Author Topic: #SHANKLY100 Following in the footsteps of Shankly…  (Read 2679 times)

Offline Em5y

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#SHANKLY100 Following in the footsteps of Shankly…
« on: July 24, 2004, 08:56:35 PM »
And so we are off to the US of A – Yeehah!  I have put this together for the good reds who have made their banners and travelled thousands of miles – and will be lucky enough to see the redmen on that side of the Atlantic, and also for the thousands of Liverpool fans in North America, who may be getting to see Liverpool in action for the first time.

Manchester United, Liverpool and Celtic travel with much talk of exploiting this brand new market with all these thousands of ‘new’ football fans in the States.  But this isn’t the first time we’ve been to America on tour – many years before the reds crossed the Atlantic with our very own Bill Shankly.

Shanks disliked foreigners.  Perhaps disliked is too strong a word, but he had a definite suspicion of them.  This didn’t stop him taking his Liverpool teams to tour America however.

This fascination with America started back when Shanks was a young lad growing up in Glenbuck.  Bill certainly was a crowd pleaser – who could hold the audience in the palm of his hand.  Much of this came from watching the old Hollywood classics in his local cinema in Muirkirk and trying to emulate his heroes from the big screen. 

His dad would take him to watch gangster films which were popular at the time.  Jimmy Cagney and Edward G Robinson were Shankly’s early inspiration.  The tales were often of a tough young guy who made good – something Bill wanted to relate too.  Shankly was also a huge fan of The Untouchables – a television series about gangsters and their battle with a group of cops.  There were few times when Shanks was happier than watching these men in their suits with their rat-a-tat guns.  Indeed, Shanks would never miss his programme.  If Liverpool were playing away on the Saturday, he would ensure they left in plenty of time on the Friday so he could be sat in front of the telly in a hotel room in time for his favourite programme.

Shanks once said to Tommy Smith:

“You think you're a hard man?  Here, these guys were hard men”

He handed Smith photographs of James Cagney and his mob.

“If they did something wrong they got shot!”

Phil Chisnall once said about Shanks’s fascination with gangsters:

“He loved The Untouchables, he loved people who were aginst the norm.  He wouldn’t stand for agents and so on, he wouldn’t be able to handle them.  He would dismiss them as nothing.  On a Friday night we would go to Lymm to stay in a hotel and someone would say, “What time are we leaving, boss?”  He would say, “Well, what time is The Untouchables on?” That would decide when we left”.

The following piece comes from ‘The Essential Shankly’ written by John Keith.

Bill Shankly was very suspicious of foreigners.  He once said: ‘You know, what they’re like abroad…a load of thieves, rogues and vagabonds, living on their wits in the gutter.’  He used to talk about how foreign managers were devious and cunning.  So clearly, when Liverpool played in Europe he was always on his guard – but not just in Europe.  Liverpool had an amazing trip to America in 1964.  New York is 5 hours behind Britain and one of Bill’s ambitions was to go to Jack Dempsey’s bar, which he did.  He had been in there 20 minutes when he said to Bob Paisley: “Well Bob, I’m off to bed”.

Bob said: “But it’s only bloody nine o’clock!”

Shanks said: “It’s two o’clock on my watch and no bloody Yank’s telling me the time.”

If that wasn’t bad enough Shankly put up the team sheet on the wall in the hotel at six o’clock in the morning.  On that same tour of the US and North America, Shankly took the Liverpool team to Soldier Field, Chicago, venue for the famous ‘long count’ world heavyweight title fight between Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney in September 1927, where Tunney retained the championship with a points verdict.  Dempsey had felled Tunney but failed to go to a neutral corner when ordered by the referee, and after being down for an estimated 14 seconds Tunney regained his senses and went on to record his second successive points win.

When Liverpool arrived at Soldier Field, Shanks sought out the groundsman and asked:

“Now then, where did the fight take place?”

The guy said: “Well around about here…just here”.

Shanks said to the players ‘Get stripped! I want you to play 5-a-side on this very spot.’

On the same 1964 tour – journalists Colin Wood of the Daily Mail and Derek Potter of the Daily Express had to make an early-morning trip across Detroit from their hotel to the Liverpool hotel to link up with the team for an airport departure.  Wood recalls:

“We got there about six o’clock and we encountered Shanks prowling around the hotel lobby to the sound of vacuum cleaners and floor polishers.  We were looking for breakfast but Shanks said: ‘There’s no breakfast here yet, we’ll go out and find some.’
We suggested it would soon be served in the hotel because the team were leaving early for the airport.  But he wouldn’t have it.  He insisted on taking us on a march across the city.  We must have walked three miles.
Eventually he stops at this dreadful place, full of dropouts and drug addicts.  Shanks walks straight in  and says to this six feet five inch, 18 stone guy chewing gum and wiping the counter: ‘Right…bacon, eggs, sausage, tomatoes, fried bread and tea for three.’
This huge guy just pointed to the menu board and drawled: ‘We only do hot dogs and hamburgers in here.’
Shanks was so angry that he leaned across the counter, picked up this enormous feller and roared: ‘Jesus Christ…nobody eats a hamburger or a hot dog for breakfast!’
So we walked out and found out we were double losers because when we got back to the hotel all the players had enjoyed a lovely breakfast and we’d missed it!”

Wood also remembers a scene before the game in Chicago between Liverpool and German club Meiderich, later to become Werder Bremen:

“The kick-off was approaching and we looked out and saw a figure go to the centre spot, pick up the ball and kick it in the air before it disappeared into his raincoat.  He did this a few times with other balls.  It turned out to be the Meiderich coach and the next thing is that Shanks goes over to him, kicks the fellow up in the air and the ball pops out the top of his coat like a pea from a pod.
Apparently, the German was trying to deflate all the footballs to a pressure that would suit his team the best.  But Shanks had seen him.  So Shanks made Bob Paisley go to the referee and get all the balls re-inflated.  Nobody but Shanks would have the gall and the nerve to do what he did.  Many have felt the rough edge of the Shankly tongue – and got the message without the aid of an interpreter.  But it was all for the Liverpool cause.  Many tasted the indominatable spirit that made Shankly and his team so successful.”

And there we have it – following in the footsteps of Bill Shankly is Rafael Benitez.  Good luck reds!  Let’s hope Bill is watching over us – and this is the pre-season that takes us on to number 19!
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 04:04:55 PM by MichaelA »

Offline GabyAlonso

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Re: Following in the footsteps of Shankly…
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2004, 09:12:03 PM »
God, that shankly geezer aint half a legend  ;D ;D
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Offline wellsie82

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Re: Following in the footsteps of Shankly…
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2004, 09:40:19 PM »
good post mate  :)

always like reading about the great man
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Offline Maggie May

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Re: Following in the footsteps of Shankly…
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2004, 09:55:40 PM »
Excellent as ever Emsy.  Terrific post  :wave
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Offline Tarpaulin

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Re: Following in the footsteps of Shankly…
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2004, 10:30:46 PM »
Great stuff Al.....love it.

Quote
Shanks said: “It’s two o’clock on my watch and no bloody Yank’s telling me the time.”

Offline Armin

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Re: Following in the footsteps of Shankly…
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2004, 10:38:40 PM »
Fantastic post Emsy.  Wish I was going out there but reading this is a close second.

Cheers :D
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Offline SJL

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Re: Following in the footsteps of Shankly…
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2004, 01:22:08 PM »
Great post, legendary bloke.

Shanks was so angry that he leaned across the counter, picked up this enormous feller and roared: ‘Jesus Christ…nobody eats a hamburger or a hot dog for breakfast!’

 ;D ;D ;D

Offline Em5y

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Re: Following in the footsteps of Shankly…
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2004, 03:08:24 PM »
Quote
‘Jesus Christ…nobody eats a hamburger or a hot dog for breakfast!’

And not strictly true - as I have been known too... :)

Offline MichaelA

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Re: #SHANKLY100 Following in the footsteps of Shankly…
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2013, 04:05:18 PM »
Bump for #SHANKLY100