Author Topic: #SHANKLY100 Shankly: Passing On The Legendary Tale  (Read 3206 times)

Offline Garstonite

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#SHANKLY100 Shankly: Passing On The Legendary Tale
« on: April 15, 2005, 11:33:12 PM »
“So Dad, what’s the story tonight?” A young boy asked, as his Dad tucked him in.
“Well,” Dad replied, “have I told you ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’?” Enquired the boy’s Father, perching himself on a stool that sat beside the boy’s bed.
“Yes.”
“Rapunzel?”
The boy replied by nodding his head in an affirmative manner.
“Rumpelstiltskin?” Questioned the boy’s Father, running out of ideas and to further to his frustration, the boy said – “Erm… yeah.”
Dad closed his eyes, squinting, thinking desperately hard of a story that he has yet to tell his young son. “Have I ever told you the story of a man by the name of, William Shankly?”
“No Dad,” was the response.
“Well, he was once manager of Liverpool Football Club. Do you know like Rafael Benitez is now?”
“Yes Dad.”
“Yes well, this story starts way back in December of 1959.”
“That’s near Christmas, isn’t it?”
“It certainly is, and he was the perfect present, I can tell you. Anyway, do you know Huddersfield Town?”
“Think so, Dad”
“He managed them before coming to us.”
“But they’re rubbish.”
“Things were different back then. Life was simpler and football didn’t come with all its downsides. Anyway, if you think Huddersfield are bad – what do you think about Carlisle, Grimsby and Workington, eh?
Anyhow, Bill Shankly was a very passionate man – he loved his football, just like you and I do. When he was appointed manager, he was so determined for us to do well that nothing would stop in his way – he once, very famously said, ‘My idea was to build Liverpool into a bastion of invincibility.’”
“What does that mean, Dad?”
“Well, basically, it means that he wants is that he wanted Liverpool to be the greatest team on the planet – that nobody could beat them.”
“Like Arsenal last season.”
“I doubt Shanks would have allowed those French prima donnas into his team. You see son, his team was based upon hard work ethics, team work and general determination. Despite what Chelsea are demonstrating it’s those three attributes – work ethic, team work and determination – that make a side successful, believe me. Mourinho classes himself as a ‘great coach’ – he’s been given it on a plate. Shankly took over when Liverpool was scraping for their lives in division two!”
“Really!?” The young boy queried, looking astonished.
“Absolutely – Shankly had his new, fresh ideas and brought in Ron Yeats and St. John to form the basis of our team. I suppose, if I had to say, they are the equivalent to Sami Hyypia and, well, Michael Owen I suppose.
But the real goal scorer of this fantasy side was a player by the name of Roger Hunt. In 1961 to 1962 season, Hunt scored over 40 goals then.”
“Wow! That’s better than Henry!”
“Certainly is. But with Shankly’s imprinted philosophy in the side being that it was only the team that mattered, promotion into the top division was all that mattered – Division One.”
“The Premiership, you mean?”
“No – it wasn’t until 1992 that ‘Division One’ turned into ‘The Premiership’. Unfortunately we haven’t won the League since then, 1990 to be exact. Shankly wouldn’t have stood for that, I can tell you – second spot was seen as a failure, to him. When, in his first season in charge of Liverpool at the top flight, he finished eighth. He wasn’t happy with a substandard finish, but he still remained his positive, resolute self. He didn’t panic, nor did he point the finger of blame elsewhere. After years and years of mediocrity, this was considered a success by the board, but not by Shankly. Oh no. So much so, Liverpool went on to win the League title two seasons later. Can you imagine a side like Ipswich, say, getting promoted from Division One...”
The boy interrupted: “The Championship.”
“Whatever, and winning The Premiership just two seasons later? Perhaps the standard wasn’t quite so high, but that is a bloody good achievement let me tell you. If that were to achieved these days, money and vast amounts of new players would have to be brought in, wouldn’t they? Shankly did it, pretty much, with the same side that got promoted a few seasons back.
It was the next season that really got Shankly the adulation of the fans though. Don’t get me wrong, the League was absolutely fantastic, our ‘bread and butter’ according to him, but it was the FA cup that everyone wanted. Perhaps it is not quite seen as such a feat today, but back then that was the trophy to have.
“Not even the Champions League?”
“No. And back then it was called the ‘European cup’ anyway, but I’ll save those stories for a different night.” The boy smiled and his Father continued. “As I say, the FA cup was the trophy to have and the final was between Leeds and Liverpool. With a packed Wembley watching on, Hunt and St. John grabbed the goals that won Liverpool the cup – it was the proudest day in the history of the club: at that point anyway. And if that wasn’t enough, we also had a tie with Inter Milan, regarded as the best side in the world, coming up. People wrote us off before the game had kicked off, saying not only was it unlikely Liverpool would lose, but they were tired after the Leeds final. Anfield was a cauldron that night – the noise startled the Inter players and Liverpool won three one. And despite losing in the second leg three nil and losing the tie in the end, we showed what we could do. It was now time people took us well and truly seriously.
Shankly signed the most inspirational players – one of which was man by the name of Emlyn Hughes. I suppose he was a bit like Steven Gerrard – wonderful drive, commitment and determination to succeed. He was, frankly, Bill Shankly on the pitch. We could do eleven Emlyn Hughes’ right now. And there were others. Some played less but all contributed to a strong squad.
But drastic things needed to be done after inadequate performances and under-achievements of the high standard set by Bill Shankly. He was never one for sentiments and didn’t think twice at getting rid of players that had made this Liverpool team so good in the past few years, players like Yeats, St. John and Hunt, who were integral members, were replaced by other Liverpool legends Hall, Heighway and Clemence. All of which will be remembered for a long, long time – hopefully forever, in the history of Liverpool Football Club.”
“I don’t really know them, though.”
“Don’t worry; I was just like you, as are most kids around your age. You’ll get more and more interested and learn more and more about our illustrious history. Well, if you’re anything like me you will, anyway.”
“Anyway, this new Liverpool team, too, reached the final of the FA cup. I say new Liverpool team, there were some players from the previous regime: Tommy “Hard as Nails” Smith and Callaghan were two most memorable.”
“Did we win the cup, Dad?”
“Unfortunately not, son: Arsenal won it and also won the League.
That just angered Shankly. To him the only way of revenge was through his player’s actions, not his own, like managers of today. His army of players had a latest member, too – Kevin Keegan.”
“Is he the one who was manager of Man City?”
“Certainly is, and he was manager of Newcastle in the 90s. But I’ll always remember him for his days at Liverpool. He was a bit of a ‘media darling’ if you wish, and the media of today would have had a bloody field day with some of his antics, but there was no questioning his ability on the field. He transformed an already good Liverpool team. And his partnership with Toshack was out of this world, together they were a bit like Heskey and Owen. Toshack was like Emile Heskey, good in the air and knocking the ball down for Keegan who was like Owen, fast, skilful and a great finisher.”
“Did we win the League that season?”
“Again, no. We lost it on the last day of the season, but there were signs that this new team was pulling together. Derby County won it that season if I remember correctly.”
“DERBY!?”
His Father laughed, “Yes. But things were different the following season – there was nothing to stop Liverpool. The Championship was in the bag and we also won our very first European trophy against Borussia Moenchengladbach over two legs, three two.”
“Two legs; I thought it was the final?”
“That’s the way things worked then.
Anyway, trophies were vastly becoming a regular occurrence, then. Shankly took time but was slowly forming Liverpool into this invincible team he planned them to be. The next season, formality continued further. When Liverpool ripped apart a solid Newcastle side, heads turned and people began to realize just how good Liverpool was. Forget Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea, this was football of the highest order.”
“What was the score?”
“An easy 3-0 win. And it was all down to Shankly – his ethics and training methods – five-a-sides, lots and lots of ball work and drilling into their brains that they were the best, nobody else, them. Unfortunately, that was the last game that Shankly managed under Liverpool.”
The boy gasped in disbelief. “He announced his retirement on a horrible July day of 1974. Nobody in the city of Liverpool could believe it. He was still evidently fully committed to the cause. But he left the club in perfectly good hands. Mr. Bob Paisley’s hands, but again, that’s for another night.”
“Is he still alive today?”
“I’m afraid not. God knows what he would have said about today’s footballers. He was 60 when he retired and, unfortunately, died not long after it. That was most probably the reason why he left. Football is the best hobby in the world; it can cheer you up when you are down, can put you down you are up, it can take over your life: and that’s when you know the obsession has grown out of hand.
Remember when I took you up to the stadium, to the shop?”
“Yes, why?”
“Well, do you remember there was a statue of a man outside – all bronze, shiny and standing proudly?”
“I think so.”
“That’s him. It’s there to remind me and you, that through good times and bad – Shankly’s spirit is there with us.
Anyway, you best get your rest. Good night.”
“Night, Dad.”
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 04:08:17 PM by MichaelA »

Offline kitano

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Re: Shankly: Passing On The Legendary Tale
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2005, 12:06:11 AM »
good read mate, well done.
Bill Shankly (to a translator when surrounded by Italian journalists)
"Just tell them I completely disagree with everything they say!"

Offline billy-b

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Re: Shankly: Passing On The Legendary Tale
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2005, 01:02:58 AM »
nice that bud, i needed a bit of a cheer up.thanks.

Offline FiSh77

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Re: Shankly: Passing On The Legendary Tale
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2005, 08:42:25 AM »
nice story

Quote
Absolutely – and like Benitez has brought in Pellegrino from his old club, Valencia, Shankly brought in Ron Yeats and St. John from Huddersfield.

always thought ron yeats signed from dundee and st. john came from another scottish team (motherwell?)  ;)

Offline Garstonite

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Re: Shankly: Passing On The Legendary Tale
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2005, 11:24:11 AM »
nice story

always thought ron yeats signed from dundee and st. john came from another scottish team (motherwell?)  ;)

I've modified it now. Cheers.

:)

Offline WOOLTONIAN

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Re: Shankly: Passing On The Legendary Tale
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2005, 11:49:57 AM »
Great story, enjoyed that,
will respond with

"Bill Shankly told me Lies" story, when I get up and running again.

Computer went totally tits up last week and I've lost all my records.

thank heavens for Parents

Dad on the phone when he heard
"I'm not having you without a computer, it's the only thing thats kept you sane the last three years"
Enter "Brand New Shiny Box"

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Offline Garstonite

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Re: Shankly: Passing On The Legendary Tale
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2005, 11:54:18 AM »
Thank him from me, Wooly -- love hearing your stories.

:)

Offline WOOLTONIAN

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Re: Shankly: Passing On The Legendary Tale
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2005, 12:00:28 PM »
He's Not bad for a "Dinglite" , The Original Toxteth Terror
;D
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Offline zigackly

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Re: Shankly: Passing On The Legendary Tale
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2005, 12:07:07 PM »
Computer went totally tits up last week and I've lost all my records.

Shite, sorry to hear that mate. Don't do anything with it or throw it away, might still be able to save them ... there's some free hard diskrecovery software here: http://www.handyarchive.com/free/hard-disk-recovery/

You just need to get yer old hard disk into the new machine and try it ...
A liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth.

Offline WOOLTONIAN

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Re: Shankly: Passing On The Legendary Tale
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2005, 12:28:37 PM »
Shite, sorry to hear that mate. Don't do anything with it or throw it away, might still be able to save them ... there's some free hard diskrecovery software here: http://www.handyarchive.com/free/hard-disk-recovery/

You just need to get yer old hard disk into the new machine and try it ...

Cheers mate, but it's on the skip now.
Others said they could help, but it was totally bolloxed.
RAWK archives have been a fantastic help in my efforts to recover some stories to disk.
I guess I'll just have to put it down to experience.

The only great sadness was loosing every picture I've taken of my Grand Daughter over the last 3 years.

Stories can always be re-written


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Offline Brimag

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Re: Shankly: Passing On The Legendary Tale
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2005, 12:32:50 AM »
Excellent post Garstonite.

The only great sadness was loosing every picture I've taken of my Grand Daughter over the last 3 years.

Sorry to hear that mate, i did the same with my grandkids pics a while back. I always back them up to disc now mate.
A Liverbird upon my chest
We are the men, of Shankly's best
A team that plays the Liverpool way
And wins the championship in May

Offline MichaelA

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Re: #SHANKLY100 Shankly: Passing On The Legendary Tale
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2013, 04:08:38 PM »
#SHANKLY100

Offline John C

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Re: #SHANKLY100 Shankly: Passing On The Legendary Tale
« Reply #12 on: August 1, 2013, 09:53:34 PM »
Brilliant Garstonite, I hadn't even found RAWK when you were putting great stuff like this out.