One story concerns a young player who Shankly had hopes would one day replace Ian Callaghan. The only problem was that the youngster was a bit on the thin side. Shankly, Fagan and Paisley decided that the lad needed a diet of steak. Paisley was given the job of ensuring that steak was delivered to the lads family every day.
The diet of steak continued through the end of the season and all through the summer. On the first day of pre season training the lad knocked on Shankly's door.
'Jesus Christ, son, you look like physical poetry. You're muscular. Those steaks have worked a treat' said Shankly.
The young boy tried to explain that he wanted to speak to Shanks because he had a bit of a problem. He wanted a week off because he had a few things to sort out because he had got a girl pregnant.
Shankly darted to the door of his office and shouted down the corridor,
'Joe, Bob, come here, quickly! We've created a bleeding monster!!!!'
When he was surrounded by a group of Italian journalists at an airport Shankly told the interpreter,
'Just tell them that I totally disagree with whatever theyre saying.'
After signing The imposing figure of Ron Yeats.
'With him in defence we could play Arthur Askey in goal.'
Shankly talking to Tommy Docherty who had sold Shanks Tony Hateley for £96,000 in 1967. Shankly sold the player on to Coventry.
'Youve got to admit though Bill he was good in the air,' said Docherty.
'Aye, so was Douglas Bader............and he had a wooden leg,' was Shanklys instant reply.
When Shankly met former Liverpool centre forward Albert Stubbins by chance at a railway station, the pair had not seen each other for nearly 20 years. Shankly had no times for hellos or small talk though.
'Hello Albert. If the opposing centre half moves up into attack do you think your centre forward should go with him?'
Everton had just signed Alan Ball so Shankly decided to welcome him by phoning him.
'Congratulations on your move son. You'll be playing near a great side.'
In the Liverpool team hotel two old ladies were watching Coronation Street as Bill and the team walked into the television lounge.
'You dont mind if I turn the tv over so we can watch the boxing do you ladies?'
The old dears protested that they did mind because they never missed Coronation Street and they had been there first.
'Tell yer what I'll do,' said Shankly looking at the lads in the Liverpool team and then looking at the old ladies. 'Im a democrat. Hands up in this room who wants to watch the boxing'.
Liverpool were in the dressing room prior to an away game at West Ham. Shankly told his players, 'Theres nothing for you to beat today. Ive been watching the West Ham players come in. That Bobby Moore can hardly walk and Geoff Hurst looks ill to me. I dont want you to be too cruel to them though so I want you to stop when youve scored 5.'
Early in the second half it was 5-0 to Liverpool. Peter Thompson ran past the dug out and shouted to Shankly, 'Shall we put the shutters up now that weve got 5?'
Shankly shook his head and called out
'No. Humiliate the bastards!!!'
In Bucharest before an away European tie Shankly was raging because the hotel had no Coca-Cola for his players. 'Its a conspiracy. A war of nerves.'
Shanklys opinion on Brian Clough
'Hes worse than the rain in Manchester. At least that stops occasionally.'
Shankly talking about the effect off The Kop on the opposition
'When theres a corner down at the Kop end, they scare the ball'.
During Shanklys playing days he was asked if it was true that he would tackle his own grandmother
'Dont be stupid,' Shankly retorted, 'She would have more sense than to come anywhere near me.'
Shanklys appraisal of a defender who played against Liverpool in the early 70's.
'If he had gunpowder for brains he couldnt blow his cap off'.
When a newspaper sportswriter suggested to Shankly that Liverpool were suffering a dip in form Shankly retorted 'Aye, youre right. We're struggling at the top of the league.'
Shankly on Tom Finney.
'He was a ghost of a player, but very strong. He could have played all day in his overcoat.'
Shanks gives his opinion on referees.
'They know the rules, but they dont know the game.'
Inspecting the grass with the players at Anfield.
'See this grass boys. its amazing. Its green, professional grass.'
His reply when he was asked if he had a good Christmas.
'Aye, not bad. We got 4 points out of 6.'
After Don Revie had been appointed England manager.
'Christ, hes only 48 and hes gone into semi retirement already.'
Shankly speaking to a crowd of close on 100,000 outside St Georges Hall after Liverpool had won the FA Cup in 1974. 'Since Ive come to Anfield Ive drummed it into my players time and time again that it is a privilege to play for you people. If they didnt believe me then they do now. Ive drummed into them that they must be loyal and they must never cheat you, the public. The Kop is exclusive, an institution, and if you are a member of the Kop you feel like you are a member of a society. Youve got thousands of friends around you and they are all united and loyal.'
When travelling in a car with Frank Worthington they passed Goodison Park. Worthington was nearly signed by LFC but failed the medical. Shankly pointed a finger at Goodison.
'Take no notice of that laddie. Theres only 2 teams in Liverpool. Liverpool and Liverpool reserves.'
Shanklys assessment of Bayern Munich before a Cup Winners Cup tie. He told his players that
'Bayern Munich arent a football club. Theyre a Christmas Club.'
As Shankly was driving home from Blackpool after signing a young Emlyn Hughes he was stopped by the police. 'Do you know who you are talking to?' Shankly shouted at the police officer.
'Yes its Mr Shankly isnt it?' Replied the policeman. 'No, not me, him.' Snapped Shankly pointing to Hughes. 'Dont you recognise him? That lad there is the future captain of England.'
Shankly scorned some of the training methods of other clubs. He was particularly critical of Evertons methods.
'Some people may say that we are lazy, but thats fine. Whats the point of tearing players to pieces? We never bothered with sand dunes and hills and roads. We trained on grass where football is played.'
Having a dig at Don Revie who was well known for his files and dossiers on his opponents.
'Football matches are played on football pitches and not in exercise books.'
About the essential learning process requred for competing in European football.
'All the time we are learning. Taking a particle from here and a bit from there, building ourselves up like a hydrogen bomb.'
Before a game in 1963 against Wolves Shankly told his players
'Remember you are the best. Wolves are just a name, a team of the past. We're the team of the future.'
Shankly was trying to convince Ron Yeats that it would be a good move if he signed for Liverpool from Dundee Utd. Liverpool were still in the 2nd division at the time.
'Where is Liverpool exactly?' said Yeats
'We're in the 1st division son.' said Shankly
'Thats not true.' Yeats retorted
'Ah, but we will be with you in the team.' replied Shanks.
Shankly to defender Peter Wall
'I've had my spies out and I've been told you were in a nightclub until 3 o'clock in the morning. Who do you think you are........Errol Flynn?'
Shankly appearing as a guest on the t.v. show 'This Is Your Life' when Jimmy Tarbuck was the subject of the programme. As he passed the shows host, Eamonn Andrews, he said
'You know, Eamonn, I've been on this show more than you.'
On meeting Tommy Cooper backstage at the London Palladium.
'Bloody 'ell Tommy, what size shoes do you take? I've sailed to Ireland on boats smaller than those.'
When he was in charge at Carlisle United they were 2-0 down at half time in one game. When the players came into the dressing room Shankly vented his anger on his captain Geoff Twentyman.
'What did you call at the toss up?' enquired Shankly
'Heads,' Twentyman replied.
'Jesus Christ laddie,' screamed Shankly. 'Never call heads'.
Shankly decided to put the record straight concerning the false story that he took his wife Nessie to watch Accrington Stanley on their wedding anniversary.
'Do you really think I would have got married during the football season?' Shankly blasted. 'I'll tell you the truth about that. It was her birthday and we went to watch Tranmere Rovers'.
A journalist once shouted to Shankly after a Saturday game that both Manchester United and Manchester City had lost. 'Theyre bottom and next to bottom in the league.' said the journalist.
'Aye,' laughed Shankly, 'and theyll take some bloody shifting.'
A journalist once commented to Shankly that Tony Currie reminded him of the great Tom Finney.
'Aye, yer could be right,' agreed Shanks. 'Mind you, Toms 57.'
In 1973 the Daily Express newspaper ran a computer international match between the present England team and an England team of old. The computer generated match report appeared in the newspaper. Part of it reported that Tom Finney had to be stretchered off the field after a tackle by Liverpools Emlyn Hughes. According to Shankly, Finney was the greatest player he had ever seen.
When the Liverpool players reported for training Shankly burst into the changing rooms and threw a copy of the paper at Emlyn Hughes. 'Listen son,' Shankly shouted. 'If you ever touch Tom Finney again I'll kick you up the arse.'
Shankly to Radio Merseyside journalist Bob Azurdia.
'Do yer know something, Azurdia? I've been asked a million stupid questions in my time and you've asked all of them.'
After Shankly rubbished Anderlecht before a European Cup tie in 1964 Liverpool won 3-0. As his players returned to the dressing room Shankly beamed
'Congratulations lads. Youve just beaten one of the best teams in Europe.'
After failing to sign Lou Macari who signed for Manchester United instead.
'It doesnt matter. I only wanted him for the reserves.'
'If Everton were playing at the bottom of my garden I'd close the curtains.'
Phil Thompson had been left out of the team. Liverpool had just lost 2-0 and Thompson went to tell Shankly how disappointed he was to be left out of the team. Shankly replied
'Disappointed son? You should be grateful that I left you out of a team that played so badly. You should be thanking me.'
Shankly hated players being injured. Chris Lawler was in the Anfield treatment room after making 241 consecutive appearances for Liverpool between October 1965 and April 1971. Paisley told Shankly that there was no way that Lawler could play in the next game because his ankle had swollen up like a balloon.
'Hes a bloody malingerer,' snapped Shankly angrily.
Tommy Smith was injured and had to go off during a game. Shankly ran over to see how he was.
'Are yer alright son?' Shankly inquired.
'Its my leg boss. Its killing me.' was Smiths reply.
'Correction son,' Shankly said. 'Its not your leg, its Liverpools leg.'
Shanklys appraisal of one aspiring youngster. 'The trouble with you son is that your brains are all in your head.'
When it was pointed out to Shankly that he had put Anfield as his address when he signed a hotel guestbook he replied 'Thats right. Thats where I live.'
Shankly to over 100,000 people outside St Georges Hall when they won the FA Cup in 1974.
'Even Chairman Mao has never seen a greater show of red strength than this.'
Shankly hated to lose. Even when he was playing 5 a side at training his team were not allowed to lose. One day his side were losing and it was starting to go dark. One of his team shot and Shankly screamed goal!!!! 'Thats 2-2 lets call it a day.' The other team though insisted that the ball had not crossed the line and a row developed. 'OK!!! I know how to settle this.' said Shankly. He went to Chris Lawler who was nicknamed Silent Knight by the other players because he hardly said anything and never argued with anybody.
'Youre an honest man Chris,' said Shanks. 'Was it a goal or not?'
Lawler replied that the ball had not crossed the line.
'Jesus Christ!!' said Shankly,angrily. 'You dont open your mouth for 5 years and when you do its a bloody lie!!!'
Shankly giving new signing Alec Lindsay instructions about his role as a Liverpool player.
'Listen son. I want you to take men on, go past them and lash in those shots that brought you the goals when you were playing at Gigg Lane'. 'But that wasnt me boss. That was Jim Kerr.' protested Lindsay.
'Jesus Christ, Bob.' said Shankly to Paisley. 'Weve signed the wrong bloody player.'
Shankly met the Everton player Terry Darracott by chance one day. Shankly asked him how he was. Darracott said he was fine and that he had no problems. 'No problems?' rapped Shankly. 'Ive got problems, youve got problems. When you havent got a problem, thats the problem.'
Shankly was asked which part of the game he disliked 'The end of the season.' was the reply.
After losing the first 3 home games of the 1963/64 season he told the Liverpool directors
'Gentleman I assure you. We will win a home game this season.'
Shankly went for a haircut in 1963. The barber asked him if he wanted anything off the top.
'Aye, Everton.' he replied.
Shankly talking to Tottenham manager Bill Nicholson the day after a Liverpool defeat.
'I see you got beat 2-0 yesterday.' said Nicholson. 'No, no.' replied Shanks. 'We murdered them. We were all over them. They never got a shot in. Their first goal wasnt a goal at all, and the second, well you've never seen anything like it.'
Peter Thompson was called into Shanklys office after a series of bad results.
'You've been smoking youself to death son.' said Shankly 'I dont smoke.' protested Thompson.
'You've been on the town with women in nightclubs. Every night youve got a different woman.' Shanks continued.
'But I havent been doing that boss.' pleaded Thompson. 'Youre drinking yourself to death. Ive heard from my spies in town that you are practically an alcoholic.' said Shankly. 'Boss, I havent done any of those things that youve said.' insisted Thompson. 'Well son. The way you are playing at the moment you must be doing all those things and plenty of other things I havent found out about yet.' concluded Shankly.
To a policeman who had kicked a Liverpool scarf off the pitch at Anfield when Shanks was participating in a victory lap of honour. 'Dont do that. That scarf is somebody's life.' He then tied the scarf around his neck.
When asked how he would like to be remembered he said,
I'd like to be remembered for being basically honest in a game in which it is sometimes difficult to be honest. Sometimes youve got to tell a little white lie to get over a little troublesome period of time.
I'd like to think that I have put more into the game than I have taken out: and I havent cheated anybody, that Ive worked for people honestly all along the line. For the people of Liverpool who go to Anfield, I'd like to be recognised for trying to give them entertainment. I'd played at Anfield and I knew that the crowd were fantastic. I knew there was a public just waiting. So I fought the battles inside and outside. I was interested in only one thing, success for the club. That would mean success for the people. I wanted results for the club, for the love of the game, to make the people happy.'