Author Topic: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY  (Read 10080 times)

Offline The 92A

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#SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« on: August 21, 2013, 09:43:18 AM »
Time is unmerciful to your Heroes it destroys them very efficiently, usually the more you find out about their lives the quicker the fall from grace until you turn around one day and realise they've all gone. I am very lucky, there are two of mine who I still respect, Muhammad Ali and Bill Shankly and the funny thing is the more I find out about Shankly, the more I respect the man. Shankly left a legacy not only in football terms but in the lives of countless people. He was genuinely a man of the people and he touched directly and indirectly many lives. This thread is for those personal memories of the great man. Enjoy.


I'll start it with a story from vivabobbygraham:


My aul fellah couldn’t believe it. His brother's ashes being spread on the grass behind the kop goal and the great man saunters over to where the family stood.  I was in a place for naughty boys. 15 and grieving on my own so I remember the year well. 1972.

He was solemn, respectful and offered his condolences. He also apologised on behalf of the club for not being able to fulfil Uncle Terry’s wish that his casket be buried behind the kop goal; that practice had had to be stopped for one reason or another, it may have been subsidence or drainage or just too many.

Shanks version however stayed with my dad and he dined out on it until the day he died. “The grass had stopped growing. It was either because of the caskets or Tommy Lawrence’s backside,” said Bill, “nae sun or rain could filter through that. Either way they had to go, son”

With that he smiled, nodded, said “God bless you and your family on this sad day” and walked off leaving my aul fellah chuckling on the day he buried his brother and best mate.

I remember him holding court one evening outside the ground, corner of Anny road opposite the Arkles. Hundreds surrounded him but he didn’t have to shout when he spoke. He had a brown mac on, looked immaculate.    Can’t remember a word he said. I just stared at him. He shook many hands as people passed him by but no-one crowded or jostled him. Not intimidated, happiest when amongst ‘his people,’ I ventured forward and shook his hand. “Thanks for everything, Bill”, I mumbled, by now 18-19. “My privilege, son.”

Always has and ever will be my one and only hero.
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Offline The 92A

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2013, 09:46:41 AM »
From Vulmea:

Shanks eh?

It’s hard to explain what Shanks meant to me. That level of respect doesn’t seem to translate to modern society.  What or who could compare with him today I don’t really know. He was up there with my family, my closest friends, a man who you could commit to wholeheartedly and without reservation. I'd have crawled over broken glass for him.Shanks was a man who lived his beliefs.  He was a man who you trusted implicitly and instinctively.  A man of conviction who worked for the benefit of others as much as himself. He didn’t place himself above anybody,  demanded the very highest quality of himself and others.  His wisdom, like his football came from a simple and honest approach – if you have your basic principles right then everything else follows, everything else is transparent. He could have explained his ideas to a 6 year old and they would have understood and yet today we are surrounded by intelligent fools who complicate things , over analyse and over think,  that lose their direction. Shanks spoke as he found, no airs or graces, no need to appear clever or prove anything to anybody . I’d guess that the world was simple for Shanks with right and wrong self evident.I remember being desperate to hear his voice, whether on the radio or clips on Sportsnight or Match of the Day, speaking at the Town Hall , St Georges, the match. It was a craving I’ve never replicated, his comments weighing as heavy as the game itself.  He could be as biased and one eyed as he liked didn't bother me, you could see what the game meant to him.I had the joy of attending his testimonial, I would still be standing there now if I’d been allowed, that was  a good night that was. I can remember being gutted as we were kicked off the Kop after what seemed no time at all.  I remember the disbelief as me dad and the lads turned to go. I remember the Granada reports programme when it came out he’d gone, the sheer disbelief,  it was the typical reaction – denial, disbelief, acceptance anger. I can still remember the taxi driver they interviewed laughing at the idea he’d resigned.I can’t be alone in thinking as Shanks as one of my family, a father figure, a village elder , the wise chief, tribal leader, whatever type of iconic figure you want to pick from that type of community spirit. They are just not around any longer. He was a leader, an old fashioned, inspirational man of the people, a man of his times, when socialism made sense, when the hope of equality hadn’t been corrupted in the majority.No words of mine can do the man justice, he made me happy and I hope he’s made me a better man than I would have otherwise been.
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Offline Mutton Geoff

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2013, 10:35:46 AM »
Simply Shanks
I will leave other's to provide the stats that we all might know:

This is simply what the man meant to me and my close family what he still means to me today.

I had no family allegiance to LFC or the City, my Father did not like Football or Sport at all. ( nobodies perfect).  I lived in Chester at the time and thankfully my Uncle from Helsby was a football fan! He was one of those guys who were just as happy going to Goodison or Anfield to watch a decent game, so as a young kid he took me first to Goodison and then to Anfield.

I can’t remember the game, because of too many years gone by and because I was simply captivated by this guy in the dug out, with his mannerisms, and energy on the touchline. Looking back now this was a life defining moment for me.
So I became an very young Liverpool Supporter mainly because of William (Bill) Shankly rather than the Team or the Supporters on the Kop and for that I will be always grateful, to this great man.

In the next few years I was continually inspired by this man who looked like my 'Grandad', almost everything he said was gospel to me, he was my total idol in the days when people had to do a lot more than now to become an idol .
Fifty odd years later he is still my idol and has never been surpassed by anybody at all one or two came close but Bill was never surpassed as a role model and Idol throughout my life and the way I try to live it.

I can admit and although may seem wrong as a loved all my grandparents a great deal but I cried far more when Bill died than when one of my own Grandfathers died. It seemed to somehow hurt a lot more and a truly emotional period in my life. It was shock, sadness and totally numbing for me that day and a few days after. When Bill left the club that was bad enough but this was a defining moment and I was disconsolate for a short while after
I could go on and recite all his Quotes and his Stats but he simply was Liverpool, he was everything this club was about, with his mind games, his passionate support of his players and the club, and us fans, he commanded respect from every level in Football.
He had an acerbic sense of humour at times and played along with the fledgling media for the benefit of our status and we became a respected club because of Shanks in my opinion.

Bill was a man of the people ‘Yes’, he was a Socialist with a capital S.  A Winner in everything he did and his loyalty to us fans and the City was legendary.
I truly believe if Shanks had said we are going to walk across the Mersey tomorrow many of us would have not only believed him but be right there with him trying to do it.
 His support was evangelical for me; he led us and I  like thousands more followed in awe of the man and trusting his honesty and love for this club, my admiration for this man is hard to put into words, and I expect other people to feel exactly the same way as I do. So perhaps it doesn’t need to be explained at all.

During my youth and throughout my life, I have had three people who made a great impression on my life and the way I try to live it,, they are John Lennon,  JFK, and Shanks, the greatest of these for me was Shanks, and as I look up from my Laptop in my study looking down at me right now is a framed picture of Bill.

Sometimes I have to admit I feel a sense of envy for Vic or anyone else who had actually met him or spoke to him.
Bill was the best, and still is the best, we would not be a major club without him in my view, and every fan no matter where they live on this planet or what age they are owes him a debt of gratitude, Bill was simply the rock we built this club on.
Bill Shankly simply is Liverpool they are totally linked together and you cannot support this club and not respect this man and admire everything about his life and the way he lived it.

To use perhaps a poor metaphor Mr Shankly was the rope that lovingly bound me to this club and although that rope has become quite frayed in recent years it is still the rope that binds me to the club and always will.

As said before I was not born a red like many, I became a red, but my daughters are both reds and one of my delights was going on the legends tour with my eldest daughter and the delight on her face as Jimmy Case spoke about the club and Mr Shankly;

I will end this now and leave it to better scribes than me to talk about the great Mr Shankly, for me my passion and respect for Bill Shankly makes it far too hard to separate myself from my feelings and be far more objective about his life
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Offline Dr_Evil

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2013, 11:09:41 AM »
Loved reading the above. Half way through Red or Dead, these (very) personal insights  - and other contributions to the Shankly100 series - make the reading experience very special indeed. Thanks, all.
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Offline Kovai Red

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2013, 11:12:03 AM »
 :wave
Thanks for sharing, everyone
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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2013, 12:10:11 PM »
Loved reading this. It's funny, people on here think I'm some aul Scally. Well, I am, I suppose. But I dread to think of what I might have became if it wasn't for Bill Shankly and men of his kind. Okay, I know he's not your normal run of the mill working class fella. But the values he had, and instilled in others, were a thing a lot of men carried and believed in at the time. I still do, and I know the world would be a better place if it was ran on the principles Mister Shankly believed in and lived by. 
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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2013, 01:40:48 PM »
It's strange. I wasn't even born in the Shankly era but each time I read or learn more about it I so wish that I was
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Offline WaterfordRed

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2013, 03:06:03 PM »
I used to see Bill Shankly in the plumber's shop at Alder Hey Hospital, where he was a frequent visitor after seeing the  kids. This would have been 1971-73.
He is my definition of charisma. All are measured against him and most are found wanting.

I believe in socialism without politics and that comes directly from the great man himself and working on the docks. Its a bit of a cross to bear in this modern age where nobody cares anymore!

So supporting Liverpool FC became a very complete philosophy. Something for which I am very thankful.

« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 07:43:48 PM by WaterfordRed »
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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2013, 04:51:32 PM »
Brilliant and please, any other poster wishing to contribute, please fire in.
Yep.

Offline kriss

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2013, 05:44:57 PM »
It's strange. I wasn't even born in the Shankly era but each time I read or learn more about it I so wish that I was

I said something similar when I reviewed "Red or Dead" for the LFCHistory website :

"For anyone who lived through the time it recalls, it will fill them with joyous nostalgia for a bygone age. For those who came after it, it will fill them with an uneasy realisation that they were born a generation too late."

Full review here http://www.lfchistory.net/Articles/Article/3615.

Offline kriss

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2013, 05:49:13 PM »
and this is the story of the day I went to his house in 1976 to try and get my copy of his autobiography signed :

Two years after he retired, “Shankly by Bill Shankly” was published. It was an enthralling read. I dearly wanted to get my copy signed by the great man. I would never have had the nerve to do anything about it on my own but somewhere in his book he had said that supporters sometimes just turned up at his house. With the support of a colleague from work who wasn’t really interested in football but was Scottish (so at least that was a start!), we made our plans. We both worked for the Railway and at that time the Adelphi Hotel was run by British Transport Hotels, one of the Railway’s subsidiary companies. So that’s where we stayed one night before Liverpool played at home to Bristol City. The following morning we took the bus out to West Derby and around mid-day I walked very nervously up his drive and knocked on the door. A few seconds later the door opened and there he was. Now if he had just signed the book and shut the door, I would still have been the happiest man in the world. But he didn’t do that. He invited us in. He had never seen us before but he invited us in. Can you imagine any man in a similar position doing that? Can you imagine any man in a similar position living in a modest semi-detached house, the house he continued to live in until his death and where his lovely wife Nessie continued to live until hers? No, neither can I. He invited us into his back room, introduced us to Nessie as if we were long-lost relatives and sensing our nervousness quickly put us at ease. At his request Nessie got us something to eat and then we just sat down and talked … or rather he talked and we listened! It wasn’t that we didn’t have questions to ask because I am sure we did but we hadn’t expected to get so far so we hadn’t prepared anything. But Bill was a great orator. That was why the Press loved him so much. And I guess that was why we the supporters loved him so much too because he never let us down and he always told us the way things were.

He had a lunchtime radio programme after his retirement that had been recorded earlier in the week. His special guest that day was Denis Law and as he sat and listened to the recording he enthused about Law the player and Law the man. He sat in modest surroundings with mementos and trophies in cabinets around the room but not in an ostentatious way. He had deserved them anyway so why shouldn’t be show them off?! I suppose we were there an hour, maybe a bit more. We lost track of time because it was such an extraordinary experience. But then there was another knock on the door and it was one of his daughters with two of his grandchildren. We knew we had to make a move but there was never any suggestion from him that it was time to go just because someone else had arrived. But we knew it wouldn’t be right to stay after his family had arrived. In any case we had a match to see! Bill had already signed my book and he shook hands with us for one final time as he showed us to the front door. We walked down that drive in a daze. I don’t think either of us could believe what had just happened. And yet I know from what I have read and heard that we weren’t the only supporters who were granted the same privilege. Bill Shankly was often described as "A Man of the People". I knew that already but that day he proved it to me beyond any doubt.

Offline kriss

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2013, 05:51:44 PM »
I last saw Bill Shankly in Paris in 1981. The hotel I was staying in was just across the road from the one Liverpool’s official party was using for the European cup final. Remembering what he had written about the trip to Bruges in 1976, I was pleased to see that this time he hadn’t been shunted off somewhere else. I didn’t bother him because as you can imagine it was bedlam in the reception after the game ! But Bill & Bob Paisley were just standing quietly in a corner of the reception chatting to each other. I still have that vivid picture in my mind because nobody could have dreamed that before the end of the year Bill would be gone. He just seemed indestructible, immortal even. That summer I commissioned a special tie with the three European cups on underneath a Liver Bird and the dates of those three successes. They were just for friends really and it was a very small ‘run’, only 4 or 5 dozen, done incidentally by a company run by Dave Mackay, the old Tottenham favourite. We sent a few of those ties out to special Liverpool people we felt deserved them. I remember being delighted to see Bob Paisley wearing his when the tv cameras covered our game at West Ham that Autumn, on the 26th of September 1981 to be exact. Bill Shankly was on that complimentary list as well … but the letter asking him to accept one was never sent. Shortly after that game at West Ham, Bill suffered the heart attack from which he subsequently died a day later. I had been playing football and heard the news that he had been taken to hospital on my car radio. But the next morning’s bulletin told us the news we had all dreaded hearing.

Offline kriss

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2013, 05:54:27 PM »
I travelled over to Luxembourg with a friend to watch our first round tie against the minnows of Jeunesse d’Esch in 1973. You didn’t have to a member of some silly travel club then. You didn’t have to fill in endless forms about how you were going and when. You just went! But we didn’t have tickets and in a tiny stadium that might have been a problem. But we located the hotel where the players were staying and arrived in the reception and waited for the players to return from their morning training session. Bill walked over as soon as he saw us with his arm outstretched. “Hello boys, how are you? I see Everton lost last night”. And they had too, in some meaningless Anglo-Scottish tournament against one of the Dundee clubs I think. But he knew … and he wanted to make sure that we knew as well! I never felt comfortable asking for comps but if you’re a long way from home and worried about not getting in, sometimes you just have to do it. Bill assured us that if we still hadn’t got tickets by the time the coach arrived at the stadium, he would make sure we were sorted out. As luck would have it, later in the day we met two Englishmen who were working in Luxembourg and who kindly fixed us up, so we didn’t need to take Shanks up on his kind offer. But we still appreciated his gesture a lot.

Offline The 92A

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2013, 06:28:47 PM »
Thanks for posting those memories kriss. He was so accessible to the fans we were hoping for some memories like that and it's well worth taking the time to click on your link to your review. 
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Offline The 92A

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2013, 06:46:27 PM »
It's been posted before but it fits here so if you've read it, I apologise . Here's my Shankly story.


It’s 1968 and a gang of kids are playing footy in the street. The goals are formed between the tar line that dissects the middle of the road and the two lamposts that stand on opposite sides of the street. A bald, Scottish fella approaches on his bike. He stops, dismounts and watches the kids play. This is my chance to impress him. I control the ball and turn in one movement- just like my Dad had shown me in Walton Hall Park on his Sunday off, It works perfectly, it's a pity my Dad wasn't here to see me leaving my marker flat-footed and right out the game- I dribble right between the two defenders, who like the others are at least two years older than me and intent on harm and with only the goalie to beat, I feint and curl it around Gary Guinan who is goalie on the spot.

'What a goal, Rodger Hunt is only a goal away from his second Hatrick’ I cry.

Just letting him know that I’d scored five and this goal was no flash in the pan. He’s got to have noticed me this time, but my perfect moment  is ruined when one of my team mates shouts.

‘What a f**king goal.’

Oh, no! I know he won’t be impressed by my mate swearing, I try not to swear when he's around because I know he has high standards and he wouldn’t like it. He doesn’t even drink or smoke, I'd read that in my Dad’s pink Echo. I even showed it to me Mum, when she wanted me to go the shop for her messages I told her she shouldn’t be smoking but she just laughed and told me to get ten Woodbines and I could spend the change on sweets. I’ll get Bazooka Joe's instead, but I won’t tell me Mum because chewy sticks to your insides. I hope he likes chewy, I know Tommy Smith does because I saw him spit it out, by The Paddock, when he took a throw in right by me and my Dad at the match, it fell in the snow, we were playing Nottingham Forest and Terry Hennesy plays for them. Chewy would be really hard to give up, especially as I’d only just learnt how to blow bubbles, although I could give up Spanglers, apart from the green ones. They're far too nice to give up for anyone.

As I look up, I notice him smiling and he’s on his way, walking his bike on the pavement, respecting the boundaries of our pitch as if it was Wembley Stadium, the scene of our great FA Cup win.  What a man and I’m the only one who recognises him, one day I might even get a trial if I carry on playing this well and show him I’m serious about wanting to play for Liverpool.

It would be another two years before I realise that the bald Scottish man that rode his bike down our street and watched us play football wasn’t Scottish and more importantly wasn’t my hero Bill Shankly. He was a lookalike who had an allotment behind the railway, the same allotments where the German Spy with one arm used to bury his bodies.

As kids growing up in Liverpool, Bill Shankly was more than just a football manager; he embodied everything good about the world. He didn’t just make his team feel invincible, he made us feel invincible too. We might be living In Fazakerley or Norris Green but everything seemed possible because we were important. We knew because Bill Shankly had told us, 'The fans are the most important part of this football club, I tell the players they're privileged to play for you'.Time viciously destroys your hero’s. You realise General Custer wasn’t Errol Flynn's character but a zealot with murderous intent, Casey Jones was nothing more than a strike-breaker and Batman was a camp vigilante. You realise most of the footballers you looked up to aren’t particularly nice people and certainly not worth your adoration.

The more I find out about Shankly the more I realise how important he was in not just building two great football teams but in shaping everything about our footballing dynasty and what has become known as 'The Liverpool Way'.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 06:54:07 PM by The 92A »
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Offline kopite.keith

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2013, 07:23:41 PM »
My abiding memory was getting his autograph at the Liverpool Stadium when he came to watch young kids for a boxing night. Thought it was great that he gave up his time for that, he was a real man of the people. Long lost the autograph though... :'(
I also remember him telling us that when Ajax came to Anfield after we took  a 5-1 mauling in Amsterdam that we'd put them to the sword at Anfield, we believed we could do it because he said so, it was the implicit trust he had from the Anfield crowd that made us believe, unfortunately it didn't happen but we still had the same implicit trust in him.
A quick Shankly's story: Louis Bimpson the ex Liverpool player was a very good family friend and many years ago he took me dad to watch a game. When they get there, Louis who's already retired, waves me dad through the players entrance to bunk in and take a seat in the stand. They're both on their way into the tunnel when they walk straight into the great man himself, Louis opens his mouth to say something but doesn't get a word out before Shankly says to him "Yes I know, that's the eighteenth bloody brother you've brought in here this season."
Was made up me dad had his very own Shankly story.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 07:38:39 PM by kopite.keith »
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Offline Red_Mist

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2013, 09:03:30 PM »
What a thread. Keep 'em coming Auld Arses :)

Offline MichaelA

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2013, 09:26:25 PM »
Thanks to you all for sharing - funny, moving, inspiring.

Offline Steve O

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2013, 09:59:52 PM »
I was somewhere between 3 and 5 years old, so it's 1973 - 75. I was in Alder Hey for 6 weeks with osteomyelitis in my ankle. It was hard on my Mum and Dad, who were only in their early 20's, so they decided to take turns to come in and sit with me, giving the other one a break. You can see where this story is heading. Dad is a huge Red, every time they play old late 60's clips on LFCTV, he constantly says "I was at that game". Mum wouldn't know a football if it hit her on the head.

No prizes for guessing that Shankly came around the ward when it was my mum sitting with me. Dad was absolutely gutted. I'm made up I met him, even though I don't remember it. He autographed one of the envelopes from my get well cards.

I've laminated it to preserve it, one of my prized possessions.

Offline Mottman

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2013, 10:55:07 PM »
I only ever met Bill Shankly once, I alway's made a serious attempt NEVER to meet any Liverpool Manager or Player, just in case they never came up to expectations!

Night game Newcastle Utd at home, March 1975, walking through the Main Stand car park with my mates, then walking towards us is the Holy man himself "God" Bill Shankly...

One of the lad's call's him and the four of us start talking to him, he replied to each of our questions and we just stood in awe of the man, total awe, never experienced anything like it since, 100% respect flowing both way's.

Bill say's were are you going boy's, one of the lad's say's in the Annie Road Bill to fight the Geordies, they gave us some stick last year up there when we won 2.1  (in the 74 - 75 the Liverpool Newcastle away game was postponed due to high winds and was played mid week, very few travel options available and very few Liverpool supporters were able to make that match up in Newcastle which ended 4.1 to the Geordies)

Bill laughed in a knowing laugh, and said OK boy's, make sure you don't get caught and said goodbye.

When Bill resigned, it broke our hearts, Bob toolk over and we went onto even greater things, I made my one and only ever Liverpool flag which read.


Some say God - We say Shankly

It's last showing was in the Kop during the 1.0 home win against Birmingham in 1975, even shown on MOTD later that night, no idea what happened to it. I only know my Dad was very proud that his teachings had not fallen on deaf ear's, I think he already knew that anyway.   



   

   
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 10:57:27 PM by Mottman »
A boy from the Mersey and a Son of Shankly.

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2013, 10:58:25 PM »
I remember your flag.
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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2013, 11:25:08 PM »
one of the best threads on here.

Shankly Lives Forever
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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2013, 11:28:36 PM »

My first memory of Shankly?

It must have been a couple of years after his death.

Hearing some old tapes of him speaking. I`d finally got my own tape recorder and, looking for some blanks around the house, I found some unmarked ones of the great man speaking in monologue. To this day I have no recollection of what he said, I suspect that they were the well known quotes. I don`t even know how they came to be in my house.

I have no idea what happened to them either. I had no notion that my dad might be a fan, even though as a fellow Scot and Ayrshireman he was an icon for all the men of our country of a certain age. All I can recall of those tapes was that his voice was mesmerising.

Flash forward 30 years.

Easter Holidays 2013.  I took my girls, 10 and 8, to Muirkirk to climb Cairn Table above the village. Halfway up snow begins to fall, my little one starts to moan and I realise we are woefully under-prepared for the walk in such weather. We return to the car via the old Muirkirk FC football ground which must have been the most windswept pitch in Britain, but is now a ruin inhabited by aggressive horned sheep. When we get back to the car and phone reception I notice a couple of missed calls from my wife. I put on the radio and find out why.

Margaret Thatcher has died. I had always told my wife that we would have a street party, trestle tables, bunting and all when the harridan finally went, but I felt...nothing. No elation or relief, definitely no sadness.

I had planned to do the next part of our trip anyway, but the recent news just made it seem more apt.

We were only a few miles away, along the road from Muirkirk to Douglas is a turn off, up a quiet road to a stone memorial. Near the former mining village of Glenbuck , Bill Shankly is commemorated because this was his home that he left to find his life in football and eventually Liverpool FC.

I`ve been before, it`s about 15-20 miles from my home in Kilmarnock, but I wanted to take some photos of it with my daughters. They were perplexed, but happy to pose. I`d upload them if I knew how.

"HE MADE THE PEOPLE HAPPY"
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Offline Black Bull Nova

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2013, 12:26:26 AM »
Only two simple memories, one of stumbling across him on the train, the only man I've ever met who had an aura around him, almost like a ready brek glow, sharp as a pin and absolutely no self importance. The other the sunny early autumn day of his funeral in West Derby Village, I think it was a friday, just did not seem real that day, never seen a clear blue sky so dark.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 12:28:52 AM by Black Bull Nova »
aarf, aarf, aarf.

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2013, 12:33:34 AM »
Only two simple memories, one of stumbling across him on the train, the only man I've ever met who had an aura around him, almost like a ready brek glow, sharp as a pin and absolutely no self importance. The other the sunny early autumn day of his funeral in West Derby Village, I think it was a friday, just did not seem real that day, never seen a clear blue sky so dark.

Yes, it was a Friday and the day before Liverpool played Swansea City at Anfield (Saturday 3rd October 1981) and John Toshack took off his Swansea tracksuit top for the pre-match minute's silence to reveal a red Liverpool shirt underneath it with his Number Ten on the back.

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #25 on: August 22, 2013, 02:54:15 AM »
Thanks everyone for sharing! Great stuff indeed. Definitely something else than the knee-jerk and whinging going on elsewhere on this forum.
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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2013, 06:49:57 AM »
This is a wonderful thread. The more and more I read the more and more I get so bloody confused with the state of it all these days. In football and in life. I hope there's more contributions to come I could read these all day.

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2013, 11:31:43 AM »
A group of us travelled up by minibus from London to spend a couple of hours at Melwood in the summer of 1971. The appointment had been kindly arranged by Tom Saunders, the Youth Development Officer for the club at that time. Usually Melwood was pretty accessible in those days if you made an appointment first. There certainly wasn’t the secrecy that seems to be attached to it these days. The team was busy preparing for the new season. It was an important time. The great team of the mid-60’s had been broken up and several new players had arrived to make names for themselves like Ray Clemence, Larry Lloyd & John Toshack. There was also a further addition, a young man who had recently been bought from Scunthorpe United and that man of course was Kevin Keegan. As the players took a break from their training, Bill Shankly spotted our little group standing on the sidelines and made straight for us. I think he always loved being the centre of attention but certainly not in an arrogant or conceited way. Wasn’t it Bob Paisley who once said that Bill used to wear shoes with steel tips so that everyone could hear him walking down the corridor?! He stayed and chatted with us for several minutes. He signed autographs, posed for photographs and answered questions. But there was one question he wouldn’t be drawn on. For all our curiosity about the new arrival from little Scunthorpe, he wouldn’t say a word. Our curiosity was genuine but none of us really knew how good this player might be. Bill did though … and that’s why he wouldn’t talk about him. He knew talent when he saw it and he knew what Keegan had to offer and what an impact he would make.

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #28 on: August 22, 2013, 11:34:53 AM »
Today’s pampered professionals with their over-inflated wallets and egos don’t know how lucky they are. They climb off luxury coaches and into luxury cars and rarely have to organise the football part of their own lives. But in the late-60’s and early-70’s it was quite common for the players to be seen on the same trains as the supporters, not going to the game of course but certainly on their way home. If Liverpool had been playing at places like Southampton or Ipswich, the official party would usually travel on a scheduled train into London, where a coach would be waiting to drive them on to Euston for the final leg of their journey.

I remember one such journey back into London from East Anglia when a group of us were having an argument about a goal Liverpool had scored a while back. Although I wouldn’t have had the nerve to do it myself, one of us opened the door to the compartment where Shanks was sitting with the rest of the backroom staff and asked “Excuse me, Bill … you know that goal so-and-so scored (I can’t remember now the game or the player involved), did the cross come from the right or the left?”. And the answer came back immediately without pause for thought. Paying attention to detail was one of the great things about Liverpool’s success, If you look after the little things, the big things sometimes look after themselves. I have lost count of the number of times I have read a book written by a Liverpool player in which he incorrectly described an incident or a goal. Sometimes they even got the bloody match wrong. One of Tommy Smith’s books referred to a European match against opponents Liverpool had never even met! But I suppose to them it was just “another day in the office”. Supporters are more likely to remember incidents than players perhaps? But if you had asked Shankly about any game Liverpool had played while he was in charge, I think there’s a fair chance he would have remembered everything that needed remembering!

Offline kriss

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #29 on: August 22, 2013, 11:39:58 AM »
At the end of Kevin Keegan’s first season at Anfield (1971-72), Liverpool were chasing the championship. A wonderful run of 13 wins and a single draw had seen us move into a very strong position as the season neared its close. But defeat in the penultimate league match at Derby left things wide open again with Derby, Leeds & Liverpool still in with a chance of taking the title. Many supporters who remember the pain of losing the last match against Arsenal in 1989 probably don’t know that the same opponents cost us the championship in 1972 as well. Only a year after depriving us of the cup, Arsenal stood in our way of the title as well. Two days after losing to Leeds in the F.A. cup final, they faced us at Highbury. On the same night Leeds were at Wolverhampton. A Leeds victory would have given them the Double but good news came through in the second half and the chant from the visiting fans of “Leeds are losing” got through to the players. Liverpool upped the tempo. Only a victory would do. With three minutes left, John Toshack put the ball in the net and we all went wild. But the goal was disallowed for offside. As the final whistle went, there are two clear memories that remain. One is of Alan Ball jumping up and down in front of the players’ tunnel ‘celebrating’ the fact that Liverpool hadn’t won the League; the other was my own reaction. I was inconsolable. Friends who were as devastated as I was had to help me out of the stadium. If we had won and Leeds had won, there would have been no tears. But Leeds lost. We were so close to the big prize.

Late though it was when I got home, I sat down and wrote a letter to our manager. I just needed to get the defeat out of my system somehow. I told him how proud I was to support Liverpool and how proud I was of the effort his players had put in and how desperate I felt that we had just missed out. That game took place on the 8th of May. I posted my letter the next morning and the reply I got was dated the 10th. So on the same day he received my letter, at the end of a long and hard season, this kind and humble man sat down in front of the battered old typewriter that is now permanently on display in the museum behind the Kop … and wrote to me. Can you imagine how special that made me feel? This is what he said: Dear Chris, Received your letter regarding the end to the present season, and of course the efforts of the team, thanks for same. We are pleased that we did well in London as we know that we have so many supporters who are so loyal. It was tragic that we were so near to the big prize, and in the end got nothing. However, knowing that we made people like yourself proud, is great. Yours sincerely, Bill Shankly, Manager
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 11:54:16 AM by kriss »

Offline MichaelA

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #30 on: August 22, 2013, 12:30:04 PM »
But if you had asked Shankly about any game Liverpool had played while he was in charge, I think there’s a fair chance he would have remembered everything that needed remembering!

I think the same could be said for you, Chris! This thread is totally awesome and your contribution has been stellar - please keep 'em coming!

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #31 on: August 22, 2013, 01:26:19 PM »
I think the same could be said for you, Chris! This thread is totally awesome and your contribution has been stellar - please keep 'em coming!

Thank you, Michael  :). Well, I do have a serious involvement with www.lfchistory.net so it would be very remiss of me not to remember things and keep on learning new things as well!

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #32 on: August 22, 2013, 01:48:33 PM »
Thank you, Michael  :). Well, I do have a serious involvement with www.lfchistory.net so it would be very remiss of me not to remember things and keep on learning new things as well!

I know - its a great site, full of insight. :wave

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #33 on: August 22, 2013, 02:26:30 PM »
I know - its a great site, full of insight. :wave

I love reading other peoples stories about him, hardly a day goes by without me thinking of him and making my eyes water, like they are now after reading those great stories. I often wonder what would have happened if he had become a politician.
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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #34 on: August 22, 2013, 03:54:23 PM »
Thank you, Michael  :). Well, I do have a serious involvement with www.lfchistory.net so it would be very remiss of me not to remember things and keep on learning new things as well!
Really enjoyed your posts, but have to tell you this... I take my hat off to you people at lfchistory. What a site that is. I've spent hours, days, trawling through it. It's educated me and brought back some brilliant memories. Tell the people over there, it's much appreciated.
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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #35 on: August 22, 2013, 03:55:13 PM »
I love reading other peoples stories about him, hardly a day goes by without me thinking of him and making my eyes water, like they are now after reading those great stories. I often wonder what would have happened if he had become a politician.
The world would have been a better place.
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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #36 on: August 22, 2013, 08:10:28 PM »
Really enjoyed your posts, but have to tell you this... I take my hat off to you people at lfchistory. What a site that is. I've spent hours, days, trawling through it. It's educated me and brought back some brilliant memories. Tell the people over there, it's much appreciated.

Thank you, FS. I will pass on your kind comments to Arnie, the Editor of the History website. Icelander Arnie was behind the "Liverpool : The Complete Record" book that was published in 2011; and he has another book "The Liverpool Encyclopedia" that will be published shortly with Arnie coming over to England for the official launch of that in November. Having made over twenty visits to Norway, I have known for a long time about the level of support for Liverpool there. But until I went to Iceland last year, I didn't realise how big we are in that country as well. Their Supporters' Club invited me over for a special football weekend for which Sammy Lee was their main guest; and I got to visit the stadium where the club's European adventure began way back in 1964.

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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #37 on: August 22, 2013, 08:28:10 PM »
Thank you, FS. I will pass on your kind comments to Arnie, the Editor of the History website. Icelander Arnie was behind the "Liverpool : The Complete Record" book that was published in 2011; and he has another book "The Liverpool Encyclopedia" that will be published shortly with Arnie coming over to England for the official launch of that in November. Having made over twenty visits to Norway, I have known for a long time about the level of support for Liverpool there. But until I went to Iceland last year, I didn't realise how big we are in that country as well. Their Supporters' Club invited me over for a special football weekend for which Sammy Lee was their main guest; and I got to visit the stadium where the club's European adventure began way back in 1964.

Was 7 Kriss, yet it is my earliest and most vivid European memory, the name, Reykjavic. Me dad and Uncles buzzing about it. The team with Ronnie Moran and Phil Chisnall along with the usual suspects. Great work you do, much appreciated and thanks for those lovely memories.
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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #38 on: August 22, 2013, 08:47:51 PM »
Thank you.
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Re: #SHANKLY100- PERSONAL MEMORIES of BILL SHANKLY
« Reply #39 on: August 22, 2013, 09:11:16 PM »
I will admit I used to like Jimmy Melia in the old days a clever player.
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