Author Topic: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"  (Read 17377 times)

Offline 24∗7

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#SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« on: August 28, 2013, 09:46:18 pm »
As part of our celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of Bill Shankly's birth, we present an exclusive RAWK interview with Karen Gill, granddaughter of Bill Shankly for those of you who don't know!


1) If you could pick just one memory of your grandfather as your happiest one, which and why?
As most of the first 16 years of my life were spent growing up very close to my granddad, obviously I have so many precious memories, but the best ones are of when we stayed overnight at Bellefield Avenue and he would tell me and my sister stories about Glenbuck, the mines and wonderful tales about his antics with his brothers and sisters when they were young. He’d tell us bout the men standing on the street corners telling tall tales, or about cycling for miles to get to the local cinema. These are things I will never forget.

2) How significant to you is this 100th anniversary?
It’s quite difficult to put into words exactly how important this is to me. The fact that 100 years after his birth and over 30 years since he passed away, people still honour his memory is just incredible testimony to the kind of man he was. If anything, I’d say that the “legend”, or whatever you choose to call it, just seems to be growing stronger. This anniversary is also extremely important to me, since one thing is certain; I won’t be around to celebrate the 200th anniversary!

3) How would you describe the legacy the Shankly years had on LFC specifically but on football as a whole?
He was literally the father of LFC. He brought his vision to the club. He recognised that there was great potential and he never gave up until he’d realised his dream and built that famous bastion of invincibility. Without that vision, that determination, that hard work, I really doubt that LFC would be the club it is today. Other things and other people have obviously been part of that whole process, but he was the spark. He laid the foundations and emphasised the ingredients for decent football: namely, team work, fair play, keep football simple but most importantly for me…respect the people who pay your wages. Don’t try to fool them.

4) What do you think made him such a great and admired man?
I think it’s because he was honest, hard-working, fair and passionate. People respect that. I think what inspired me and will always inspire me about him was his indomitable spirit. He was a fighter and he would never give up until he had achieved his goals, but he was fair and he always respected the opponent, whoever it was. Those are very admirable qualities!

5) In the era of Sky, multimillionaire players, transfer fees equivalent to some nations' trade deficits, rocketing ticket prices, etc, what do you think he would say about the modern game?
He’d be appalled by the obscene wages, he’d be absolutely devastated that the simple folk, who are the backbone of the “glorious game” are being priced out of the whole match experience. Such was my granddad’s enthusiasm and passion, he would have played football and managed his team for absolutely no money whatsoever. That’s how much football meant to him and that is the devotion that is missing today.

6) What's your favourite quotation from the big man?
There are just so many of them and even though they’ve been quoted so many times, I do love all bar one! I don’t like the “...some people believe football is a matter of life and death...” quotation - for obvious reasons! Maybe it would be appropriate at this point to use one of my favourite quotations from David Peace’s book. My granddad may not have said these exact words, but I feel this conveys the very essence of the man: “I want everyone to be loyal to each other. To the team and to the club. So everything we do will be for Liverpool Football Club. Not for ourselves. Not as individuals. But for the team….Because loyalty makes strength. And that strength will bring success. I promise you.” What a brilliant sentiment!

7) Is there anyone today in football good enough to fill his shoes? If so, who and why?
I think the ilk of manager like my granddad, like Matt Busby, Jock Stein and (even though we may be reluctant to admit it) Alex Ferguson evolved and developed out of their circumstances. They knew adversity and they had the vision and determination to make things happen and to turn things around. I’m not saying there isn’t anybody around like that today; we just haven’t seen them yet!

8 ) Do you think there can ever be another Shankly-esque character at the club, one who will command the same degree of respect and hero status? Have we already had that type of character?
My granddad was unique. The very word “unique” implies that there is no other like him. But Bob was also unique in a completely different way. There have been other strong, defining characters at the club like Kenny, who have contributed to its successes and given it that special character. I would say, that what makes my granddad stand apart is the fact that it started with him.

9) If you compare football in the 60s/70s to the modern era, what do YOU personally think absolutely needs to change?
I think football today, is a reflection of the society we live in. If society doesn’t change, then I’m afraid football won’t either. People have to get back to the things that matter: in other words, other people, the community, helping each other out. We have to get away from the obsession with money and consumerism. The players have to show respect to the people who pay large sums of money to watch their team and they must always give 100%. They have to get back to working as a team, not focusing on individuals. The supporters also have to help in that by not glorifying one player at the expense of the team.
 
10) Did your grandfather ever express any views on the women's game? What do you think he'd make of Liverpool Ladies FC today? My granddad was old-school. He didn’t imagine that women were very interested in football. However, I think that such was his passion for the game, that he would enjoy seeing passionate people playing/talking football, regardless of their sex. As for Liverpool Ladies FC, if they were top of their league, he’d love them!

11) Describe him, from a granddaughter's viewpoint!
I was going to say “he was just an ordinary granddad,” but the truth is, he wasn’t! Wherever we went we’d be accosted by fervent supporters. We could never truly be alone with him. Somebody was always calling or vice versa, people were always knocking at the door. But I felt safe around him and I know for sure that he was determined to look after us, because that’s what he always used to tell us.

12) What do you remember about him post-match? Did he ever talk about the game, the team, the tactics, the result, or was football left for the pitch, the changing room and the board room?
Football was never left for the pitch, the changing room or the board room! It was with him every single waking/sleeping moment of the day. Post-match behaviour would very much depend on the result. You would keep out of the way, or not, accordingly!

13) Can you remember when you realised who he was in the city rather than just your granddad? Was there a day when you can recall clocking, "Ah, THAT'S why everyone keeps saying hello to him!"?
I was nine years old when he retired. All of my young life (as I explained before, we spent a lot of time together) my granddad created a massive stir wherever he went. This never changed, even after his retirement. You get used to that kind of thing if that’s all you’ve ever seen. I “realised” just how special he was when I witnessed a great outpouring of grief from the people of Merseyside (Reds and Blues alike) at his funeral and memorial service. I also realised how great he was when, having travelled 1,500 miles to a small country in the Mediterranean, there were young LFC supporters who were inspired by his name and the legacy he’d left behind.
 
14) What do you miss most about him?
I miss his honesty and his sense of fairness. He might have been difficult/gruff/insensitive at times, but he was always fair. Unfortunately, that’s a rare quality these days; being fair sometimes means that you have to make some sacrifices and compromises or, do something that may not serve your own interests and unfortunately, that’s quite a rare quality nowadays. But, to end on a positive note, I actually still feel as if he’s here with us and that’s not a religious sentiment! If I may end with the words of the sports writer Hugh McIlvanney:“Few men ever had the capacity for warming and delighting their fellows without being physically in their company. For many of us he really will always be there.”

 
"Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to share my feelings about my granddad on this very special anniversary."
Karen Gill, August 2013.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2013, 09:57:14 pm by 24/7 »
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Online Zeb

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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2013, 10:06:59 pm »
The answer to question 9 is one which I think will resonate with a lot of us. And that part of Red or Dead is one which stood out for me too. We've never been about the stars, the individuals, the one over the team. It's about the team. And we've as much responsibility there as the players. The socialism I believe in...
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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2013, 10:14:35 pm »
The answer to question 9 is one which I think will resonate with a lot of us. And that part of Red or Dead is one which stood out for me too. We've never been about the stars, the individuals, the one over the team. It's about the team. And we've as much responsibility there as the players. The socialism I believe in...

Yes! I read Jim's draft earlier and said the same thing, that answer from Karen brought a lump to my throat. The acorn doesn't fall far from the oak tree.

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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2013, 10:23:14 pm »
Cheers Jimbo. Sadly, I can't get the thought of the St Winifreds School Choir and that annoying kids voice, out of me head!
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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2013, 10:32:55 pm »
Great read, thanks to Jim & Karen for going to the trouble.

As a great man and as a granddan, he died far too early.

Offline 24∗7

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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2013, 12:25:06 am »
Cheers Jimbo. Sadly, I can't get the thought of the St Winifreds School Choir and that annoying kids voice, out of me head!
Haha that was kinda the point ;D 

Oh and yes - answer number 9 is an absolute belter :thumbup

Karen, thanks!
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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2013, 12:33:00 am »
Loyalty makes strength.

The cursor flashes continuously after this and I don't want to say more as in those three words are exactly what we have when we most need it yet it disappears almost daily.

Amazing man
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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2013, 12:52:26 am »
Great read, very interesting to hear the accounts from someone so close to him.

Offline The 92A

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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2013, 08:43:55 am »
Great read and thanks to Karen and Jim. I've heard Karen's father knows a bit about football as well.
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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2013, 09:08:04 am »
Wonderful interview. I finished Red or Dead last night, and I can't stop thinking about it. That answer about glorifying one player rather than the team stood out for me too.

Thank you Karen.

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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2013, 10:28:05 am »
Nice wee read , Karen comes over as a very well balanced ,genuine ,honest person , it's obvious where her influences come from .
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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2013, 10:42:53 am »
Great interview  :)
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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2013, 11:18:59 am »
Thanks, Jim and Karen.
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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2013, 11:30:58 am »
Really enjoyed that - excellent work.

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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2013, 11:36:13 am »
great read

Offline vicgill

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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2013, 04:17:58 pm »
Great read and thanks to Karen and Jim. I've heard Karen's father knows a bit about football as well.


Ha Ha thanks Albie.  ;D


Question No. 5 interested me, Sky being one of my pet hates, firstly because it belongs to Murdoch and secondly they have taken a simple game and made it complicated. "football is the simplest game in the world son", "Don't complicate things, do the simple things but do them well" these are words said to me by the man himself on the training ground at Melwood. I have taken these words  and used them on the training grounds in Hertfordshire and Spain.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 04:25:26 pm by vicgill »
"Football is a simple game based on the giving and taking of passes, of controlling the ball and making yourself available to receive a pass, it is really that simple"

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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #16 on: September 2, 2013, 01:11:14 am »
excellent!
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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #17 on: September 2, 2013, 09:05:15 am »
Nice wee read , Karen comes over as a very well balanced ,genuine ,honest person , it's obvious where her influences come from .


Yup, the familly and Vic should be very proud of her, not just on this occasion but on the others when I have heard or read what she has to say Karen comes across very well.

Offline Ycuzz

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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #18 on: September 2, 2013, 09:57:32 am »
Been saving this one.

What a lovely read. Thanks.
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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #19 on: September 2, 2013, 10:00:57 am »
Lovely read that. Cheers Jim (and Karen!).

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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #20 on: September 2, 2013, 10:39:30 am »
Thanks for that, really great stuff.
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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #21 on: September 2, 2013, 10:58:24 am »
Great read, Thanks for that.

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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #22 on: September 2, 2013, 11:17:36 am »
Excellent interview, thank you!
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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #23 on: September 2, 2013, 12:18:45 pm »
Thanks also to Vic above.

If you take his football philosophy into parliamentary politics it translates beautifully. How much better would our country be today if  only the government would follow his advice?

"Don't complicate things, do the simple things . . . . but do them well"

An over-early and savage loss . . . not only for the game but for humanity.
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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #24 on: September 2, 2013, 01:49:46 pm »
Very interesting. Thanks Karen and Jim.

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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #25 on: September 2, 2013, 02:00:33 pm »
Wonderful

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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #26 on: September 2, 2013, 02:14:01 pm »
She is a credit to her Late Grandad, he would be proud of her for sure.
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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #27 on: September 2, 2013, 02:18:00 pm »
The answer to question 9 is one which I think will resonate with a lot of us. And that part of Red or Dead is one which stood out for me too. We've never been about the stars, the individuals, the one over the team. It's about the team. And we've as much responsibility there as the players. The socialism I believe in...

That is exactly the response I was going to comment on as I read it. Particularly poignant today of all days and reiterates the importance of celebrating his life today over and above whatever may be happening over on Sky Sports.

Offline macca888

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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #28 on: September 2, 2013, 03:53:29 pm »
An absolute belter of a read that. Thanks Karen and Jim for taking the time to share this with us.


Fuck it, I was going to leave it at that but I'm going to say it now. Number 9 has got my blood boiling now. Listening to all these greedy bastard players and their agents all quibbling over trying to screw as much cash as they can out of the pockets of us supporters throughout the country. And us supporters are no better with our constant clamouring for new mega money signings which push every price up in the long term, berating some players' loyalty to us and forgetting our loyalty to the ones we don't want any more. All part of the "me, me, me" and "what's in it for me" generation, players, agents, Chairmen and supporters alike.

I'd like to take Karen's answer to that question and force every player and every supporter of every club to read that and let it sink in. And every one of my neighbours who lock themselves in behind their Hillary's Blinds and haven't got the fucking time of day to speak to the old fella who lives a couple of doors away from them when he goes past on his zimmer frame to pic his Daily Mirror up, and all he wants to do is have your company for two minutes.

"They have to get back to working as a team, not focusing on individuals." Such powerful words Karen, because that relates to so much more than just the football industry. Your Granddad would be so proud of you for those words alone. That's the socialism he believed in, and it sounds like you've carried on that torch through Mr Shankly and your dad. You've made a stupid old fart very tearful and nostalgic. Vic, what a diamond you've got there mate.
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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #29 on: September 2, 2013, 04:07:08 pm »

I cherished every word of this interview. Thank you Karen.

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Offline justsean

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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #30 on: September 2, 2013, 04:55:35 pm »
Gutted when that interview came to an end.

Thanks RAWK and Karen for doing that.

I'm enjoying learning more about Shankly today, wish I was around for his time. Football is a completely different animal now.

Thinking back to yesterday on the kop, hearing the minutes applause and rendition of "Shankly, Shankly, Shankly" - still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

Thanks again Karen.

Offline JohnnoWhite

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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #31 on: September 3, 2013, 07:18:42 am »
Re Macca's post above, couldn't agree more mate. It's EXACTLY that proud working-class spirit - the REAL SPIRIT OF SHANKLY - that has been suffocated and submerged beneath the grabbing, robber banks, the bleedin' City (whatever the fuck it is that IT contributes to our standing as a decent and upstanding society!) and the total Tory-led obsession for the age of the individual.

I well understand the objectives of the age of the individual - they seek to destroy the heart and soul of the masses by seducing them with get rich quick stories and over-lavish praise for the thoroughly undeserving.

They undermine our once rock-hard class solidarity by feeding us lack of substance pap via the media (Britain's got talent, ferkin' X Fuctor and the like) when in truth the people deserve to be first and foremost in the plans and thoughts of the nations leaders and CERTAINLY NOT be attacked by mean-spirited and punitive cuts in their living standards. Under the Tories? FORGET IT folks!

I remember reading one of Nye Bevan's utterances when challenging the "establishment". He urged the ordinary working people of this nation always to "Cultivate irreverence!".

I urge you to do the same and challenge the bollux-speak from the Tory old guard of the establishment wherever and whenever you are presented the opportunity.

Listen to Karen Gill's comments - take them on board and make a bloody difference in your communities - just like her grandad Bill so famously did.

« Last Edit: September 3, 2013, 07:23:54 am by Johnnowhite »
There is nothing wrong with striving to win, so long as you don't set the prize above the game. There can be no dishonour in defeat nor any conceit in victory. What matters above all is that the team plays in the right spirit, with skill, courage, fair play,no favour and the result accepted without bitterness. Sir Matt Busby CBE KCSG 1909-1994

Offline Davvo7

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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #32 on: September 3, 2013, 11:53:49 am »
I still remember crying my eyes out when he retired and I got a bit emotional reading that. It's easy to forget that he was also a Husband, Dad and a Granddad given how much we loved the man. I certainly felt like he was a massive part of my life even though I only ever met him once as a kid, in a big crowd of people outside Anfield, to shake his hand.

It must have been hard for his family to share him sometimes, but the fact that his family is still completely embedded within the fabric of the club gives a slight glimmer of hope in these corporate days.

That said, I would have paid good money to watch him deal with some of the current crop of 'professionals' and their parasite agents! "Listen here Son.....listen carefully now laddie....."
Boocoo dinky dau

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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #33 on: September 3, 2013, 12:47:21 pm »
Oh yes - I can faintly hear Bill's dulcit tones (or is my imagination running into overdrive again? ::) ;D ;D

He would not suffer such fools gladly - Take a look at the Beeb's analysis in which his grandaughter Karen Gill's wisdom words (a la her grandad might have spoken!) are quoted.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23931053
There is nothing wrong with striving to win, so long as you don't set the prize above the game. There can be no dishonour in defeat nor any conceit in victory. What matters above all is that the team plays in the right spirit, with skill, courage, fair play,no favour and the result accepted without bitterness. Sir Matt Busby CBE KCSG 1909-1994

Offline Davvo7

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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #34 on: September 3, 2013, 02:50:13 pm »
The reason why so many good people are trying to walk away Johnno. I know you are old school mate, and have massive respect for that, but I try and not get as passionate about it all and can't help getting drawn back in. I remember a tale you told in the Auld arse thread with one of your lads riding up to OT on his bike and tying it to a lamp post with a bit of string to go training. I also loved the tale Brian Hall told of being made up when he got given his debut by Mr Shankly and everybody let him at the front of the bus queue on Sheil Rd going to Anfield - boots in a brown bag under his arm. Halcyon days mate. It all just seemed more honest somehow.

Vic must be a proud Dad!
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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #35 on: September 4, 2013, 07:03:27 am »
Exactly so Davvo mate. The fella who tied his bike to the drainpipe outside the player's entrance at OT was the great Duncan Edwards. Bloody hell eh?

I know there's a grain of truth in auld arses over-glamourising those good old days. But in amongst having to battle through all the shit and the piss of the bogs at the old grounds was some real love for the game plus a genuine shared passion and a togetherness between the players and the fans. Course the players back then were never catapulted into the financial stratosphere like today's exponents of the footballing art.

Some of the half-baked , hype-believing disconnected-from-real-life "superstars" of today would fucking run you over in their blacked-out window Porsche 4 x 4's. Too many journeymen multi-millionaires polluting the game today. Wouldn't piss on some of 'em if they were alight.
« Last Edit: September 4, 2013, 07:14:37 am by Johnnowhite »
There is nothing wrong with striving to win, so long as you don't set the prize above the game. There can be no dishonour in defeat nor any conceit in victory. What matters above all is that the team plays in the right spirit, with skill, courage, fair play,no favour and the result accepted without bitterness. Sir Matt Busby CBE KCSG 1909-1994

Offline vicgill

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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #36 on: September 4, 2013, 12:24:36 pm »
The reason why so many good people are trying to walk away Johnno. I know you are old school mate, and have massive respect for that, but I try and not get as passionate about it all and can't help getting drawn back in. I remember a tale you told in the Auld arse thread with one of your lads riding up to OT on his bike and tying it to a lamp post with a bit of string to go training. I also loved the tale Brian Hall told of being made up when he got given his debut by Mr Shankly and everybody let him at the front of the bus queue on Sheil Rd going to Anfield - boots in a brown bag under his arm. Halcyon days mate. It all just seemed more honest somehow.

Vic must be a proud Dad!

I remember the club houses, Tommy Leishman lived in one, can't remember the rest, I think it was Glenmarsh Close, a Cul de sac. when you come to the end of Deysbrook lane, pub on the corner (Royal Standard) ? turn left onto Town Row and it´s second on the left, blimey it was the same as our house only newer. Chris lawler had one right opposite the training ground on Melwood Drive, watched the 1964 Cup Winners Cup Final with him on his tele, West Ham V 1860 Munich I think, Harry was playing for West Ham.

I am Davvo mate, very proud
« Last Edit: September 4, 2013, 12:26:23 pm by vicgill »
"Football is a simple game based on the giving and taking of passes, of controlling the ball and making yourself available to receive a pass, it is really that simple"

"Friend, mourn not, though he premature departs, his wisdom marches on within our hearts"
  
RIP Ray Osbourne, comrade, epic swindler, and Internet Terrorist Extraordinaire.

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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #37 on: September 4, 2013, 05:42:29 pm »
Hard to disagree with you Johnno!

I used to live in a flat years ago on Eaton Rd above the shops opposite the Walker playing fields. There were always loads of school matches on there and I often imagined that Mr Shankly would have loved walking round the corner to watch the next generation of reds and blues playing on there. Can you imagine how good that would have been for the kids!

Hope you are feeling better Vic and can focus ok on the gems in the history thread. Look after yourself mate.
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Offline vicgill

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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #38 on: September 4, 2013, 07:06:45 pm »
Hard to disagree with you Johnno!

I used to live in a flat years ago on Eaton Rd above the shops opposite the Walker playing fields. There were always loads of school matches on there and I often imagined that Mr Shankly would have loved walking round the corner to watch the next generation of reds and blues playing on there. Can you imagine how good that would have been for the kids!

Hope you are feeling better Vic and can focus ok on the gems in the history thread. Look after yourself mate.

He did go on the playing fields, they are now named after him. The lads used to walk round to his house and ask him if he could come out to play  ;D


Feeling much better mate thank you for asking  :wave
"Football is a simple game based on the giving and taking of passes, of controlling the ball and making yourself available to receive a pass, it is really that simple"

"Friend, mourn not, though he premature departs, his wisdom marches on within our hearts"
  
RIP Ray Osbourne, comrade, epic swindler, and Internet Terrorist Extraordinaire.

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Re: #SHANKLY100 - "There's no-one quite like granddad!"
« Reply #39 on: September 4, 2013, 07:20:38 pm »
A gem of a thread and why it's worth coming back to RAWK again and again.

Should be compulsory reading.