “It was like a ritual after each game. Once Joe and Bob started it up, it began happening at most clubs. They may not have had a Boot Room as such but there'd always be somewhere to go after the game. Soon enough, wherever we went people would be asking us in for a drink before we travelled.”
When Anfield was redeveloped in the early ‘90s, the famous Boot Room made way for a new press room to cater for increased media demands. To many it was a travesty. What isn't widely known though is that a new Boot Room was created just a few feet across the corridor. Under the auspices of current assistant manager, Sammy Lee, the spirit lives on. What's more, you're still likely to find Moran in there. “Since he came back a few years ago Sammy has asked me to look after the Boot Room when I'm at Anfield for a match,” smiles Moran. “It's great Sammy has kept it going. You need a pass now to get anywhere but Sammy has sorted me out with one. “You'll still get managers and staff coming in there before and after games. I caught Liverpool 5 Arsenal 0 – First Division up with Fergie (Alex Ferguson) and Bobby Anfield – April 18, 1964. Att: 48,623 Charlton in there.” LIVERPOOL claimed their only 'victory' in an the interval. “As they approached their first top flight title afternoon that will live Peter Thompson the Boot Room I started since the 1946-47 long in the memory for struck a quickfire brace joking about, bowing to campaign with a those Liverpool fans on 52 and 57 minutes them and saying 'Good comprehensive triumph packed into Anfield. before Roger Hunt afternoon Sirs.' They over Arsenal. A goal from striker Ian rounded off the scoring were having none of it. The Gunners may have St John after only seven on the hour mark. We had a cup of tea and a LIVERPOOL: Lawrence, Byrne, won the coin toss and minutes set Shankly's good catch up, talking Moran, Milne, Yeats, Stevenson, forced Liverpool to team on their way, with Callaghan, Hunt, St John, Arrowsmith, football and what not.” attack the Kop End in the Alf Arrowsmith doubling Thompson. Just like the old days, opening half, but that was the advantage just before he might say.
often after games. “Even during the week, he'd take people into his office while a few of us would be in the Boot Room. “Shanks would come in now and again but never after games. Myself, Joe and Bob would always be in there though, even during the week after training. You'd have your lunch and do a bit of work, sorting the kits or whatever. Then we'd sit down and have a natter.” The Boot Room also became the venue for a post-match drink, a kind of unofficial hospitality lounge, only much smaller. It was a gesture that soon caught on in the game. “No matter how a match went or what the result, we'd always invite
Shankly secures first championship
N his search for inspiration before big games, Bill Shankly would listen to the same collection of songs over and over again to get himself mentally attuned for battle. Whether it be Gerry and The Pacemakers, Tom Jones or Peters and Lee, the words from their songs would ultimately end up swirling around Shankly’s head and echoed the passion he felt for Liverpool Football Club. It should come as no surprise to learn, then, that listening to something repeatedly helped Rafa Benitez understand just what kind of task he had trying to walk in Shankly’s shadow when he joined Liverpool in the summer of 2004. While it would have been wrong to expect the Reds’ second foreign manager to have the same kind of understanding of Shankly as their first – Gerard Houllier stood on the Kop initially in 1969 – Benitez was aware of the great man’s position in Anfield legend. To fully appreciate what Shankly did for Liverpool, though, Benitez immersed himself in history, devouring page after page that was written about him but, more importantly, replaying a tape that was given to him shortly after his arrival. On it was an interview Shankly had given to a radio journalist at some point in the 1960s but, when Benitez took on board exactly what was being said, it could easily have been given in the modern era. Instantly striking a chord with the Spaniard, Benitez has revealed how he listened in awe as Shankly gave his views on footballer’s diets, fitness programmes and tactics and it soon became apparent he had a duty to continue his work. “I didn’t really know too much about him before I came but as soon I got here, I started reading books about him and made sure that I spoke with a lot of people,” Benitez recalled. “I kept reading all those little phrases and sentences. “But I also listened to an interview he did once, over and over again when I was at home or when I was in my car. I struggled at first with the accent but once it all became clear, I was really impressed with his ideas. “He was so ahead of his time. He was talking about training sessions and if it had been raining and the players were wet, he would tell them to careful and he would look after them, make sure they recovered properly and ate the right food.” For all the research Benitez did on Shankly, however, it was often said during his first couple of years at the club that Liverpool lacked a connection to the boot room days of their illustrious past. Yes, Melwood, with its Olympic swimming pool, places for players to sleep, perfectly manicured pitches and state of the art gymnasium, is now unrecognisable from Shankly’s time but Benitez understood it would do no harm to have a some link to that era. So when Sammy Lee was recruited to become Benitez’s assistant, he had a man who was brought up to understand the meaning of the Liverpool Way and for all his radical thinking, Benitez still tries to look at things from Shankly’s perspective. “When we decided to bring in
It would have have met him
Sammy again, we brought in someone who knew the philosophy and the ideas of the club,” he said. “Of course, everything has changed in football and everything is different in society nowadays too. “Life is different. Everyone has iPods or Wiis and everyone is in a hurry to do things. Everything is so quick. But, still, we try to have the same ideas (as Shankly). “When people talk about the ‘Liverpool Way’, it was always to win. We try to do this and that is our priority, if it is possible. We try to do things properly, like (Shankly) di.” So rather than be daunted about following Shankly, Benitez takes inspiration from it and now when you walk around Liverpool’s training retreat in West Derby, echoes of the past are omnipresent. Half a century has passed since T.V
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been an honour to – Rafael Benitez
Williams changed Liverpool forever by making Shankly manager but, as far as Benitez is concerned, his spirit and shadow will never die – and will forever provide motivation for future generations. “One of things we did after Sammy came was to change a little bit of decoration at Melwood,” said Benitez. “We now have a lot of photographs of former players, the legends and the managers and quotes from different people. “We have been trying to bring this spirit. It is much better now. When people come to see training sessions now, they can look around and it is an inspiration to them. It would have been an honour to meet him, 100 per cent. “Now all we can do is our best to make sure the mentality and the passion is always the same. That is the key to making sure the club stays at a good level, the level Bill Shankly wanted it to be at.”
“Liverpool was made for me. And I was made for Liverpool . . . When the ball is down the Kop end, they frighten the ball. Sometimes they suck it into the back of the net.”
When the all-Reds first marched in
Liverpool 3 Anderlecht 0 – European Cup, First Round, First Leg Anfield – November 25, 1964. Att: 44,516
THE match where Liverpool wore an all-red strip for the first time in their history saw Shankly's team attain an insurmountable first-leg lead over the Belgian champions in the first round of the European Cup. Shankly's belief that the kit could have some sort of "psychological impact" being "red for danger, red for power", according to Ian St John,
certainly worked in its debut in front of a packed house on a late autumn evening under the Anfield floodlights. Efforts from St John after 10 minutes and Roger Hunt two minutes before the break put the Reds in full command of the tie. A goal from skipper Ron Yeats just after half-time completed the scoring as the Belgian champions were swept
aside by the all-Red tide. And, just for good measure, Liverpool won the return leg in Belgium 1-0 thanks to a late Hunt goal. This set up the famous three-game quarter-final meetings with Cologne before those immense clashes with Italian giants Inter Milan.
LIVERPOOL: Lawrence, Lawler, Byrne, Milne, Yeats, Stevenson, Callaghan, Hunt, St John, Smith, Thompson.
The master manipulator who used the power of the press LIVERPOOL Football Club were rarely off the back pages of the national newspapers during Bill Shankly’s reign. And Peter Robinson explained that Shankly, the master media manipulator, was largely responsible for ensuring that Liverpool was always in the public eye, regardless of how they were faring on the pitch. “Bill appreciated the value of the press,” he explained. “Obviously he was a very charismatic individual, but he would also occasionally fall out with certain individuals. When he did he would come to me and say ‘I have fallen out with such and
by DAVID PRENTICE such, will you look after him with a few stories?’ “It was his way of ensuring the club’s profile didn’t suffer while he was punishing a particular reporter. “He encouraged the papers to travel with us, not just into Europe but everywhere. The ECHO always travelled on the team bus because Bill felt that it made the players feel important.” The newspapermen also offered an insight into the boardroom practices which were stifling Liverpool’s growth before Shankly’s arrival.
“One of the principles I have always held is pride in my work and appearance . . . Each player took his jersey home and repaired it himself.”
FA Cup glory is extra special Liverpool 2 Leeds United 1 (aet) – FA Cup final Wembley Stadium – May 1, 1965. Att: 100,000 LIVERPOOL's bid to win the famous trophy finally ended in glory at the third time of asking in final appearances. The Reds had previously slipped up in 1914 against Burnley and in 1950 when taking on Arsenal. Early in the game Liverpool left-back Gerry Byrne sustained what turned out to be a broken collar bone. But in the days before substitutes were allowed, he played on. A tight match between two well-matched outfits saw
Shankly’s team finally break the deadlock three minutes into extra-time through a Roger Hunt goal. However, Billy Bremner fired in an equaliser for the Yorkshiremen only for Ian St John to power in a close-range header from an Ian Callaghan centre nine minutes from the end of extra-time to win the Cup for the Reds.
LIVERPOOL: Lawrence, Lawler, Byrne, Strong, Yeats, Stevenson, Callaghan, Hunt, St John, Smith, Thompson.
“Before Bill came, the directors would select the team along with the manager,” he explained, “and I remember a local journalist Bob Prole telling me an incredible story. “The directors used to hand the team to the three local papers, the Post, the ECHO and the Evening Express, on Friday. “One particular week they arrived at Anfield and were handed a teamsheet which didn’t contain Billy Liddell’s name. “‘Is Liddell injured?’” they enquired. And the director immediately said ‘Oh God’ and took the sheet back and disappeared. “The directors used to vote on the team position by position, and because Liddell played so many different positions, they had
managed to vote on a team which didn’t have the star player in it!” Shankly swept away that outdated practice, and also established an enduring and unbreakable bond with the club’s fans. “He had this tremendous rapport with the supporters.” added Robinson. “We didn’t have a typist at the club so all the letters sent into him he would sweep up and take home to reply personally. “I’ve lost count of the number of people who have come to me with a letter from Bill asking ‘did Bill really type this or was it a club secretary?’ “I could tell them all categorically that Bill had typed it because he had a typewriter with one letter that jumped and I could spot it. “I reckon he must have replied
to about 100 letters every week. “He loved talking to fans. During the World Cup in 1966 he didn’t want to sit with the directors and the VIPs in the main stand at Goodison Park, so we both went and sat in the Gwladys Street stand for all the games. “He was very well received. There was certainly plenty of banter. “More so than he was for one of the games at Old Trafford! Bill drove us to Manchester and it’s fair to say he wasn’t the greatest driver. He was thrown when we got there because they’d changed the car parks that he usually used. “We couldn’t get in and when a bobby tried to redirect us Bill started to rant about the Manchester police. In the end the policeman said: ‘Listen Mr Docherty, there’s no need to be like that.’ “He thought Bill was Tommy Docherty!. His reaction was priceless.”
“I'd like to think that I have put more into the game than I have taken out. And that I haven’t cheated anybody, that I've been working for people honestly all along the line, for the people of Liverpool who go to Anfield.”
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’Bill had to rip up Anfield rule book’ EXCLUSIVE
Reds out of luck in Glasgow
AN ST JOHN stood five feet seven-and-a-half inches small in his stockinged feet. Kevin Keegan was barely half an inch taller, while Ian Callaghan was never going to audition for a part in Land of the Giants – and all three are Anfield icons. Yet none might have signed for Liverpool but for Bill Shankly’s insistence in sweeping away the outdated rules and boardroom practices which were suffocating the club in the 1950s. Peter Robinson is recognised as one of Anfield’s greatest administrators, having served as club secretary, chief executive and vice-chairman – and for more than a decade he was Shankly’s closest confidant at Anfield. And the pair were totally bemused by the level of bureaucracy which hindered progress while Shankly was trying to construct his “bastion of invincibility.” “I think Bill was the right man for the time because the club certainly needed changing, explained Robinson. “There was a minute in the boardroom minutes book that staggered me. It recommended that Liverpool shouldn’t pay more than £12,000 for any player, and if you bear in mind the going rate for any top player in the late 50s was well above that, Liverpool were getting what they were paying for. “Rhere was also a minute which stated every player should be seen by at least two directors before he was signed and, if possible, they should be in excess of six feet tall. “Obviously Bill changed all that. We paid £37,500 for Ian St John and £22,000 for Ron Yeats. Under the previous regime they simply wouldn’t have been bought.” While Shankly was the wind of change, he had an able and ambitious ally on the board in the shape of Eric Sawyer. His presence, Robinson believes, was vital in helping Shankly shape the club. “Eric Sawyer came at the same time as Bill and was appointed managing director,” he explained. “John Moores did have great interest in both clubs, and he persuaded the Liverpool directors to put Eric Sawyer on the board. He knew the club needed change. He came on board with a totally different outlook. “It was a partnership. Eric was a brilliant businessman. He was the
Liverpool 1 Borussia Dortmund 2 (aet) – European Cup-Winners' Cup final Hampden Park – May 5, 1966. Att: 41,657 LIVERPOOL's first chance at a European trophy ended in heartbreak north of the border. Trailing to a Sigi Held goal just after the hour mark, the Reds equalised on 68 minutes through Roger Hunt, sending the game into extra-time. However, the luck was with the Germans as a speculative lob by Reinhard Libuda 11 minutes from the end of extra-time somehow ricocheted off a back-pedalling Ron Yeats and into the net for Borussia's winning goal.
SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL: Kevin Keegan joins Liverpool watched by Bill Shankly, Peter Robinson and Ron Ashman. Keegan cost £35,000 from fourth division Scunthorpe on May Day 1971
Shanks swept away decay - Robinson man who built the Littlewoods empire into what it became – and as well as rebuilding the team, they started to rebuild the ground.” Sawyer, Shankly and Robinson were the visionaries who helped transform Liverpool. Robinson arrived when the club had already been crowned league champions and remembers his first official meeting with the manager clearly. “I had been on nodding terms with him before, because I’d worked in football for several years. When I arrived I was greeted by two or three directors who spent two hours introducing me to the club, with Bill lurking in the background. “As soon as they went he took me down to his office where I then spent another two hours with him telling me how I had joined the best
club in the world. “He then went through what he thought about every director! “I saw him every morning, because the players would change at Anfield then get a coach to Melwood. Then he would have half-an-hour after training with me over a cup of tea, then I would probably get a phone call two or three times every night.” Robinson’s closeness to Shankly meant he was charged with trying to change Shankly’s mind when he delivered a bombshell which shook Anfield to its foundations in 1974. “I was in my office when he came in to tell me he wanted to resign. I phoned the chairman, people came to talk to him and I made a final effort. “I think I was as close as anyone
to him and I tried desperately to get him to change his mind. “I spent hours with him trying to get him to reconsider. I knew I could persuade the directors to offer him any position he wanted at the club if he stayed, and I told him he could have any title he wanted if he would just agree to stay. “Other people at the club, like Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan felt exactly the same, but he just would not change his mind. “He did make a mistake. I told him he was going to miss it and he did, but we need to take into account how difficult it was managing a football club then compared to now. “Clubs were very much director-run. “There was a weekly board
LIVERPOOL: Lawrence, Lawler, Byrne, Milne, Yeats, Stevenson, Callaghan, Hunt, St John, Smith, Thompson.
meeting attended by nine directors where Bill had to come and give a written report on the first, second, third and fourth teams, then give a verbal report with directors asking all sorts of silly questions. “I don’t think Rafa Benitez has ever sat down with the full Liverpool board! “Because the directors changed every three years it was difficult for Bill to build any kind of rapport with them and he hated those meetings. “He would have to tell them of his plans and there would be leaks to the press about players he wanted to sign. “I used to tell him ‘if you dislike these meetings so much why don’t you find a match to go to when they’re held?’ “Gradually he would start attending them fortnightly and then monthly. And I can’t tell you how many times I covered for him.”
Shankly boys who to Stars who made his dream live JAMES
DEFENSIVE ROCK: Bill Shankly and captain Tommy Smith receive a golden disc in 1972 after the success of ‘The Sounds of the Kop Choir’
‘A triumphAntly crowd pleAsing performAnce’
Special guest Brian Hall and friends from Shankly’s era
THe AuDiTorium at BT ConvenTion CenTre (next to eCHo ArenA) ThuRSDAY 17- FRiDAY 18 DecembeR 2009 • 8Pm Kings Dock, Liverpool, L3 4FP
echo Arena Box office: 0844 8000 400 • Book online: www.echoarena.com
HEY were Bill Shankly’s trusted lieutenants. The men tasked with realising their manager’s dream of turning Liverpool into a ‘bastion of invincibility’. When Shankly arrived at Anfield the club was going nowhere fast. The Reds had been stuck in the Second Division for five years and the Scotsman soon realised major changes were needed. Shankly wanted players who shared his passion and desire to be the best. He demanded total commitment and in return he promised they would be part of something special. Some of the required characters he found in the squad he inherited, others were brought in from outside. In the summer of 1961, Shankly signed Ron Yeats and Ian St John. It proved to be a masterstroke. “They were the greatest signings and they were the beginning of Liverpool,” Shankly later remarked. He had to fight hard to convince Liverpool’s board to stump up the combined transfer fees of £59,500 but he was convinced it was a sound investment. “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. These players will not only win us promotion, they will win us the Cup as well’.” Shankly was a master at instilling confidence and self belief in his players. Any doubts Yeats had about making the switch from Dundee United were swiftly eased after meeting Shankly for the first time at an Edinburgh hotel. “He said to me ‘Jesus son, you must be seven feet tall’,” Yeats said. “I told him I was only 6ft 3ins and he said ‘that’s near enough for me’. “I asked him where Liverpool was and he said ‘in the First Division’. I said I thought they were in the Second Division and he said ‘with you in the side we’ll soon be in the First Division’.” Shankly later invited the press to take a walk around his ‘Colossus’, who was soon handed the captain’s armband and remained at the heart of the Reds’ defence for the next decade. “Bill had this ability to build you up and make you believe you were unbeatable,” added Yeats. St John cost a club record £37,500 from Motherwell but soon repaid that fee with 18 goals as Liverpool romped to the Second Division title. ‘The Saint’, who scored 118 goals in 425 games, developed a close bond with the manager. “It wasn't a fear of him, more of a respect,” St John said. “He was strict, but he was also a funny man. He had a great sense of humour. We trained hard and we trained his way which was a different way from anybody else. We trained with the ball. All the other managers in the
GIVE AND GO: Bill Shankly supervises a session at Melw game were running around the pitch. Ours was all football.” Shankly certainly got the best out of St John with the striker netting 21 league goals in the title winning side of 1964 and then the winner in the FA Cup final against Leeds a year later. The other key figures in the side’s success were home grown. When Shankly took over, Roger Hunt had already forced his way into the team. But it was only after St John arrived that he started to fire on all cylinders. Hunt, who signed in 1958 from Stockton Heath, was energised by Shankly. “The change that came over the place was incredible,” Hunt said. “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. “Suddenly everyone was walking about
On Yo Walk “The re up ou the f play team st battl There someon help
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ook Reds to the top
wood with Ian Callaghan, Emlyn Hughes and Roger Hunt. Pictured right, from the top, are Ian St John, Tommy Smith with Callaghan and Ron Yeats
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with a new sense of purpose.” Hunt scored 41 goals to guide Liverpool back to the top flight and was the Reds’ top scorer for eight successive campaigns. His haul of 245 league goals still stands as a club record today. Many of those strikes were created by Ian Callaghan. The Toxteth-born right winger was handed his debut by Shankly in 1960 and it was the start of a remarkable 18-year career with the Reds which yielded a record 857 appearances. Callaghan was inspired by Shankly and said: “The best advice he gave me was to say ‘you get out of the game what you put in’. We believed in him and he commanded total respect from us. “It was like a school kid and headmaster relationship that you had with him. I loved the man and never had a cross word with him.” Every great team needs a strong
physical presence and Tommy Smith provided it. Shankly turned him into one of the most feared centre-backs in the land. “Tommy Smith wasn’t born, he was quarried,” he famously remarked. Smith formed a formidable defensive double act with Yeats and in 1970 was handed the skipper’s armband. He made 638 appearances for the club and believes he owes everything to Shankly. “I was a bit of a tearaway but Bill quietened me down and taught me to channel my energy,” he said. “He was a great man-manager and everything he touched he improved.” And when his side began to wane in the late 60s, Shankly simply built another one which took Liverpool to even greater heights. In the likes of John Toshack, Kevin Keegan, Emlyn Hughes, Phil Neal and Phil Thompson, Shankly saw the same qualities he had sought back in 1959.
Gunner George shoots down Reds Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1 (aet) – FA Cup final Wembley Stadium – May 8, 1971. Att: 100,000
THE Reds' hopes of lifting their second FA Cup in six years were dashed in the heat of extra-time at Wembley Stadium. The Reds and the Gunners could not find a goal between them in normal time and just as in 1965, the match went into an additional 30 minutes. Steve Heighway put
Bill Shankly’s team ahead with a fine low shot which eluded Arsenal keeper Bob Wilson at his near post two minutes into the first period of extra-time. However, Arsenal substitute Eddie Kelly nipped in to poke home a scrappy equaliser after 101 minutes. This set the stage for
Charlie George's famous long-range strike past a helpless Ray Clemence nine minutes from the end of extra-time to break Liverpool hearts for the third time in FA Cup finals.
LIVERPOOL: Clemence, Lawler, Lindsay, Smith, Lloyd, Hughes, Callaghan, Evans (Thompson 68), Heighway, Toshack, Hall.
SHANKLY EXCLUSIVE JAMES
EVIN KEEGAN was sat on a bin the first time he met Bill Shankly. It was May 1971 and the 20-year-old Yorkshireman had been waiting patiently at Anfield to discuss his impending switch from Scunthorpe to Liverpool. It’s an encounter firmly etched in Keegan’s memory bank because life would never be the same again. “They were doing up the main stand at Anfield so they were using these temporary offices,” Keegan said. “The only place to sit was on a dustbin outside so I sat there talking to my manager at the time, Ron Ashman, while Bill was inside. “After a while Bill came out, shook my hand and beckoned me over to his Capri to take me for my medical down near the docks. “From the moment I met Bill I just gelled with him. I was from mining stock and so was he. I think he saw something in me that reminded him of himself. “He wanted to help me and he did, massively. Apart from my parents, Bill was the most important person in my life. “He brought me to the club, he believed in me and he inspired me. That first meeting with him changed my life forever.” Keegan cost £35,000 and it proved to be one of the shrewdest pieces of business in English football history. Signed as a midfielder, Shankly soon spotted Keegan’s striking talents and made him believe he belonged at the highest level. “I had only been at the club a couple of weeks when Bill said to me ‘you will play for England son’,” Keegan recalled. “I was a 20-year-old kid who hadn’t even played for Liverpool’s first team. I thought ‘wow’ if he thinks I can they maybe I can. “Bill was a giver. He wanted to make people better. “He always came in full of life and what I loved about him was that he was always honest. You always knew where you stood with him. “If you did something wrong he would tell you but he was never negative about anything. “If he didn’t have anything good to say he just wouldn’t speak to you.” Keegan went straight into the side for the first game of the 1971/72 season against Nottingham Forest and scored the opener in a 3-1 win at Anfield. It was the start of a successful double act with John Toshack and as Shankly predicted, international honours soon followed. Keegan made his England debut against Wales in 1972 and went on to win 63 caps. “I didn’t expect to get in Liverpool’s first team so quickly,” the 58-year-old admitted. “I came in at the end of the season and went on tour when a lot of the players were away with England. “I got games, did well and forced my way into contention. It meant I never actually played a reserve team game for the club. “That was one of the things about Bill. He wasn’t scared to put someone in. If he thought you were good enough that was it. “I was a 20-year-old kid who went straight from Scunthorpe in the Fourth Division to playing in front of 51,000 at Anfield against Forest.” When Keegan signed the Reds had won nothing since 1966 and Shankly was in the process of building his second great side. “It was a period of transition for the club,” Keegan said. “When I signed there were great players there like Tommy Lawrence, Ron Yeats, Ian
‘From the first moment I met him we just gelled’
Keegan double nets UEFA Cup Liverpool 3 Borussia Moenchengladbach 0 – UEFA Cup final, first leg Anfield – May 10, 1973 LIVERPOOL established what proved a vital three-goals advantage to take back to Germany in the club's second European final. Kevin Keegan struck twice on 21 and 33 minutes before defender Larry Lloyd powered a tremendous header into the Anfield Road net just after the hour mark to complete the scoring for Shankly's team. The match also saw both goalkeepers save penalties, Ray Clemence stopping Jupp Heynckes' spot-kick in front of The Kop while Wolfgang Kleff denied Keegan from 12 yards. Lloyd's header was the difference as Borussia hit back through a first-half double from Heynckes in the second leg in Germany but the Reds' defence held firm from that point on and delighted skipper Tommy Smith was able to lift the club's first-ever European trophy. LIVERPOOL (first leg): Clemence, Lawler, Lindsay, Smith, Lloyd, Hughes, Keegan, Cormack, Toshack, Heighway (Hall), Callaghan.
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Shankly changed my life forever – I owe him so much – Keegan St John, Peter Thompson, Chris Lawler, Tommy Smith and Ian Callaghan. “There was signings like Alun Evans, who had cost £100,000 from Wolves, John McLaughlin and Ian Ross. “And new kids on the block like Emlyn Hughes from Blackpool and Ray Clemence who replaced Tommy Lawrence. Steve Heighway was a rising star and Brian Hall was coming through. “There was a good mix of the old and the new, and Bill got the perfect balance.” A seven-year trophy drought was ended in style with the championship and the UEFA Cup in 1973. Keegan scored twice in the first leg of the final as the Reds overcame Borussia Monchengladbach 3-2 on aggregate. He repeated the trick a year later with another brace in the FA Cup final as Newcastle were brushed aside 3-0. However, two months later Keegan was stunned when Shankly resigned. “I don’t know anyone who saw it coming,” he said. “I remember someone called me and said ‘have you heard about Shanks?’ My first thought was ‘he’s been involved in an accident’. “When I was told he had resigned I didn’t believe it. There was talk after every season about Bill threatening to quit and the board talking him out of it. “But when I spoke to Bill he said ‘no, I’m finished this time’. It was a massive shock.” Keegan went on to play a key role under Bob Paisley as the Reds landed the championship and the UEFA Cup again in 1976. He scored in both legs of the final against FC Bruges and was crowned Football Writers Player of the Year. However, the departure of Shankly had hit Keegan hard and midway through the following season he announced his intention to leave in the summer to play abroad. Keegan signed off in style, winning his
third league title and helping the Reds clinch their first European Cup with a 3-1 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach in Rome. After 323 appearances and 100 goals, he made a £500,000 switch to Hamburg in the summer of 1977. “Bill’s departure certainly played a part in my decision to leave,” Keegan said. “No disrespect to Bob, but when Bill left half the club went for me as well. “Don’t get my wrong, I enjoyed playing for Bob. We had some great times and won the European Cup. “But it wasn’t the same after Bill left. I just didn’t enjoy going into the club as much when he wasn’t there. Nobody could replace Bill.” The fact that Shankly wasn’t offered another role at Liverpool after he stood down in 1974 still grates with Keegan to this day. “I was really saddened by the way he was treated by the club,” he said. “I appreciate it was a difficult situation for everyone. Bill was such a big personality but it could have been handled a lot better. “It should have been a case of someone asking him ‘what job do you want?’ They should have done something for him whether it was a place on the board or whatever. “I know it would have been difficult for Bob to have him around the place but I’m sure something could have been sorted out. “Bill should never have been allowed to walk away and I’m sure if you could ask
those people involved they would admit they regret the way they went about things. “The sad fact is that Bill spent more time at Everton’s training ground than ours.” After leaving Liverpool, Keegan won the Bundesliga title with Hamburg and was twice crowned European Footballer of the Year. Spells with Southampton and Newcastle followed before he moved into management. The former England boss believes both Liverpool and himself personally owe Shankly a massive debt of gratitude. “Bill took Liverpool by the scruff of the neck and put down the foundations on which the club’s been built,” he said. “Bob achieved more than Bill in terms of honours but Bob was the first to admit that Bill put in the ground work. “Bill gave everyone connected with the club great belief and principles. Everyone counted for something whether you were the kitman or you cut the grass. “I played under a lot of good managers but none were in the same county, let along the same street, as Bill. “His way was right for me and I learned so much from him. I took a lot from what Bill taught me into my own management career. “Things like if you treat people the right way and give them the chance to flourish then you will get the best out of them. “Bill was unique and the man meant everything to me.”
“The Kop’s exclusive, an institution, and if you’re a member of the Kop you feel you’re a member of a society, you’ve got thousands of friends around you and they’re united and loyal.”
by DOMINIC KING
F Bill Shankly never made any secret of the esteem in which he held Sir Tom Finney, both as a footballer and gentleman, the feelings are certainly mutual. Shankly, of course, used to drool over the skills which made Finney one of the greatest English players ever and would frequently extol the virtues of a man synonymous with Preston North End. But ask Sir Tom, a colleague of Shankly’s during the latter stages of his playing career at Deepdale, for an appraisal of Glenbuck’s most famous son and you are left in no doubt about his opinion. “Bill was the most unforgettable character that I have ever met in football, a unique man,” Sir Tom declared. “He will always be a god in the eyes of Liverpool supporters and rightly so for what he achieved at the club. His legend will live on and on.” Given he is in the privileged position of having seen Shankly work as a player and a manager, Sir Tom’s stories carry extra credence and it was almost from the time of their first meeting at Deepdale he sensed greatness beckoned for a forwardthinking, passionate individual. “I was an apprentice plumber and joined Preston as a 15-year-old in 1937,” Sir Tom recalled. “Bill was then in his twenties and an established player at the club. He was a good one, too, and went on to play for Scotland. “Like so many professionals of that era, the war took six years out of Bill’s career when he was at his peak. But he was a fine wing-half, as we used to call them, in those days. “He just lived for the game. He was a fitness fanatic. He really looked after himself and didn’t have a lot of time for players who didn’t keep themselves in absolutely pristine condition – these were traits he would take into management. “He had no time for anybody drinking or smoking or anything like that. He just lived for football. His conversation was nothing else but football. It wasn’t that he couldn’t talk about anything else, it’s just that he didn’t want to! “He was so keen it was unbelievable. He was certainly a big influence on my career. Not only could he win the ball but he was also a good passer. It was a great help to me having a player like Bill keeping the supply lines going.” The tales of Shankly describing the star players as being clapped out or nervous wrecks to improve the confidence of his own squad are the stuff of legend but, as Sir Tom reveals, it was the same before he made the transition to the dugout. Such an approach and attitude struck a chord with Sir Tom – who
“The fans here are the greatest in the land. They know the game and they know what they want to see. The people on the Kop make you feel great yet humble.” MUTUAL ADMIRATION: Bill Shankly talks football with Tom Finney and (inset left) Sir Tom in Liverpool to see a Shankly tribute play recently
‘Rightly a god in Reds eyes’
Not surprisingly, Sir Tom followed Shankly’s career closely after he left Deepdale, venturing to Carlisle, Grimsby, Workington and Huddersfield, before he accepted T.V Williams offer to take over at Anfield in the winter of 1959. Though left stunned by his resignation in 1974, Sir Tom was not taken aback that Shankly built up “a bastion of invincibility” and predicts his great friend’s work will span the ages. “Bill’s judgement was spot on and the success he had was incredible,” Sir Tom declared. “Not only did he sign some tremendous players, such as Ian St John, Ron Yeats, Gordon Milne and Peter Thompson, when he arrived he kept his entire backroom staff. “Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan were there but he had weighed up what great assets these men were. He kept them together like a family, which became the strength of the club. “I used to joke with Bill that because of all the nice things he said about me, he should have been my agent! He was a unique person. I’ve never met anyone like him and I’ve absolutely no doubt that the memories of Bill Shankly will never die.”
Sir Tom Finney remembers ‘unique’ friend is now in his 88th year – and the refusal to accept second best would ultimately become the hallmark of Shankly’s two great Anfield teams. “It made a lasting impression on me that while he would discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition, it never bothered him in the slightest going out on to the field,” he said. “As far as Bill was concerned, he was every bit as good as every other fellow! “He never stopped talking through games and, regardless of the score, with Bill you never lost a game until the 90 minutes were up. He was simply never beaten until the final whistle went. He took that attitude into management with him, too.”
Shankly signs off in great style Liverpool 3 Newcastle United 0 – FA Cup final Wembley Stadium – May 4, 1974. Att: 100,000
IN what turned out to be Bill Shankly's final competitive match as Liverpool manager, the Reds turned on a great performance to lift their second FA Cup in the club's history. Liverpool bossed proceedings but had nothing to show
before half-time. Kevin Keegan finally opened the scoring 12 minutes into the second-half with a terrific half-volley before Steve Heighway doubled their advantage on 75 minutes with a rasping shot into the corner of the
Newcastle net. Keegan tapped in a third two minutes from time following an outstanding team move to wrap-up the well-merited victory. LIVERPOOL: Clemence, Smith, Lindsay, Thompson, Cormack, Hughes, Keegan, Hall, Heighway, Toshack, Callaghan. Sub. Lawler.
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Magical memories of a people’s man Tales of the unexpected from fans who met Shankly
BILL SHANKLY and the Liverpool supporters were a match made in heaven. “These are my kind of people,” said Shankly when he breezed into Anfield 50 years ago today. He was their kind of manager, too. Throughout 15 years at the club, Shankly wouldn't think twice about handing out tickets to hard-up fans to ensure they could watch the Reds. He’d spend hours at his typewriter responding to letters from supporters, and his front door was always open to those who came knocking. Tales of Shankly's special bond with the fans are endless, as we found out when we requested your memories of meeting him. Here we include just a few from an incredible response. The rest are online at www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-fc
KNEW Bill Shankly was a boxing fan but it was still a surprise when he turned up to one of our shows. It was November 1977 and, as a coach with Kirkby ABC, I was with some of our kids boxing at the old Aintree Institute. I was sat on the balcony as one of our best lads, Paul Hodkinson, was starting his bout. Paul, of course latera British, European and WBC world featherweight champion, was only an 11-year-old kid starting out. As I'm watching him take this kid on, a man came and sat next to me. I didn't pay much attention until he started saying how good Paul was. “That's a good 'un,” he said. “The
boy's got bags of talent.” I knew the voice. It was Shankly. I couldn't believe it. Being a massive Liverpool fan and knowing 'Hoko' was too, I went to get his medical card which Shankly duly signed. He had come over on his own, with no airs or graces about him; he'd even paid to get in. His interest in boxing was fantastic and, as we talked, I could see exactly how his enthusiasm was passed on to so many people.
John Lloyd, Aughton
I WAS away in the army when Bill Shankly came to Liverpool but was intrigued by all the stories. Just before I was discharged home I broke my leg playing football. I couldn't believe it. One of my mates had got us Kop tickets for Shankly's first Merseyside derby and here I am with a broken leg. The Kop was out of the question. I decided to write to Shankly to see if there was any chance of
swopping the tickets for a pair in the stand. A few days later two tickets arrived in the post. He even put me by an aisle so I could stick my broken leg out! My dad told me to send a postal order back to make up the difference, which I did. I got a reply from Shankly returning it with a note saying 'Have a pint on the way to the match son.' Everything I'd heard about him was true. It summed the man up. Jack Elliott (71), Aintree MY niece, Valerie, was a high-jumper for Great Britain in 1974 and was trialling to get to the Commonwealth Games in New Zealand when an ankle injury threatened to ruin her chances. Me and my brother decided to contact Mr Shankly to see if there was anything Liverpool could do for her. Sure enough, we got summoned to Anfield where Shankly met us with Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan. Paisley and Fagan took Valerie off to treat her while Shanks gave her a lecture on the virtues of looking after herself, keeping a healthy mind and body. Whatever they did, it worked. Valerie was delighted. Shankly was tremendous and gave her the hope to carry on.
Bernard Harrison, Maghull
I WAS 13 andwe were watching the players at Melwood while the managers were sitting on a bench by this old wooden hut. Next thing, Tony Hateley has hit a wayward shot that a struck my head. It knocked me out cold and I had to be carried round to the hut to get treatment. Bill Shankly broke off from
“To the many thousands who come here to worship, Anfield isn't a football ground, it's a sort of shrine. These people are not simply fans, they're more like members of one extended family.” training to come and see how I was. I remember him coming in with a huge, steaming cup of tea. 'There you go, son. Get that down yer,' he said and then sat talking to me. From being all over the place I soon came round and went home feeling great.
Jim Woods, Liverpool
Shankly’s story by the man himself... IN 1976, Bill Shankly’s one and only autobiography went on sale to great acclaim and so to mark the 50th anniversary of his arrival at Anfield the book has now been republished. This exclusive extract reveals his feelings after they won the FA Cup in 1965 and he talks about the two famous Inter games:
THOUGHT we should have been the first English club to win the European Cup. We were good enough to beat Anderlecht home and away and we had got through against Cologne on the toss of a coin, after the third game between us had been drawn 2-2 in Rotterdam following scoreless draws on our ground and theirs. And we had gone from there to reach Wembley by beating Chelsea and had won the FA Cup. Three days after Wembley we thrashed Inter Milan, who were the champions of the world, 3-1 at Anfield in the semi-final of the European Cup. We were without Gerry Byrne as well as Gordon Milne that night, but though they were missing from the team because of injuries, they still played their part. I asked Milan to go out early, but they kept hanging around the dressing room. I said, “It’s time to go now”, and eventually they made a move and went out on to the pitch. That’s just what I wanted, psychologically, because I then sent out Gordon and Gerry with the FA Cup, followed by the team. Dear God, what an eruption there was when our supporters caught sight of that cup. The noise was unbelievable. The people were hysterical. Herrera had been over two or three times to see us, but he had not seen us play the way we did that night and he gave us credit for it afterwards. “We have been beaten before,” he said, “but tonight we were defeated.” Milan were technically sound, but we beat them. Roger Hunt hit the ball when he was about four feet in the air to score one of the goals. He hooked it and slashed it into the net. “That was not a British goal,” Herrera said. “It was a continental goal.” But the second leg of the semi-final was not a game, it was a war. We stayed at Lake Como, and we had trouble with the church bells. It wasn’t so bad until about 11
BILL SHANKLY: MY STORY is priced £16.99 and available online at: www.merseyshop.com or call 0845 143 0001
“This is the greatest night in Liverpool's history. This is the result of planning, of simplicity, of how to play the game in a simple manner. I think the whole world realises that it's the way to play.”
LEGEND: Roger Hunt on the attack against Inter Milan 1965 European Cup semi-final
Republished biography is packed with classic tales
o’clock at night, when the noise of the day had ceased and there was nothing to hear but the bells. One in particular was like doomsday. Bob Paisley and I went to see the Monsignor about it. We tried to get him to stop the bells ringing for the night so the players could sleep. “It’s not very fair,” I said to him through the interpreter. “We didn’t know about this noise and we’ve come here on the eve of the most important match in the world this year, Inter Milan versus Liverpool.” That was right, because if we had won it, we would have won the
European Cup. He was sympathetic towards us, but he said he could not do what we asked. So I said, “Well, could you let Bob here go up and put a bandage on them and maybe kind of dull them a bit?” Crepe bandages and cotton wool! Bob was killing himself laughing. That would have been one of the funniest things Bob had ever done, one of his greatest cures as a trainer, creeping up the aisle with cotton wool and bandages! But we just had to put up with the noise. There was no joy at the match in Milan’s San Siro stadium. The Milan supporters had been told the fans at Anfield had been like animals because of the noise they had made when Milan had been
sent out first and we then brought out the FA Cup. But what did they expect? We had got the cup for the first time and it was the greatest night of their lives. The crowd in the San Siro was really hostile. They even had smoke bombs, purple things in jars that went up in smoke when they burst. One of these landed on the steps and Bob Paisley’s clothes were covered in the stuff. Inter beat us 3-0 but not even their players enjoyed the game, and we didn’t think two of the goals were legal. They put an indirect free-kick straight into the net for the first, and the ball was kicked out of Tommy Lawrence’s hand for the second. Afterwards, the people were
sweeping the streets with enormous flags and I said to our players, “All right, we’ve lost, but see what you have done. Inter Milan are the unofficial champions of the world and all these people are going mad because they are so pleased that they have beaten Liverpool. That’s the standard you have raised yourselves up to.” The following season, 1965/66, we won the League championship again and reached the final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup, beating Juventus, Standard-Liège, Honved, and Celtic in the semi-finals. We ended the season at Hampden Park in May in the final against Borussia Dortmund. It was a wet night and I felt the Germans were a little bit wary of us and afraid of the reputations of the Scottish and Liverpool supporters. But they beat us 2-1 in extra-time and, having already won the league, that was a big disappointment for us. It would have been nice to have won a trophy back home in Scotland on top of everything else. To offset losing that final, we had the championship, which put us into the European Cup again in 1966/67. Petrolul Ploiesti, of Romania, took us to three matches in the first round, but we beat them 2-0 in the play-off in Brussels. Then we came up against Ajax. Ajax had the makings of a team then, but they were not yet the great team that they later became. We played them first in Amsterdam, but the match should never have started. The fog was terrible. We were due to play Manchester United at Old Trafford the following Saturday, and that was a vital game for us. We didn’t want to be delayed in Amsterdam, playing on Thursday and not returning home until the Friday. But it was not our decision to go ahead with the match. Leo Horne, the observer for UEFA, European football headquarters, was responsible for that. The referee, an Italian, said, “If we can see from goal to goal, OK. If not, no game.” Leo Horne said, “No. In Holland, if we can see from half-way line to goal, we play.” We were 2-0 down and Willie Stevenson and Geoff Strong started raiding. They were stung and went mad and tried to retrieve the game. So I went onto the pitch while the game was in progress and was walking about in the fog, and I said to Willie and Geoff, “Christ, this is only the first game. There’s another bloody game at Liverpool, so we don’t go and give away any more goals. Let’s get beat 2-0. We are not going too bad. Take it easy.” I walked on to the pitch, talked to the players, and walked off again – and the referee never saw me!
17-18 December @ BT Convention Centre (0844 8000 400)
Win a copy of Shankly book
Liverpool 3 Inter Milan 1 European Cup Semi-Final, First-Leg. Anfield – May 4, 1965. Att: 54,082
FLIGHT OF FANCY: Liverpool’s players and management prepare to fly from London airport to Milan for the second leg of the European Cup semi-final in 1965
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Create a unique gift this Christmas on prints, canvas, mugs, keyrings and much more...
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Bill Shankly The Forgotten Tapes CD book featuring interviews he gave for his autobigraphy £1.00 p&p (UK)
Shankly - My Story
PLUS: FREE 50 Years of Shankly worth £3.99. Glossy souvenir of the man who made the people happy
LIVERPOOL: Lawrence, Lawler, Moran, Strong, Yeats, Stevenson, Callaghan, Hunt, St John, Smith, Thompson.
The book they tried to ban 16.99 £ is back!
IN what many Liverpool supporters of a certain vintage believe, this performance by the Reds was never bettered in the club's history. Against the all-powerful Italians and in front of a packed house celebrating the team's first-ever FA Cup win just days before, the Reds established what they hoped would be an unassailable first-leg lead to take them through to their first European final. Roger Hunt scored after just four minutes and although Sandro Mazzola pounced to net an equaliser for Inter five minutes later, Liverpool had re-established their lead by half-time through a brilliantly-worked free-kick finished off by Ian Callaghan into the Anfield Road End goal. An Ian St John strike 15 minutes from time made it 3-1 on the night. However, Inter won the return leg in Milan in high-controversial circumstances 3-0 to dump Bill Shankly's team out.
Shankly Prints Sa ve
WE have five copies of ‘Shankly: My Story’ to be won, while you will also receive a copy of ‘Shankly: The Forgotten Tapes’. Hear the legend and be inspired again, with the accompanying CD book of Shankly telling his story. To enter simply answer the following question correctly: ● Bill Shankly was born in which remote Scottish village? To enter simply email your answer along with your name, address and telephone number to firstname.lastname@example.org or via the post to the usual address by 5pm Friday. Five winners will be selected at random and prize will have to be collected from the ECHO offices on Old Hall Street, Liverpool city centre. Normal ECHO competition rules apply and the sports editors decision is final.
Reds destroy might of Inter
£14.99 Secret Diary of a Liverpool Scout Stories behind the signings that shaped football history. The diary of former Reds chief scout Geoff Twentyman published for the first time. Free p&p (UK)
£99.99 Shankly Statue Bill Shankly bronze statue by respected sculptor Tom Murphy. Plus p&p (UK)
Offer ends 24/12/2009. While Stocks last. UK orders received by 12 noon Friday 18th December will be despatched in time for Christmas (subject to Royal Mail 1st Class). Overseas prices available on request.
The day I begged Shankly not to go
Fan’s tears that spoke for all EXCLUSIVE by DAVID RANDLES
F a picture says a thousand words, this one spoke on behalf of hundreds of thousands of Liverpool supporters. This is the moment when Reds fan, Arthur Milton, shared an emotional embrace with Bill Shankly to plead with him to reconsider his decision to quit Anfield. The now iconic image of Milton and Shankly was captured by Echo photographer, Stephen Shakeshaft, at Wembley following the 1974 Charity Shield against Leeds. A 1-1 draw that saw both Billy Bremner and Kevin Keegan sent off before Liverpool won 6-5 on penalties dominated the headlines after the fiery encounter. It is this photograph that has stood the test of time, however. “The expression on my face is clear,” says Milton. “I loved that man from the bottom of my heart. “I thought so much of him to run on to the pitch and hug him like that. Those are real tears.” A couple of pre-match jars in the Torch pub on Wembley Way helped soften him up. Otherwise, it was a spontaneous act of heart ruling head as the distraught Kopite tried to persuade Shanks to stay. “Although I was devastated when Shankly announced his retirement, I had no intention of going on the pitch like that,” recalls Milton from his home in Dongen, Holland, where he’s lived for over 30 years. “I remember seeing him coming round the pitch, waving to the fans at the end of the game. That was it. I don't know what came over me. The next thing I knew I was on the pitch with my arms around him saying 'don't go Billy. Please, don't go!'’ Don't worry, lad,' he said to me. 'I'm still in Liverpool.”
PLEASE DON’T GO: Milton hugs Shankly (above) and (left) with his pals at Melwood before the 1974 FA Cup final win over Newcastle
Milton was 28, a full-bearded man reduced to tears before a 67,000 Wembley crowd. What made the scene even more striking was his off-the-wall outfit. With white jumpsuits 'borrowed' from the Thorns Colour Tubes factory in Skelmersdale where he was employed at the time, Milton and a couple of fellow Reds, Ray Buck and Harry Thomas, set about designing their special Reds regalia, complete with home-made top hats. The unique get-up ensured they stood out in a crowd and would grab Shankly's attention again. “We wore the overalls for his testimonial later that season,” says
Milton. “This time we had a banner which Ray had called 'The Road To Glory'. It had everything Shankly had won on it. We usually went on the Kop but could only get tickets in the corner of the Kemlyn Road that day. As he passed he looked up and spotted us. “Shankly stopped and signalled to us 'you three, players lounge afterwards.' We went to the players entrance where, sure enough, he welcomed us into the after party. It was unbelievable. There were all sorts of people in there, players and officials, but he stood there with us for a good half hour talking football.”
Now 63, Milton attended his first match as a wide-eyed four year old, perched on his father's shoulders. In an instant, he'd caught the Anfield bug. By the time he was 12, Liverpool were treading water in the old Second Division. Devoid of inspiration or the finance to do much about it, the club was going nowhere fast. Then it happened. Shankly was appointed manager and the rest, recalls Milton, is history. “I remember thinking will we ever get out of this division? When Shankly arrived I knew almost immediately that we would. “It only took a few games before we were all singing 'You'll Never Walk Alone'. Anfield was electric with the energy this new manager had brought to the place. “We just had a feeling something special was going to happen. The whole place would be singing from the first whistle to the last, songs like the Beatles', She Loves You.
That's how happy we were. “From day one you'd always see Shankly stood outside the ground, talking to the fans, assuring us that Liverpool were going places. “He was always 100 per cent like that. You need that from a manager. Paisley and Fagan weren't as mad as Billy but they were the same type of people. That's why the success continued after he left.” The legend of Bill Shankly lives on in the Milton household. Memories of traipsing to Anfield from his home on Scotland Road and later Fazakerley, to join the red revolution have been passed to his Liverpool-mad children and grandchildren. “When people ask what Shankly meant to me I simply tell them to look at the foot of his statue outside the Kop. “He made the people happy. He loved us and we loved him. That photograph at Wembley isn't just me. It's 26,000 Kopites. I just managed to get close enough to say what we all wanted say.”
“The word 'fantastic' has been used many times, so I would have to invent another word to fully describe the Anfield spectators. It is more than fanaticism, it's a religion.”
17-18 December @ BT Convention Centre (0844 8000 400)
The legend and the legacy A
HOME: Bill Shankly on the Kop, August 21 1964
Reds spot-on in last lead-out
Liverpool 1 Leeds Utd 1 (Liverpool win 6-5 on pens) FA Charity Shield Wembley Stadium – August 10, 1974. Att: 67,000
HAVING shocked the football world with his decision to leave the manager's job at Liverpool barely a month before, Bill Shankly agreed to lead-out Liverpool at Wembley for the fourth and final time in his career. The game itself was certainly not one to grace the start of the season as the Reds' Kevin Keegan and Leeds' Billy Bremner were sent-off for fighting in the second-half. A Phil Boersma goal on 19
minutes was cancelled out by Trevor Cherry's effort 20 minutes from time. The game was ultimately decided by a penalty shoot-out, and it was the Reds who triumphed as Alec Lindsay, Emlyn Hughes, Brian Hall, Tommy Smith, Peter Cormack and Ian Callaghan all found the net while Leeds goalkeeper David Harvey missed his team's crucial kick.
LIVERPOOL: Clemence, Smith, Lindsay, Thompson, Cormack, Hughes, Keegan, Hall, Heighway, Callaghan, Boersma.
BOVE all, I would like to be remembered as a man who was selfless, who strove and worried so that others could share the glory, in Liverpool's ailing fortunes, transforming and who built up a family of the club from Second Division also-rans to people who could hold their heads up high champions of England inside five years. and say 'We are Liverpool’. Following promotion to the First Division These are the words of Bill Shankly in only his second full season in charge, spoken some years after he left the Shankly went on to win three more league manager's office at Anfield. titles, two FA Cups and the UEFA Cup The fact that they before announcing are the first thing you his shock retirement see when you enter in 1974. the modern day Meanwhile, the Melwood would foundations had been suggest he ticked all laid for Liverpool to of the boxes and more. become the most They are successful club at emblazoned across a home and abroad for wall in the reception years to come. next to a bronze bust More than all of of the legendary Reds this, however, he left boss; a permanent an indelible mark on reminder to those who the supporters that follow in his wake of would stand the test exactly what it means of time. to be bestowed with Born and bred in the honour of THE END: Shankly quits Anfield in 1974 the rugged Scottish representing mining town of Liverpool Glenbuck, Shankly was steeped in the Football Club. working class traditions of honest, hard While the state of the art work. He recognised a familiar ethic of training complex is socialism in the waiting Liverpool public of unrecognisable to the whom he boldly proclaimed 'these are my ram-shackle facilities kind of people'. Shankly adopted on his Almost overnight he became their kind of arrival 50 years ago, the manager. ethos within the club still One of the first tasks Shankly undertook lends as Liverpool manager was to get among the from much of what he believed. fans, meeting them in person to find out Humility, honour, candour and valour are their hopes and aspirations for the club. just a handful of words to describe what It was more than just lip-service. Shankly instilled in his players. The Throughout his 15 years at Anfield, over-riding quality he delivered to everyone Shankly maintained an extraordinary associated with the club was pride. rapport with those who followed his team. From day one Shankly immersed himself From handing out tickets to hard-up fans, to welcoming them into his home, Shankly went to great lengths to make the people happy. Never before and rarely - if ever - since has a football manager established a relationship with a club's supporters like the one enjoyed by the Scot at Liverpool. Adulation is typically the premise of fans, reserved for their heroes; the players who represent their club and the managers who lead them. With Shankly, the feeling was mutual. He respected and adored those who felt the same way about him. Five decades after his arrival, the 'family of people' he spoke of are revered the world over. Through good times and bad they have continued to hold their heads up high and say 'we are Liverpool.' That is why his legacy is about so much more than simply success on the pitch. And that is why people will still be paying tribute to Bill Shankly fifty years from now.
“I was the best manager in Britain because I was never devious or cheated anyone. I’d break my wife’s legs if I played against her, but I’d never cheat her.”
by DAVID RANDLES
50 years since his arrival at Anfield
‘He made the
people happy. . .’