Author Topic: George Scott's Anfield Tour  (Read 1204 times)

Offline Jühn C

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George Scott's Anfield Tour
« on: October 5, 2018, 07:43:10 PM »

Edit - Just after posting, George contacted us to ask for the word No to inserted before 'multi-coloured boots' (see below) ;D

On arriving at Anfield recently I took a long nostalgic walk around the stadium and noticed the tremendous changes and developments that have occurred to the whole area since I arrived there in December 1959 as a 15 year old boy 360 miles from my home in Aberdeen to join what would become the great Bill Shankly’s revolution.

The massive club souvenir shop opposite the fantastic new Main Stand and the many other modern commercial developments that have been implemented around the stadium, including a new hotel being built alongside the ground, are all so impressive, and so worthy of a club of Liverpool FCs stature in the game.
I noticed that many families were queuing to enter the new stadium tour facility and museum, and I found my mind wondering back to that time when I first arrived at Anfield and how it was then, before the glory years that lay ahead.
If there had been a stadium tour then, this is what the people would have seen.
Let me take you on a virtual, but accurate and nostalgic tour of Anfield in 1960.
“You walk in the player’s entrance and down to the long passage beneath the old main stand, turn left, and the home dressing room is the first door on the left. You enter and see a large square dressing room with a brown wooden bench around the perimeter. There are eleven pegs for the player’s shirts (no substitutes in those days) the rest of the shorts and shirts are neatly folded on the bench beneath the pegs with the boots clean and shiny in pairs on the floor (only black boots)
In the centre of the dressing room is a large massage table where before the kick off on match days Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan rub winter green and oil on to the player’s legs and massage their muscles.(I can still smell the winter green today).
Rueben Bennett is looking on or motivating the players before Bill Shankly enters to give the final instructions. At the back of the room is a large door leading to the bathroom and toilets.
There were no showers in those days only a large communal bath which ex trainer and handyman Albert Shelley makes sure is filled and hot at the end of the game. for the players to leap in to and lark about with lots of laughter if they win which they usually did.
You go back out in to the passage and turn left again then walk along around twenty yards and you will see a wooden door on the right.
When you enter the room you are in what in future years was to become the most famous room in any football stadium in the world
(The original boot room)
Along one wall are rows of numbered pegs with black football boots hanging on them, opposite there is a large wooden work bench with hammers nails a shoemakers last with black shoe polish and lots of studs scattered around.
(There were NO multi coloured boots in those days)
Along another wall are large wicker baskets which contain fresh kits in one, and dirty training kit to go to the laundry in another. There are cans of paint, sweeping brushes, and other assorted implements scattered around.
This place is the domain of Bob Paisley, Joe Fagin, Rueben Bennett, Albert Shelley and us ground staff lads (when we are cleaning the boots.)
You wonder back out of the boot room and turn right, a few more yards and there is another door in front of you, you open it and walk in to the large treatment room where all of the players receive the best treatment available at the time which amounted to oil, liniment, and a good massage until Bill Shankly invested in a magic machine from Germany which put electric currents into the leg muscles.
Shanks and Bob first tried it out on Jimmy Melia and practically electrocuted him
You then go out of the treatment room and walk back down the passage past the boot room then past the home dressing room till you reach the players tunnel. But just before the players tunnel leading to the playing arena there is another room which is the away team’s dressing room.
You enter, and immediately see that it is half the size of the home dressing room, very cramped with a much smaller communal bath
(Subtle psychology was in operation even back then)
You waste no time there, but come out and avoid going down the players tunnel but walk on down the passage past a door on the right that has a sign on the door saying “The Manager” you walk on past because you dare not enter, for you know that room was a sacred place where players were summoned to be made to feel they could take on the world, or be chastised if they stepped out of line, but in any case inside there was only a desk with an old Olivetti typewriter on it and some photographs on the wall when the Boss was not in residence..
At the end of the passage there is another large door which you enter and see a snooker table in the centre of the room. There is a leather bench all-round the room and a snooker score board on the wall along with many snooker cues. This is where the players came in the afternoon to play pool after training and to relax.
I can still hear the laughter and the gambling bets and mickey taking of young men in their prime who filled the room with success stretching out ahead of them.
The room was also used for staff and team meetings in a crisis after losing a home game.
(But that did not happen very often in those days)
Come out of the snooker room and go up the stairs to the inside of the old main stand there you will see the canteen where the players had lunch every day on their return to Anfield from Mellwood by coach.
If you are lucky Bill Shankly can be seen in his special table in the corner by the door drinking some concoction contained in a silver teapot and preaching as only he could to a member of the press.
Further along the corridor was another room which had a sign saying “Directors” where only wealthy men were allowed.
We never saw what went on in there, but the meetings were held at times when the players were not around, usually every month.
The Manager attended those meetings but as he said
“The Directors were not part of the holy trinity of the players, the manager, and the supporters they were only there to sign the cheques”.
There was no trophy room because the trophies had all still to be won but they would not be long in coming in the glory years to come.
You go back downstairs to the player’s tunnel and walk down the steps then up on to the sacred turf which has mud down the centre and in the goalmouths.
There is no “This is Anfield sign” to touch and the stadium looks a little dilapidated and in need of a coat of paint. You look up to the main stand above the paddock and above the wooden seats there is the curved arc in the centre with the words LIVERPOOL FOOTBALL CLUB in gold letters.
On your left is the dugout where the manager and trainers sit on match days and next to that is the old bandbox.
You look across to the Anfield Road Terrace behind the goal with the red barriers scattered throughout the terrace.
You then look across to the Kemyln Road Stand and you see a low paddock with high wooden boards behind it and a low seated stand dwarfed by the famous Spion Kop on the right which holds 28,000 dedicated fanatical supporters every match day.
All the games are played on Saturday with a 3.00pm kick off, and when Liverpool attack towards the Spion Kop goal the noise is deafening and the crowd in that Kop moves like an ocean wave. Especially when the reds score.
Every home match sees 53,000 in attendance and the atmosphere is electric.
High on the top right hand side of the Kop as you stare at it, there is a mini prison with bars separating this section from the Kop, The soprano voices coming from that area sound like the Liverpool Cathedral choir’
It’s the old boys pen where the apprentice Kopites assembled until the day they graduated on to the famous terrace as men.
Gerry Marsden’s amazing rendition of YNWA was still three years away in the future.
Back we go, down the player’s tunnel, out of the player’s entrance and along the car park on to Walton Breck Road and catch the 26 or 17d bus back in to town.
If anyone really had been on that virtual tour in 1960 would they have had any comprehension of what the great Bill Shankly and the rest would achieve and the dynasty that would be created in the years to come?
The magnificent new stand will be a permanent testimony to all those wonderful managers, coaches and players who have gone before and the corporate hospitality areas will be full, everyone will be in a comfy seat and all those fantastic premier league footballers’ cars will be parked along the wall behind the huge Kemyln Road Stand.
It’s a bit different from those far off days when  Billy Liddell or Ian Callaghan got the 17d bus to the match with the fans allowing them to jump the queue to get there for kick off but that’s progress as they say and I suppose it is”

C. George Scott

« Last Edit: October 6, 2018, 11:49:53 AM by John C »

Offline commando

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Re: George Scott's Tour of Anfield
« Reply #1 on: October 5, 2018, 07:57:33 PM »
Brilliant read that.

Offline Mr Grieves

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Re: George Scott's Tour of Anfield
« Reply #2 on: October 5, 2018, 07:58:45 PM »
Great read.

Progress of a sort I'd say.
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Offline meady1981

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Re: George Scott's Tour of Anfield
« Reply #3 on: October 5, 2018, 08:15:23 PM »
You can stick tactics, formations and transfers up your arse. This is what I’m here for. Well, this and outlandish construction fantasies.

Offline Anthony

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Re: George Scott's Tour of Anfield
« Reply #4 on: October 5, 2018, 08:23:51 PM »
You know, if there were any archive pictures of this it would make a cracking video but then again the mind's eye is a wonderful thing...
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Offline Medellin

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Re: George Scott's Tour of Anfield
« Reply #5 on: October 5, 2018, 08:55:49 PM »

Superbly written,loved that.
« Last Edit: October 6, 2018, 09:23:29 AM by Medellin »
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Offline Jühn C

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Re: George Scott's Tour of Anfield
« Reply #6 on: October 5, 2018, 09:17:32 PM »
There's been a minor edit to the original post - see above.

This kind of experience and these sort of memories are part of the foundations of what Liverpool Football Club is. It's invaluable, it's unique and it's hardly replicated anywhere in the world.

Thanks again George.

Offline Gladbach73

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Re: George Scott's Tour of Anfield
« Reply #7 on: October 5, 2018, 09:19:27 PM »
As a current LFC tour guide, this makes fascinatinating reading, especially the near "electrocution" of Jimmy Melia. They were turning the new machines dial up and up and Jimmy had no feeling of a current, until Bob realised he hadn't switched it on at the wall, and nearly sent Jimmy into orbit!!!!
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Offline Zeb

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Re: George Scott's Tour of Anfield
« Reply #8 on: October 6, 2018, 05:02:22 AM »
As a current LFC tour guide, this makes fascinatinating reading, especially the near "electrocution" of Jimmy Melia. They were turning the new machines dial up and up and Jimmy had no feeling of a current, until Bob realised he hadn't switched it on at the wall, and nearly sent Jimmy into orbit!!!!


Way I heard the story was that the machine was Bob's idea because he was always up for trying new gadgets with him doing the physio. No idea how true that is mind.

Lovely that read. Thanks George. And thanks John.
« Last Edit: October 6, 2018, 06:51:04 AM by Zeb »
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Offline Nitramdorf

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Re: George Scott's Tour of Anfield
« Reply #9 on: October 6, 2018, 08:47:31 AM »
Thank you very much for writing that George and for posting, John.

Just reading that and seeing the names on paper sends a shiver down my spine. Oh to have seen it in the flesh. Great days, better days.

Offline Solomon Grundy

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Re: George Scott's Tour of Anfield
« Reply #10 on: October 6, 2018, 08:59:07 AM »
Good read that John. Thanks for posting it.

Offline ABZ Rover

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Re: George Scott's Anfield Tour
« Reply #11 on: October 6, 2018, 12:09:42 PM »
What a fabulous read.  Thanks for the wonderful pictures you painted in my mind George.

Thanks for sharing John.
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Re: George Scott's Anfield Tour
« Reply #12 on: October 6, 2018, 12:22:27 PM »
What a fabulous read that was, thanks George.
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Offline God's Left His Son In A Manger!

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Re: George Scott's Anfield Tour
« Reply #13 on: October 6, 2018, 12:47:09 PM »
Loved reading that.

Took my 4 yr old daughter and 10 month old son for a quick jaunt down the East Lancs last Sunday morning for their first glimpse of our famous old ground. I hadn't been since the main stand was rebuilt; it has been a busy few years for our family and footy has been restricted to the TV and RAWK.

The place feels so different even now from just 4 or 5 years back. It's magnificent as it is, but there is something in the description above that is just pure romance; it would be wonderful to retain some of that nosalgia and the values implied therein at our ever-developing home. The greatest blessing, I suppose, is that the ground move never came and Anfield stayed put.
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Offline rojo para la vida

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Re: George Scott's Anfield Tour
« Reply #14 on: October 6, 2018, 01:44:39 PM »
Thanks for posting John. Using a tiny bit of imagination, you're there.

I share what I perceive as George's dislike for any boot that isn't black.

Offline Jühn C

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Re: George Scott's Anfield Tour
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2018, 03:09:20 PM »

These are just two little words but they can mean so much.
When you get older and start to look back on your life, you get to thinking just how important these two words are in all of our lives and they certainly have been in mine.
WHAT IF my father had not volunteered to go on that mission in Normandy in August 1944 with his commanding officer, the one from which he did not return, leaving his young wife, (my mother) a widow, and me without a father?
WHAT IF my mother had not met a wonderful man when I was five years old who became my stepfather and treated me like his own son for the rest of his life?
WHAT IF the caretaker at my school had not been a scout for Liverpool Football Club who persuaded my parents to allow me to travel 360 miles to Liverpool for a trial at such a young age of 15?
WHAT IF I had stuck to my original decision to sign for my local team Aberdeen FC and turn down the trial period at Liverpool FC?
WHAT IF I had not performed well in the two week trial period at Liverpool and it had been unsuccessful?
WHAT IF Bill Shankly had not taken the job at Liverpool FC?
WHAT IF I had not decided to move lodgings from Anfield Road to Lilley Road in Fairfield with Peter Thompson in 1963?
WHAT IF my future wife Carole to whom I have now been married for 52 years had not been best friends with our neighbour’s daughter in Lilley Road Fairfield?
WHAT IF I had been given my chance in the first team at Anfield and Bill Shankly had not sold me back to Aberdeen in 1965?
WHAT IF I had evaded the tackle in training which tore my cruciate ligaments at Aberdeen and ended my very promising career at Aberdeen in 1966?
WHAT IF Bill Shankly had not stepped in to save my career by recommending me to Port Elizabeth City FC in South Africa when I was out of work with nothing to fall back on?
WHAT IF the intruder who broke in to our apartment in Port Elizabeth in South Africa in 1968 and who thrust a knife at my chest had been more determined or I had been less fit?
WHAT IF Bill Shankly had not been willing to recommend me to Tranmere Rovers for a one month trial period on my return to the UK from South Africa in 1968?
WHAT IF I had not managed to justify Bills faith in my ability by performing so well in my debut game v Derby County that the club signed me on a two year first team contract at half time enabling me to return permanently to the UK from South Africa?
WHAT IF when I eventually finished my football career with no experience of anything in life other than football I had not seen the advert for a Sales Representative job in the Liverpool Echo?
WHAT IF I had not eventually turned around and returned to the Adelphi Hotel after initially walking out when seeing over 60 other candidates waiting to go in to the group interview.
WHAT IF I had not landed the job against all then odds (Bill Shankly’s written reference saying he would stake his life on my character helped)
WHAT IF I had not gone on to forge a lifetime career in sales in the years ahead securing the long term future of my family?
WHAT IF my two sons had not met and married two wonderful girls giving us four amazing Grandsons between them?
WHAT IF my amazing wife Carole had not received the most wonderful treatment by the blood specialists, consultants and nursing staff at Arrowe Park Hospital ensuring she survived and overcame stage three Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and remains in full remission today nine years later (THAT WAS THE GREATEST WHAT IF OF ALL)
I am convinced that all of the above events happened for a reason and had any one of these events not happened, or happened differently, my life and everything in it, including the lives of my wonderful family and extended family would have been changed forever.
I am so grateful it has all turned out the way it has, I have been so very lucky. Each of us in our lives must have experienced these WHAT IF moments, these are just a few of mine.
It certainly focuses your mind when you think back on your life and how destiny works.

 George Scott

Offline rocco

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Re: George Scott's Anfield Tour
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2018, 07:29:52 AM »
Really enjoyed that