Author Topic: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book  (Read 44030 times)

Offline Coveredin_brandybutter

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #160 on: November 13, 2009, 03:56:46 AM »
Excellent reading, what a man Shankly was...
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Offline nyctex

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #161 on: November 13, 2009, 04:16:42 AM »
Nothing written by anyone can boost Shankly, but those anecdotes boost Best in my eyes.  Granted the world then was a little crass, but George Best obviously respected Shankly - not just as a footballer, but as a person.  A man. 

 

« Last Edit: November 13, 2009, 04:53:43 AM by nyctex »

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #162 on: November 13, 2009, 04:28:22 AM »
Great read.  Thanks for going to the trouble of typing that lot out.

Offline LiverBirdKop

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #163 on: November 13, 2009, 05:48:40 AM »
Hahaha. That was brilliant. Thanks for taking the time to type that. cheers.

Offline IfOnlyYouKnew

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #164 on: November 13, 2009, 10:47:33 AM »
Class!

From the days when the 'best man' won, not the 'richest man'!!

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #165 on: November 13, 2009, 10:51:51 AM »
Nothing written by anyone can boost Shankly, but those anecdotes boost Best in my eyes.  Granted the world then was a little crass, but George Best obviously respected Shankly - not just as a footballer, but as a person.  A man. 

I agree.
Though when did you ever hear of anyone saying they didn't like Shankly, or Paisley and Fagan for that matter.
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Offline Peeker

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #166 on: November 13, 2009, 11:09:16 AM »
A quality story that shows just how good a manager SHanks was. It also shows the respect Best had for Liverpool, despite his Man Utd connections. It also shows how good Shankly knew Best was. My dad says he is the finest footballer the British Isles has ever produced, and its difficult to disagree.

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #167 on: November 13, 2009, 11:43:21 AM »
My dad says he is the finest footballer the British Isles has ever produced, and its difficult to disagree.

Don't know about that mate.......Steve Peplow took some beating!
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Offline Timbo's Goals

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #168 on: November 13, 2009, 12:09:22 PM »
Stussy’s post regarding our DNA being formed by our relationship with Shanks was terrific.

It took me back to the passage at the very end of the Communion chapter in Faith of our Fathers where Alan Edge sums up what Shanks meant to him.

I’ve gone to the trouble of writing it up as it seems so relevant to what Stussy was saying about how what Shanks meant to us still runs through us and I don’t think anyone has ever captured more closely what Shanks meant to us than Alan did in that chapter of his book.

And as you look back – with an obligatory wry smile of course – you realise that all the time Shanks had known what he was doing with us. All along he had been dealing in the purest of emotions. Ours. And his, too. Raw and undiluted. From the very start it had been him who’d been in the driving seat, offering us the bait of glory on the condition we could wring each other’s passions dry.

From our vantage point in the Kop, it was the best deal anyone could have offered us. Not surprisingly we bit his hand off. We became the willing participants in the destiny he was conjuring. We had to be. Otherwise the whole
thing wouldn’t have worked. True, there was a hint of emotional blackmail involved. But so what! Selling our souls to Shanks was small beer compared to the rewards that might lie in store for us. Besides, ours had been a love at first sight. A true undying love, borne of implicit trust where we had each given ourselves to the other. Completely. There hadn’t really been a decision to make on either side. It had already been made somewhere else by someone with a far greater appreciation of such things than we or even Shanks could ever have been aware of.

And even now, sixteen years after his death, whenever I think of the man and I picture his wonderful uncompromising craggy face, that blunted nose and lilting half smile, the shorn hair and shining mischievous eyes and I imagine the unique vibrancy of how he spoke, the utter self belief and conviction and sincerity that underpinned everything he said, whether inspirational, flawed or simply outrageous, I cannot do so without a heavy tug on the heart strings and a glistening in the eyes, a resurrection of the emotions he stirred so deeply all those years ago. And though a rational part of me knows it shouldn’t really be like that, since like so many of us the nearest I ever got to meeting him was from my vantage point on the terraces of the Kop, the fact is it is akin to when I think fondly of my own parents and loved ones now also sadly gone.

In fact, to tell the truth, it’s a bit like that final scene in the movie ‘Shenandoah’ where James Stewart’s youngest boy hobbles down the aisle of the church on crutches after everyone had thought he was dead and, no matter how hard you try to fight it, the tears still well up and you have to bite hard on your lip so you don’t look daft. Just like James Stewart himself. That was Shanks though; a writer of one of life’s original scripts of which we were all privileged to have been a part.

No wonder we’re all such an emotional lot.


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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #169 on: November 13, 2009, 12:29:00 PM »
Derren Brown to succeed Rafa?

No, but...that would make an excellent challenge and TV programme.
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Offline 4pool

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #170 on: November 13, 2009, 03:20:48 PM »
Still timeless his quotes and sayings.

One of a kind doesn't do Shanks justice.
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Offline Shreddy

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #171 on: November 13, 2009, 06:35:30 PM »
Not sure how many of you have read the book 'The Best of Times', but apparently it's a pretty old book, published back in 1994. But because it's a non-Liverpool book, I would think not many would have read it... I found this book in the library yesterday, and I don't know why, somehow I actually flipped through the pages and found this chapter titled "Shanks".

There were some priceless stories in this chapter about Shanks, so eventually I borrowed the book, and thought I'd share it with you guys...

This might be long, because I typed the entire chapter out!

But it's worth a read, if you all haven't heard the stories before. And if you've the time...

I confess I don't know much about Best and Shankly because I'm not that old, but I do know both of them were legends for their respective clubs. And the stories I've heard about Shankly have always been nothing short of amazing...

Ok here goes:
------------------------------------------------------------------
Apart from the derby matches against Manchester City the really important game of the season for me was against Liverpool. I was always one for the big occasion and they didn't come much bigger in the domestic football calendar than United against Liverpool.

For a start, you had two of the greatest post-war managers of British football pitting their wits against each other. Matt Busby and Bill Shankly both achieved a rare status reserved for the truly great by becoming legends in their own time. They were both great motivators and had that rarest of ability to spot talent. It was Shankly who spotted the potential of Ray Clemence and Kevin Keegan when they were playing Fourth Division football with Scunthorpe United. It was Matt Busby who thrust me into the United first team just after my seventeenth birthday and who signed a scrawny kid with terrible eyesight called Norbert Stiles.

It was a clash of the Titans every time the two clubs met. At United we could boast a team bristling with internationals. Likewise Liverpool. In the mid-sixties their players were household names: Ian St John, Chris Lawler, Ron Yeats, Ian Callaghan, Peter Thompson, Tony Hateley and Roger Hunt, who was a member of England's World Cup-winning team of 1966. The atmosphere when the teams met was electric. When the Liverpool Kop sang 'You'll Never Walk Alone', I'd look up from the pitch and see them swaying in time to their singing, which had the force and emotion of a massed cathedral choir.

Bill Shankly, like Matt Busby, was a canny Scot who was never lost for words. I liked him a great deal and I know he liked me. I respected his knowledge of the game and loved his keen wit, which was as sharp as legend has it. It was Shanks who, on hearing Denis Law remark that he enjoyed coming to Anfield because 'you always get a lovely cup of tea', turned to Denis and said, 'Aye, Denis son, but that's all you'll get when you come here. A cup of tea!'

After a game against Liverpool at Old Trafford in 1965, Shanks asked how I was coping with life. I was only nineteen at the time. I said things were fine with First Division football, but I was unsure about how to handle the constant media attention.

'Fame, son,' Shanks told me, 'is the price you pay for doing your job well.'

A few years later I was to understand the full implications of his words. It seemed every time I met Shanks he would come out with at least one piece of worldly wisdom or humour. When I was about to renegotiate a contract at Old Trafford and intimated that I would be looking for a considerable rise in basic pay, Shanks gave me a long hard look. 'George, son, some advice,' he said. 'Don't be too demanding, because it's a sad fact of life that genius is born and not paid.'

He went on to tell me the story of the Liverpool full back Gerry Byrne, who, having won a place in the England team, felt he was worth considerably more than his new contract was offering. However, the way Shanks saw it, Gerry was paid for what he did for Liverpool. The fact that he had made the England team had nothing to do with what he was paid at Anfield and therefore it did not merit a rise in his wages. Gerry argued that international status was proof he had become a better player with his club.

'I may be wrong on other points, boss,' Gerry said, pressing his point. 'But I am right on this one, aren't I?'

'So what if you are?' Shanks told him. 'Even a broken clock is right twice in a day.'

Following a game against Southampton at Anfield, a young reporter from the Southern Evening Echo collared Shanks to ask him what he thought about a young Southampton winger called Mick Channon. Shanks was polite and told the reporter he thought the young Channon was a very good winger indeed.

'Would you say he's as good a player as Stan Matthews?' the reporter asked.

'Oh, aye,' Shankly said earnestly. 'As a player he's definitely on par with Stan Matthews.'

The reporter thanked Shanks for his time and turned away, scribbling the quote into his notebook. Suddenly, Shanks reached out and caught the young man by the arm. 'This Channon is as good a player as Stan Matthews,' he said, 'but what you have to remember is that Stan is sixty-five now.'

-----------------------------
In 1967, we arrived at Anfield to play Liverpool and as I glanced out of the window of the coach I saw Bill Shankly standing at the main entrance. I was the first player to alight from the coach and when I reached the entrance Bill shook my hand warmly. 'Good to see you again, George,' he said. 'You're looking well, son.'

This was unusual for him, and knowing Shanks to be a wily old fox, I decided to hang around to try to find out what he was up to. As each of the United players entered Anfield, Shanks shook his hand, welcomed him and told him how good he looked. Eventually, Bobby Charlton, a born worrier, came up to Shanks.

'Bobby, son. Good to see you,' Shanks said, shaking his hand. 'But by God, if ever there was a man who looked ill, it's you, Bobby!'

Bobby's face went as colourless as an icicle. 'Ill? I look ill?' he repeated, running the fingers of his right hand over his forehead and down his right cheek. He was visibly shaken,

'Aye, Bobby, son. You look like you're sickening for something. If I were you I'd see a doctor as soon as you set foot back in Manchester.' Shanks patted Bobby on the back and took off down the corridor, leaving him trembling in the foyer.

In the dressing room, Bobby was conspicious by his absence and, ominously, there was a delay in announcing the team. We sat around kicking our heels, no one daring to get changed in case Matt Busby had a tactical plan which meant leaving one of us out. The thought of getting changed only to be told to put your clothes back on because you're not in the team is a player's nightmare.

Eventually Matt Busby entered the dressing room with Jimmy Murphy and told us they had reshuffled the team which had beaten West Ham the previous week. Bobby Charlton was unavailable. He'd suddenly been taken ill.
-----------------------------------------
The following season we were back at Anfield and Shanks was up to his old tricks. As the United party made their way down the corridor to the away changing room, he appeared from his office. 'Guess what, boys?' he said, brandishing a little orange ticket. 'I've had a go on the tickets that give the time when the away team will score. And it says here, in a fortnight!' With that, he disappeared back into his office.

We lost that encounter 2-0 and after the game I was chatting to Liverpool's Ray Clemence, who revealed to me another piece of Shankly kidology.

Prior to the game, Shankly had received the United team sheet and he incorporated it into his team talk. His intention was to run us down and, in so doing, boost the confidence of his own players. 'Alex Stepney,' Shanks began. 'A flapper of a goalkeeper. Hands like a Teflon frying pan - non-stick. Right back, Shay Brennan. Slow on the turn, give him a roasting. Left back is Tony Dunne. Even slower than Brennan. He goes on an overlap at twenty past three and doesn't come back until a quarter to four. Right half, Nobby Stiles. A dirty little -beep-. Kick him twice as hard as he kicks you and you'll have no trouble with him.'

'Bill Foulkes, a big, cumbersome centre half who can't direct his headers. He had a head like a sheriff's badge, so play on him. Paddy Crerand. Slower than steam rising off a dog turd. You'll bypass him easily.'

The Liverpool players felt as if they were growing in stature with his every word. 'David Sadler,' Shanks continued. 'Wouldn't get a place in our reserves. And finally, John Aston. A chicken, hit him once and you'll never hear from him again. As the manager finished his demolition job on United, Emlyn Hyghes raised his hand. 'That's all very well, boss,' he said, 'but you haven't mentioned George Best, Denis Law or Bobby Charlton.' Shanks turned on him. 'You mean to tell me we can't beat a team that has only three players in it?' he said, glowering.

The guy is a fucking legend. Love shanks especially this one. 
As the manager finished his demolition job on United, Emlyn Hyghes raised his hand. 'That's all very well, boss,' he said, 'but you haven't mentioned George Best, Denis Law or Bobby Charlton.' Shanks turned on him. 'You mean to tell me we can't beat a team that has only three players in it?' he said, glowering.

Bill Shankly

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #172 on: November 14, 2009, 12:24:49 PM »
thanks for taking the time to write that,  heard the charlton story before, pussy.

Offline Ken-Obi

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #173 on: November 14, 2009, 01:02:36 PM »
Do Carra or Stevie sit down for tea after matches with the likes of Scholes or Giggs talking football like they do in that story? It's a pity if they don't as fans' animosity towards rival clubs have nothing to do with people being mates outside of it.
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Offline gwto

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #174 on: December 1, 2009, 12:26:28 PM »
*Bump*

Offline TommySmithsLiver

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #175 on: December 1, 2009, 12:33:10 PM »
Great man was Shanks, I'm still a little ashamed by how the club treated him after he left.

Offline Finn Solomon

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #176 on: December 1, 2009, 12:39:12 PM »
I really think that collectively we have not awoken from his spell.

We still crave him and seek him out in our manager, and in the idealised relationship with the club and our leader that we all have in our minds.

The affection and devotion that we show to Rafa is part of this. Our relationship with our boss is still shaped by the relationship we had with Shanks. We want our manager to be in his image. To inspire us and make us dream and have the same kind of swaggering wit and intelligence and messianic belief in us as a club, as fans, and as a city.

We are known as a manager's club. It might even be a weakness sometimes. But more often than not its about wanting to see the club personified in a single figure that we can show immense devotion to. And that is all because of the magic weaved by Bill Shankly. We're still living in his afterglow and he has moulded the minds of all of us, even the Liverpool fans who weren't born when he retired.

Like I said, we are still in his spell. Almost forty years have passed and we are still mesmerised by him.

I don't care if it's a year old, that is a brilliant, brilliant post. Perfectly true.
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Offline RuairiK

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #177 on: December 1, 2009, 01:34:50 PM »
never get tired of hearing shanks stories
I'd played at Anfield and I knew 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. And that meant success for the people. I wanted results for the club, for the love of the game, to make the people happy

Offline Wish Matrix

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #178 on: April 21, 2010, 03:27:04 AM »
Bump. Great read.
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Offline Tinsel, bows and fairy lights

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #179 on: April 21, 2010, 04:34:05 AM »
Best's quotes and also Stussy and Alan Edge's eulogies is fantastic. I can feel my pulse quicken, my heart beat faster and see in those words what it means to be a supporter of Liverpool FC.
Magic stuff.
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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #180 on: April 21, 2010, 11:24:20 AM »
Do Carra or Stevie sit down for tea after matches with the likes of Scholes or Giggs talking football like they do in that story? It's a pity if they don't as fans' animosity towards rival clubs have nothing to do with people being mates outside of it.

Funny one this isn't it? Alonso was good mates with Arteta from their time together at Sociedad, but I'd be shocked if too many of the lads from different clubs chatted to each other off the pitch unless they were on national duty together or had previously played for the same club.

Offline McMahon

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #181 on: April 21, 2010, 12:31:32 PM »
Shanks a one off, better see the doctor son, once you get back to Manchester, classic.

Offline Nando_The_Kid9

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #182 on: April 21, 2010, 02:10:12 PM »
Nice one for that. Just brightened up my afternoon.  ;D

Offline Dewey Finn

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #183 on: April 22, 2010, 01:44:26 PM »
Loved reading that mate. Loads of the arl Shanks stuff in there. Never liked GB. Saw someone deck him at a charity doo once, for gobbing off. Fair enough to the man for crediting Shanks.

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #184 on: April 22, 2010, 01:59:03 PM »
thats brilliant

didnt he not say about law best and charlton

one was bald, one had a bad knee and the other was a drunk?
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Offline Kwaideng

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #185 on: April 22, 2010, 05:59:21 PM »
One of the great things about Shankly was that he could see through people.
He had great  affection for Best and it was clear that the lad was a one off, both in terms of his status in the game and off the pitch. Shankly knew that he was just an ordinary working class lad and could speak to him purely as a football man to another football man.
He was never taken in by hype surrounding players but saw the person behind it all.

Apart from the fact that he worked and played with some of the best players ever to walk onto a pitch, so few things were new to him.
Best's career at the top was short, but what a player he was....an absolute diamond. Not just skill in abundance but as hard as nails. Some of the tackles he took and just got on with it!
I think Shanks liked that.

I doubt if he approved of Bests lifestyle or the way he let Sir Matt Busby down so many times but the thing with Best was that he never made excuses or blamed anyone else. He took responsibility for and acknowledged what he was.I'm sure Shanks would have made allowances for that.

Best also had a few great stories of his own. My favourite is the one he told about being in a hotel room and ordering room service.
When it arrived the lad came in with a trolley and saw Miss World draped over the bed. The room was full of empty champagne bottles and £1,000s strewn all over the floor...his winnings from the casino.

The waiter looked around and shaking his head said...." George......where did it all go wrong"




This is a very knowledgeable write up and I like the mention of  Sir Matt Busby. I was fortunate to play against Best over 20 years ago and he was still awesomely skillful (putting backspin on passes!) and a tough, solid little bugger. Wouldn't let anyone buy the ale afterwards and did all the signing and photos for  everyone....very hairy bloke BTW!
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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #186 on: May 7, 2010, 04:57:50 AM »
I was recently watching the full match of 1989-90 2-1 win at OT (Barnesy got a brace and Whelan scored a cracker of an own goal for the mancs), Best was a pundit for the match and he admired one of Grobblelear's saves and admitted Liverpool were class and well and truly outclassed United
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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #187 on: September 2, 2012, 10:45:23 AM »
Bump.

Happy Birthday, Mr Shankly

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #188 on: September 2, 2012, 11:04:22 AM »
Thanks for that.

Happy Birthday Boss, if you fancy playing a trick or two on the Arsenal lot then feel free!

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #189 on: September 2, 2012, 11:12:01 AM »
haha, strange to see my post from 6 years ago on the front page... but happy birthday Mr Shankly!
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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #190 on: September 2, 2012, 11:17:12 AM »
Great read, and cheers for typing all that up, must have taken some time.  :wave

I just love reading stories about Shankly, or seeing clips of him on documentaries and old footage. Wonderful man.

Look forward to him getting a foot in somewhere today.

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #191 on: September 2, 2012, 11:23:37 AM »
Only just read the OP, laughing my head off! ;D

Would have loved to be around when Shanks was. Happy Birthday Mr Shankly.
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Jonathan Hall ☆☆☆☆☆ - "Good point. Shit"

Offline Malaysian Kopite

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #192 on: September 2, 2012, 11:25:48 AM »
Just seen this, great read. What a man Shanks was.
They say it fades...if you let it.

Football without fans is nothing.

We've won 18 titles, 5 European Cups, 7 FA Cups, but today must be the greatest victory of all.

Offline CorKopite

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #193 on: September 2, 2012, 12:29:16 PM »
Great read that, thanks for posting.

What a genius Shanks was. Legend.

Happy Birthday Bill.
Bill Shankly-"I know this is a sad occasion but I think that Dixie would be amazed that even in death he could draw a bigger crowd than Everton can on a Saturday afternoon"

Mitch Hedberg-"Dogs are forever in the push up position"

Offline El_Pistolero

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #194 on: September 2, 2012, 01:21:26 PM »
... Left back is Tony Dunne. Even slower than Brennan. He goes on an overlap at twenty past three and doesn't come back until a quarter to four. ...

Fantastic. :lmao

Never seen this, brilliant read.

Happy Birthday, Shanks.

Offline fonzielfc

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #195 on: September 2, 2012, 01:28:56 PM »
The man had wit didn't he?  :)

Imagine Shanks taking some of the sky buffoons to task!
"For a player to be good enough to play for Liverpool, he must be prepared
to run through a brick wall for me then come out fighting on the other side."

- Bill Shankly

Offline MerseysideBrum

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #196 on: January 4, 2014, 11:47:57 PM »
well this has made my day
The reds are coming up the hill boys.

Offline stockdam

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #197 on: January 5, 2014, 12:09:33 AM »
Thanks.........both for the insight into a great manager and also into a great player.
#JFT96

Offline StrikingMidfield

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #198 on: January 5, 2014, 03:42:06 AM »
Thanks for posting those, great read that. Got some new respect for Best as well.
Liverpool FC - Seattle Sounders FC

Offline ericthered10

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Re: George Best on Shankly... an excerpt from his book
« Reply #199 on: January 5, 2014, 04:24:40 AM »
Great bump. Lovely read