Author Topic: #SHANKLY100 Glenbuck  (Read 9357 times)

Offline john_mac

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#SHANKLY100 Glenbuck
« on: October 2, 2002, 03:16:43 PM »
26th April 1997 and fifty Liverpool fans are gathered at the Albert at 9.00am. The purpose of the gathering is to pay homage to the founding father of modern Liverpool, Bill Shankly. The coach pulls up and we all board it, heading for Glenbuck via Ayr. Once on-board, an Echo photographer gets on to take a snap of the pilgrimage, but being ‘on the sick’ I had to hide behind the seat as he took the picture, the published photograph looked quite funny with a coach packed to the rafters, everyone trying to get on the photo, and an empty seat where I should be!

We headed up to Ayr, and arrived around dinnertime, given the crew that were there it was not surprising that the first stop was the ale-house. Ayr is only a relatively small place so a coach load of Scousers stood out like John Barnes at a BNP rally, the Railway hotel did not really know what had hit it! The locals made us welcome enough as we made our way around the town, and a few warned us to watch ourselves when we went to Glenbuck as it was “bandit territory”.

We had a great afternoon/ night out, give the Scots as much stick as you like, but there’s no denying you can have a good bevy up there, even if most of the boozers look like extended holes in the wall. Scotland were playing Sweden away during the week, and Ayr was the designated meeting place for a number of coaches making their way to the game. Amazingly, given the geographical location of Scotland to Scandinavia, the coaches were travelling down through England across to Holland through Germany and up to Sweden, no wonder they were leaving on a Saturday night! Anyhow, much singing/banter was had with our new found kilt-clad friends, and the night went off a storm. We returned to the hotel in a fine state, so god only knows what the coaches heading South were like, with bottles of vodka ‘n’ iron bru a plenty.

The next morning there were some rough looking Scousers at breakfast, and black coffee and square sausage quickly became the order of the morning. In the town centre a small hotel opened early for a “golf club” meeting, thirty-odd of us acquired temporary membership of the golf club and the lager was soon flowing again.

We left Ayr at mid-day to head to Glenbuck. The trip was the brainchild of Jimmy Flowers, who with the aid of Network 5, through the production of the Video Shankly (from Anfield with love) and Scottish Coal had raised the money to lay a permanent tribute to the great man at his birthplace. Profits from the sale of the video had been donated directly to the memorial fund. Without the tremendous work put in by Jimmy it is doubtful that the tribute would ever have been made. As the coach weaved its way through winding roads and into Glenbuck, it was obvious that there was now nothing left of the one-time mining village, just a sea of green hills with no indication that it had been the home of anybody, let a lone a legend such as Shanks. The town is now completely derelict without a building standing, a place where you are far more likely to run into a sheep than any professional footballer, within the acres of rolling greenery. According to the fair residents of Ayr the only people we were likely to run into in Glenbuck were ‘cattle rustlers’.

As we entered the site of the memorial, the one time football ground of the Glenbuck Cherrypickers, the coach was greeted like the team coach coming down Wembley Way, with loads of young Scots clapping & cheering us. This became even more hilarious, when a load of beer bellies dived off the coach dying for a burst, running round the back to relieve themselves. The major of a neighbouring town and representative of Scottish coal looked a tad embarrassed at the site.

About another 50 reds had made their way independently, many staying in Butlins in Ayreshire. These were there to greet us off the coach with a seemingly everlasting supply of Butlins “throw-away” cameras, and joke Scottish hat & wigs to brighten the day. The locals were out in numbers and Liverpool FC were represented by Willie Stevenson and Ron Yeats. It was a bit disappointing to see Ron reel out his usual Shankly anecdotes as though he was on the after the dinner circuit, I did not think this was the right way to address his “audience”, who had all heard all the same stories before. Willie Stevo, by contrast, appeared genuinely interested in the well being of the fans and very interested in hearing about experiences as well as sharing his own.

The monument to the great man was soon unveiled. It is a black marble plaque a bit bigger than a paving stone and similar to a head stone, it reads:

Seldom in the History of Sport can a village the size of Glenbuck have produced so many who have reached the pinnacle of achievement in their chosen sport. This monument is dedicated to their memory, and to the memory of one man in particular, Bill Shankly.

The Legend
The Genius
The Man

Born Glenbuck, Ayrshire 2nd September 1913
Died Liverpool, 29th September 1981
From Anfield with Love, Thanks Shanks

And a list of the achievements of the great man.

An image of the monument can be seen at http://www.shankly.com/stone.htm. From this image it looks like the monument has now been laid into a stone wall.

Both Yeats and Stevo spent a deal of time talking to the lads who were there, and some of the fans had marvellous anecdotes about the great man. It was the reaction of Shankly’s family that was most amazing…..they were simply dumbfounded at the awe that the great man was held in, even amongst some of the younger fans.

I did not watch that many of the games under Shankly and those that I did were at a very young age. I was, however, brought up on tales of Shanks from my parents, uncles and grandparents……….Shanks was Liverpool in the early 70s, he was more of a superstar than any player, and, of course, I had a Shankly silky.

From Glenbuck we once again mounted the coach and headed for Muirkirk, a small town neighbouring Glenbuck. At Muirkirk they had set up a game between local schoolboys and a team of LFC youths. To be honest the game was a bit of a mismatch with the Liverpool lads running out easy winners. The game, like the unveiling of the Shankly tribute, was well supported by locals.

Muirkirk has seven pubs, and it didn’t take long to visit them all. Many of the locals were simply amazed to see that we had travelled up to Scotland for this occasion, and to some extent we were looked upon as strangely as any trip to Eastern Europe. The coach had been due to leave at 5.00pm but by the time we returned to the starting point the night was well under way. Everyone agreed to “stay for another one”, except for a Mr Garner from Halewood (Leather bottle wimp) who retreated to the coach to sulk. Members of the Shankly family, locals and Liverpool fans sat together swapping stories and drinks. The atmosphere was marvellous and the coach got further and further delayed, if the place had had hotels I doubt we would have left at all.

The night ended with Shanks’s nephew making a moving speech in the pub, as the coach sat outside awaiting our departure, Mr Garner an all. He spoke of the greatest day of his life, and his and his families love of the people of Liverpool. It was enough to bring a tear to even the most hardened of us, and finished to rapturous applause. We eventually set out on our merry way at last orders (after a carry-out was bought), and the coach home gave a musical (well sort of) tribute to Shanks.

A fine day and a fitting tribute to the great man. If you are travelling through Ayreshire at any time, it may be worthwhile stopping and giving a thought  to the man who built LFC into the institution we know.

When I returned to work, on the notice board was a cutting from the Echo with a comic bubble coming out of me mates mouth “Where’s Maca?” …………some people eh…blow anyone up!
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 03:31:42 PM by MichaelA »
We'll See Things They'll Never See

Offline The Albert Cock

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Re:Glenbuck
« Reply #1 on: October 2, 2002, 03:27:00 PM »
great story mate.
I checked out the link also.

Shanks will never be forgotten - its great to see youngsters still talking about him now.

Offline Steve C

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Re:Glenbuck
« Reply #2 on: October 3, 2002, 05:29:16 PM »
Class, class, class.

Piccie attached.

Offline Mottman

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #3 on: January 5, 2008, 01:27:24 PM »
Enjoyed that John, ta for posting it up.
A boy from the Mersey and a Son of Shankly.

Offline Hinesy

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #4 on: January 5, 2008, 01:36:23 PM »
you take your time reading Robbie ;)
Yep.

Offline Guaranga

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #5 on: January 5, 2008, 01:42:24 PM »
Sound post. :)

Offline Mottman

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #6 on: January 5, 2008, 01:45:15 PM »
you take your time reading Robbie ;)

I'm a slow reader.  ;D
A boy from the Mersey and a Son of Shankly.

Offline Glenbuck1914

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #7 on: January 5, 2008, 02:10:58 PM »
Always good to see the cornerstone of LFC get a mention.  :)

Offline jeremy goss

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #8 on: January 5, 2008, 02:16:08 PM »
great weekend john,the great man would have been proud,well done to jimmy flowers for the organising,,ps,,jg is still the same :no

Offline The Red artist.

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #9 on: January 5, 2008, 02:20:21 PM »
Went up their meself about 2 years ago. Only the monument is there, but its deffo worth going. Just to be there is special!!
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Offline Mottman

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2008, 10:32:16 AM »
Has anyone got any contact details of the lads who were involved with the setting up of the Glenbuck memorial for Shanks? drop me a PM if you can help.

Jimmy Flowers is one of the names I have been given, any help would be much appreciated.

Can't say why at the moment, in time all will be revealed?

Muchas Gracias dudes and dudettes - walk on.
A boy from the Mersey and a Son of Shankly.

Offline jimmymack

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2008, 11:19:23 PM »
We cannot thank the very special village of Glenbuck enough. What and where would we be without it. We love your son Bill, he made the people happy!
Glenbuck
Bills family
Bill
You'll never walk alone!

Offline MBE

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #12 on: February 6, 2008, 03:38:16 PM »
I was disappointed in the place itself when I went.  There's no actual Glenbuck as such as all there is is a gate and a Keep Out, Coal Board sign.  It was also a pity the memorial was written in such bad grammar. 
It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

Offline Fat Tony

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #13 on: February 6, 2008, 03:51:13 PM »
I've been meself, didn't really check the grammar on the memorial though, perhaps I'm not a real "RAWKITE" then? ;)

It is in the middle of nowhere though, no wonder he fucked off ;D


Offline WOOLTONIAN

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #14 on: May 3, 2008, 10:08:11 AM »
Funny when we're down how we look back to Bill for a ray of hope.
cheers John
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Offline BootleRed

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2008, 09:37:55 PM »
I travel to Ayr about 6 times a year with work and now find it impossible not to pull into Glenbuck and spend a minute looking at the monument to the great man himself.

Had to laugh about Muirkirk and Glenbuck being bandit country...thats an understatement believe me.....especially Muirkirk, the only thing missing is the duelling banjos!!
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Offline AureliosHeel

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2008, 07:42:30 PM »
i think it is really good.

Offline vicgill

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2008, 08:06:54 PM »
The village as it was in the old days
 
 
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Offline pool182

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2008, 08:32:13 PM »
Anybody planning on going to glenbuck  via the rangers v liverpool game on saturday.  Think I will pay it a visit on sunday after the game is it easy to find??

Offline nige

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2008, 01:29:24 PM »
Anybody planning on going to glenbuck  via the rangers v liverpool game on saturday.  Think I will pay it a visit on sunday after the game is it easy to find??

for somewhere that doesn't exist any more it is v. easy to find !

off M74 at junction 12 (services there too)

A70 West (there's a nice pub or 2 in Douglas after 2 miles plus the monument to the Cameron Highland regiment ),

When you see the sign for Scottish Coal after 8-9 miles turn off nothwards for just  a few yards, come to a gate saying Scottish Coal Keep Out, and there's the plaque in the stone wall just behind you by the cottage.

Another 11 miles along the A70 brings you to the turn off for the village of Cronberry, whose team the young Shankly played for before signing for Carlisle.

After that there's the town of Cumnock, with the Keir Hardie statue, symbolising the great socialist traditions of the area and the way they have been sold down the river like Glenbuck itself.

Offline pool182

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2008, 06:30:58 PM »
Thanks really good info cheers ;) ;)

Offline pool182

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #21 on: August 5, 2008, 07:13:11 PM »
for somewhere that doesn't exist any more it is v. easy to find !

off M74 at junction 12 (services there too)

A70 West (there's a nice pub or 2 in Douglas after 2 miles plus the monument to the Cameron Highland regiment ),

When you see the sign for Scottish Coal after 8-9 miles turn off nothwards for just  a few yards, come to a gate saying Scottish Coal Keep Out, and there's the plaque in the stone wall just behind you by the cottage.

Another 11 miles along the A70 brings you to the turn off for the village of Cronberry, whose team the young Shankly played for before signing for Carlisle.

After that there's the town of Cumnock, with the Keir Hardie statue, symbolising the great socialist traditions of the area and the way they have been sold down the river like Glenbuck itself.

Visited the monument on the sunday after the rangers game in glasgow very nice it is too and a fitting tribute to a legend.  Your right about Glenbuck though its right in the middle of knowhere.  Well worth seeing!!


Offline glenn-buck

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2008, 12:21:14 AM »
Went to Glen Buck on the way back from Rangers game.
Was a great trip, the game and then the little trip made for a great day out.
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Offline Kakashi Hatake

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2008, 03:36:38 PM »
That was a long read but it was worth it.

Offline Kakashi Hatake

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2008, 03:37:10 PM »
I mean there's alot of information there.

Offline irishred1991

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2008, 06:38:35 PM »
nice
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Offline Benimar Col

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #26 on: December 15, 2012, 11:48:28 PM »
I've had to have yet another read of this nostalgic yarn, brings serious sanity back to a scenarios which I find borders on the pathetic,   finding it harder to take how Shanks' and my beloved Club languish into mediocrity with a rudderless pilot.

I would love to make the trip to both Glenbuck and to Hetton-le-Hole for obvious reasons, bucket list additions for 2013, I'm sure these  will happen really soon

Good old story to put the good feeling back into oneself  :wellin
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Offline MONDAVE

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2012, 01:29:56 PM »
" ....Neal against Knuyp.. (Neal scores penalty).. and with such simplicity surely now the European Cup is won.."

Offline Jonathan Hall ☆☆☆☆☆

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Re: Glenbuck
« Reply #28 on: May 25, 2013, 06:07:47 PM »
Came back from Glasgow this morning and popped in on the way back. Satnav would have taken me to the village itself if the gate wasn't locked. Even a normal road sign pointing the way. Was worth the 9 odd miles off the motorway.
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