Bill Shankly: A Timeline of Events

Shankly’s life was an interesting one to say the least. From being born in Glenbuck, to living in Liverpool as an honourary Scouser till the end.
Here’s a timeline of important events during Shankly’s 68 year life and beyond!

The early years

02.09.1913 – William Shankly is born in Glenbuck, Scotland.

1931 – He plays football for his local team in Ayrshire, Cronberry Eglinton.

1932 – Shankly moves south where he joins Carlisle United in Third Division North.

July 1933 – After a remarkable season for Carlisle Shankly signs for 2nd division Preston North End. Preston was soon promoted as Shankly’s career flourished.

Young Shankly

09.04.1938 – Shankly was selected to play for his country, Scotland for the first time, playing against England in a 1-0 win at Wembley.

30.04.1938 – Shankly’s highlight as player when Preston wins the FA Cup by beating Huddersfield.

29.06.1944 – Bill marries Agnes “Nessie” Fisher

Bill and Agnes Shankly

From player to manager

22.03.1949 – Despite feeling he had more to offer as a player, 35-year-old Shankly took the manager’s job at Carlisle United.

June 1951 – Grimsby’s board felt Shankly was the right man to revive the club that had dropped from Division 1 to regional football in Division 3.

1951 – Liverpool interview Shankly for the vacant manager’s job at Liverpool.

06.01.1954 – Shankly moves down the ranking in Third Division North, but saving Workington from destruction is a commendable challenge.

05.11.1956 – Takes over as manager of Huddersfield after coaching their reserves for 11 months.

01.12.1959 – Liverpool appoint Bill Shankly as Phil Taylor’s successor in the managerial seat.

Shankly arrives at LFC

14.12.1959 – Shankly takes officially over at Liverpool after finishing his occupancy at Huddersfield.

19.12.1959 – Shankly is in control of his first Liverpool game, but it’s a long way from a perfect start as Liverpool lose 0-4 to Cardiff.

21.04.1962 – After seven years in the 2nd division, Liverpool are promoted with five League games remaining!

18.04.1964 – Liverpool win the championship for the sixth time in their history after a 17 year wait with an impressive 5-0 win vs Arsenal at Anfield.

01.05.1965 – Liverpool win the FA Cup for the first time in the club’s history. Shankly added that it was his finest moment at Liverpool.

FA Cup

12.05.1965 – Liverpool knocked out of the semi-finals in the club’s inaugural season in the European Cup. After a sensational 3-1 win at Anfield in the first leg, Inter beat the Reds 0-3 in Italy after bribing the referee!

30.04.1966 – Liverpool close their second League title under Shankly by beating Chelsea 2-1 at Anfield.

08.05.1971 – Liverpool lose 1-2 to Arsenal in the FA Cup – Shankly delivers the famous Chairman Mao speech.

08.07.1971 – Shankly agrees a new three-year contract with Liverpool which became his last.

23.04.1973 – After 7 years deprived of a title, Liverpool win the championship by beating Leeds 2-0 at Anfield.

23.05.1973 – Liverpool beat Gladbach 3-2 on aggregate in the UEFA Cup final, almost conceding their 3-0 lead from Anfield.

1973 – Bill voted Manager of the year, the only time in his career!

Bill Shankly Memorabilia

04.05.1974 – One of the most one-sided FA Cup finals in history when Liverpool annihilates Newcastle 3-0 at Wembley.

The shock announcement

12.07.1974 – The football world and the whole of Liverpool are stunned when Bill Shankly announces that he is retiring as Liverpool’s manager.

10.08.1974 – Shankly is given the honour of leading Liverpool out at Wembley vs Leeds in the Charity Shield despite retiring in the summer.

12.08.1974 – Bill Shankly legitimately terminates his ‘reign’ as manager of the Reds in Billy McNeill’s testimonial in front of 60,000 people at Celtic Park.

29.04.1975 – Shankly’s testimonial against a Don Revie Select XI – an emotional night at Anfield.

25.05.1977 – Shankly was in attendance when Liverpool won its first ever European Cup in Rome.

The loss of a great man

29.09.1981 – Shankly passes away. Bill suffered a cardiac arrest after battling for life since a heart attack early on Saturday morning. He had been making good progress until his condition deteriorated.

30.09.1981 – Liverpool face Finnish European Cup opponents, Oulu Palloseura, at Anfield. Reds won 7-0 and for the whole of second half the Kop sang Shankly’s name to the tune of Amazing Grace.
A banner in the crowd reads “King Shankly lives”.

King Shankly Lives

03.10.1981 – Bob Paisley and John Toshack lead out their teams at Anfield in the league. Tosh, who was now the manager of Swansea, created quite a stir among the Swansea faithful when he revealed a Liverpool shirt underneath his Swansea tracksuit when Shankly was remembered before the game.

22.11.1981 – “A Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Bill Shankly” held at Liverpool Cathedral.

A series of tributes

26.08.1982 – Shankly Gates unlocked by Bill’s widow, Nessie.

27.04.1997 – The Shankly memorial is erected – a fitting tribute in his hometown, Glenbuck.

04.12.1997 – The statue of Shankly in front of the Kop is unveiled.

June 1998 – Preston North’s End ground was replaced by a new stand named the “Bill Shankly Kop”, designed with different coloured seats providing an image of the great man’s head and shoulders.

18.12.1999 – A mosaic on the Kop to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Bill Shankly’s arrival at Anfield.

02.08.2002 – Nessie Shankly passes away, 82 years of age.

2002 – Bill Shankly is introduced to the English Football Hall of Fame due to his impact on the English game as a manager.

08.11.2004 – Bill is introduced to the Scottish Football Association’s Hall of Fame.

01.12.2009 – 50th anniversary since he signed his contract to become manager of Liverpool Football Club.

16.12.2009 – A “SHANKS LEGEND” mosaic was unveiled on the Kop prior to kick off.

17.12.2009 – Shankly is awarded an Honorary Citizenship of Liverpool in recognition of the 50th anniversary of his arrival as manager of Liverpool FC and his dedication to Merseyside.

May 2014 – A Shankly themed hotel and museum is unveiled by Shankly’s family and Signature Living.

Bill Shankly

What was your favourite Shankly moment?

Let us know on Facebook or Twitter! Credit to for providing the timeline dates.

Jeanette Shankly on…Shankly the driver! Knickers on aerials and losing exhausts on Queens Drive
























So as promised, here is the first in a series of interviews I will be doing with my mum, Jeanette Shankly, on what it was like having Shanks as your ‘arl man!

It’s a fascinating insight into the man himself from the one person who is more qualified than anyone to talk about the man himself. The public side of Grandy has been ‘done to death’ with countless books written. Here, you will get to see the personal and family side of him with some fantastic anecdotes and facts that fans would never have known.

The first focuses on Shankly the driver. I start with this as in many conversations with mum and nan over the years; they would crack up with the mere mention of him and a car.

It seems that whilst Grandy was a genius on and off the football field, he was the exact opposite in an automobile. He had a number of vehicles supplied to him by the club; mum notes; a Capri, Nissan’s and a Ford Zepher amongst them, but it seems whatever he was at the wheel of, the experience for passengers wasn’t a pleasurable one, despite his alluring company.

For a start, his notion of car care was a little overly dramatic. Mum conveys to me that he constantly kept it in the garage as he was convinced cars weren’t exactly weatherproof, and on occasion when he wasn’t at home, if it rained, he would actually dry the car off with a cloth! It was this pre-occupation with keeping cars dry and in the garage that lead to one of the most amusing anecdotes I’ve ever heard. Mum  goes on to explain;

“Mum (Nessie) would often hang her wet washing on the clothes line that had been set up in the garage, especially if she couldn’t put it on the line in the garden due to poor weather. Dad obviously would have the car in there. As he set off out to work one morning at Melwood; he aggressively flew out the garage as he did, wherby as I waved him off, it came to my attention that he had taken a pair of my knickers with him on the aerial! He was gone in a flash before I could alert him so turned up with a pair of my knickers on his aerial from the washing line in the garage!”

Indeed it quickly became apparent that what he had in abundance in terms of skill with a ball, he equally lacked in skill behind a wheel. Mum went on to qualify these comments;

“He was simply a poor driver, always in the wrong gear and way to fast. Of course it didn’t help that on the Capri, the gear lever was on the wrong way round, forward was actually reverse. He took me out for my first ever lesson. I never went again. When I went to work of a morning, he would always offer to drop me off. On the rare occasion I said yes, I made it as far as the bus stop in Tuebrook and asked him to let me out to take the bus! I remember one time his exhaust came off on Queens Drive. He had to go back and get it.”

It seemed that mum wasn’t the only person to take evasive action when Grandy made the offer of a lift. Nanny Ness and others would frequently dodge the area when his car approached.

“Mum would simply take the bus everywhere. She never got in the car with him. We had friends who lived on Sandforth Road, Beech Park. They would often be taking their young children to school of a morning when he passed by. He would always offer a lift. Having experienced it once, they took to the extreme measure of leaving 20 minutes early from then on so as to avoid him and the situation of having to decline his offer of a lift!”

Whilst most avoided him, mum does have recollections of others who were happy to brave the journey.

“Reuben Bennet used to live on Blackmoor Drive. He would walk to ours of a morning to get a lift to Anfield. He used to smoke about 60 cigarettes through the journey; probably I imagine to get him through the experience!”

When talking about Grandy’s driving I try to ask mum to put her finger on just why he was so bad. She reflects;

“I think it was because he just couldn’t stop talking to people. If you were in the car with him, he wouldn’t shut up and would often not concentrate on the road. It was made worse because he of course what you would call a celebrity. If he stopped at a red light; fans would see him in traffic and want to talk to him. Being the way he was; he would want to chat back. Many a time he would simply be stopped at lights talking to people in cars next to him holding up traffic!”

Despite the tales of peril; mum does reflect on some nice experiences with Grandy in cars.

“We used to go up to Glenbuck every Summer, to see the family. He would stop at Carlisle every time to take us to Corierri’s an Ice Cream shop we used to love. He was also so generous. He bought me my first car, a Mini, when I passed my test, brand new; and he bought every other car I had.”

So there you have it. Part 1 of what it was like to have Shanks as an ‘arl man. You might say at times, it drove you crazy!


Shankly’s LFC managing statistics

When Bill Shankly arrived at Anfield in December 1959, Liverpool was in the second division and going nowhere. The training ground, Melwood was a mess, the Anfield ground not a pretty sight and Liverpool FC itself was imposed with largely average players, and the reserves team was bursting with promising, quality players.
Shankly said he felt immediately at home as he sensed a kinship and dedication in the huge crowds with the supporters from the beginning. They were his kind of people. With the backing of Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan and the enthusiasm of the fans behind him he set about rebuilding the team, and that he did.

He used this passion to manage the team sternly, but lovingly. Shankly was always a very distant, authoritarian character, whilst Bob Paisley was seen as the the approachable one. Shankly was very encouraging to the youngsters, but once players were in the senior side he became more standoffish, in order that no favouritism be showed.

Under Shanks’ reign, the team went from strength to strength. And the figures speak for themselves:

Competition Games Won Draw Lost Goals for Goals against
League 609 319 152 138 1034 622
FA Cup 75 40 22 13 103 50
League Cup 30 13 9 8 51 35
Europe 65 34 13 18 114 54
Other 4 1 2 1 5 5
Grand total 783 407 198 178 1307 766


Liverpool fans are still proud of Bill’s record at Liverpool Football Club.
Shanks’ turnaround of the club from a pitiful second divison team to an internationally recognised and celebrated club is regarded as one of the best in history, even to this day.

What is it like to be Bill Shankly’s grandson

I am frequently asked what it is like to be Bill Shankly’s grandson. The grandson of a certified legend. The Godfather of England’s most successful football team and one of the biggest club’s in the world. My answer is rather cliched but an honest one nevertheless; Proud.

The first I remember of it is being at junior school. My full name is Christopher William Shankly Carline and it appeared as so in the register. I remember some kids whose roll was that of the register monitors, had taken it upon themselves to look through said register and noted my rather long name and its ‘famous’ content.

My First Match

Faced with a mountain of questions; it then dawned on me the magnitude of who my granddad had been.

I had been going the match since I was 5 years old, on a season ticket (one of a pair) I still have to this day that had actually been given to Grandy himself when he retired. My love of football and the club however had been fostered not as a result of who my granddad was, but as it would for any young lad growing up in the City; watching a successful team and being encapsulated by a stadium that when in full swing; is unrivaled all the world over.

I knew Grandy had been important, particularly to Liverpool Football Club; that much was obvious; but I never really appreciated in what way and the detail behind it until I was much older. I just knew the reaction it would bring when people conveyed who my famous granddad was, whether it be kids, dads, mums, grandparents, aunties, uncles, whoever, people were always taken with the news.

One of my favourite things that stems from being related to him; is that almost everyone of age who finds out I’m related to him has a story about him. About when they met him. After the initial excitement; the next sentence would always invariably be, “I met your granddad once…….” I love that.


People have told me unbelievable stories that help to build a picture in your mind of the man he was, in addition to everything my Nan and mum would tell me about him too. It was as I got older and became a veteran of these wonderful stories that I began to realise just how amazing a person he was, and how and why his achievements are lauded so greatly.

As a die-hard red who has now clocked up 30 years of going the game; and who has seen my fair share of false dawns at the club in the modern era; it only enhances just how special he was; to have come from nowhere and taken a club from mediocrity to the pinnacle of the game; in the way it SHOULD be done, and not the way these false pretenders haul themselves to the top of the game nowadays based on nothing but the almighty buck.

I’m proud to be able to say that my team is one of the greatest in the world, a dynasty with breath-taking history that was built on proper foundations.

Whatever happens in the future, nobody can take that away from us. It goes without saying therefore that I am even prouder to say it was my granddad that facilitated this.

It’s the eyes lad, it’s the eyes

By far and away the most satisfying for me however; is the fact that my Nan; Nessie and my mum, told me and in my mums case, continues to tell me; that everything about me is him. I literally get everything from him.

Nessie Shankly

My Nan would often get upset when I went to see her, when I would stand up as I was growing up, and with a tear in her eye she would say,

My word love, you are just Bill

I was told by her that I look like him. That I walk like him. That I have his mannerisms. That I have his same thought processes. That I have his distinct lack of dancing ability. That I have his inability to successfully carry out anything DIY related. That I like the same style movies as him.

My mum tells me I’m as bad a driver as he was, but I dispute that!

Nan’s house was like am museum, and one thing I distinctly remember was a brown colored bust of Grandy’s head in the box room. It used to scare me. When I’d go the toilet I would hope the box room door was closed. Of course, many of the artefacts will be on display in the museum.

Even now when people find out, they tell me I am his image “It’s the eyes lad, it’s the eyes,” is the most used comment.

Across a crowded Syntagma Square in Athens 2007, well known red legend and author Peter Etherington approached me as my Shankly t-shirt caught his eye, but that even more strikingly, so had my resemblance to Shankly. He was astounded when he found out and we spent a good couple of hours chatting. He was extremely kind to send my mum and I copies of his books when he returned to Liverpool. A lovely gesture that hasn’t been forgotten.

Family traits

By far and away however; one of the best stories and most bizarre came a good few years back now.

When I was a lot younger, I took Liverpool losing quite badly. I’d be moody and bad tempered and agitated for hours afterwards. This particular time we had been beaten by Leeds at Anfield. I remember Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink got a couple and it was just as they were coming good under O’Leary I think.

I returned home to West Derby with my mum who was at the time, still going the game with me on the second season ticket. I paced around the house like a bear with a sore head, and found myself in the kitchen, whereby for no real reason (at the time I thought), I picked up the towel and cloth and started cleaning the cooker. My mum at this point was making her way into the kitchen from the living room and upon being greeted with her son cleaning the cooker, stopped dead in her track and let out a bit of a shriek.

I was startled and asked her what was wrong; thinking something bad had happened. Nothing of the sort. She instead proceeded to tell me that unbeknownst to me at this point, whenever Liverpool lost, Grandy had a habit of coming home and cleaning the cooker! Here was me, his only grandson, stood with cloth in hand giving the cooker a good going over in the face of defeat to Leeds Utd at Anfield. It was spine tingling to say the least for us all.

The Shankly Legacy

It makes me proud to know that I am so like him. I’ve been going the game since I was 5, and when people find out; I get treated like royalty. It’s surreal but nice at the same time.

When I started the Shankly Family Foundation; I did it as it was something I wanted to do for people; and a way of celebrating and sustaining the Shankly legacy. I hadn’t really stopped to think how it was very similar to Grandy’s socialist ideals. To coin the phrase, ‘he made the people happy’ and everything he did was with his strong socialist ideals in his heart.


I think in that respect therefore he’d have been extremely proud, along with my Nan of what we are doing with the Foundation and the hotel and it gives me heart to know that it’s further evidence that I am very much like him.

After all, I couldn’t have a better person to look up to.


Christopher William Shankly Carline

5 Bill Shankly Stories You Must Read

Bill Shankly was a man who was never stuck for much to say, and it was his wit and warm personality that made people fall in love with him. Over the years, many people haven’t been stuck for stories about one of the world’s greatest managers, which is why we thought we’d share a few of them with you.

1. John Keith on the suspicions of Bill Shankly

John Keith, a respected sports journalist, told how Bill was once found talking to a ceiling…

“Bill Shankly’s suspicions of dirty tricks in foreign lands were always at their height when Liverpool travelled behind the former Iron Curtain. On one trip into Eastern Europe, a member of the club called at Bill’s hotel and found him standing on a chair talking to the ceiling light. ‘I know you’re there… you’re spying on us,’ Bill shouted, borrowing nothing from James Bond. Then, still glaring upwards, he demanded: ‘Why don’t you come out, you cowards?‘”

2. George Best on Bill Shankly vs The Law

George Best looked back on how Bill Shankly was once pulled over by the police for speeding…

“When Shankly was manager at Grimsby, he was stopped by the police for speeding. The officer involved told him, ‘You were going a bit fast there, Mr Shankly,’ to which Shankly replied, ‘You must have been going fast yourself to keep up with me.

Bill Shankly Liverpool

3. Tommy Docherty on Bill Shankly’s Quick Wit

Tommy Docherty recalls how Adidas planned to honour Bill…

“Adidas wanted to present him with a Golden Boot in recognition of what he’d done. Bob [Paisley] took the call and said ”They want to know what shoe size you take‘. Shanks shouted back, ‘if it’s gold, I’m a 28.

4. Patrick Barclay on Bill Shankly on Ian Callaghan

Journalist Patrick Barclay asks Shanks his opinion on LFC player Ian Callaghan

“‘I was just wondering what you thought of Ian Callaghan,‘ I asked. There was a slight paused before Shankly replied ‘Jesus Christ‘, and I thought ‘Oh no, I’ve upset him and now he’s swearing at me.’ I apologised, but he replied ‘No, no, son. I’m saying Jesus Christ is who Ian Callaghan reminds me of. Cally is the greatest man to have existed on this earth since Jesus Christ and he sets an example for everyone around him.'”

5. Ian St John on Bill Shankly Banter

Ian St John remembering the time the This is Anfield sign was placed in the ground…

“When the sign went up Liverpool were playing Newcastle. The Newcastle players are in the passage way and they see the sign. Malcolm McDonald – “Supermac” is going ‘Oh we’ve got the right ground, lads. This is Anfield.’ Shanks heard him.

They get into the dressing room, get stripped, go out to play. Liverpool won, it was 5-0. After the game, the boss goes in and knocks on their door. Joe Harvey says ‘Yes, Bill?’ ‘Is Supermac there?’ They are sitting there, they had just been battered. Shanks then went “You’ll know where it is next time.”

Have you got a favourite Shankly moment? Tell us what it is by leaving us a message below.

10 Things You Need to Know About Bill Shankly

When it comes to football managers, you’d be hard pushed to find better than Bill Shankly. However, there are so many things we don’t know about the Scottish footballer and manager, which is why we’ve taken the liberty to provide 10 facts about the man himself.

Bill Shankly1. Wullie

While many know William Shankly as “Bill”, his family would refer to him as Willie – which is pronounced “Wullie”.

2. Footballing Family

Speaking of Bill’s family, all five of the Shankly brothers were professional footballers. Alec played for Ayr United; Jimmy played for Sheffield United and Southend United; John played for Portsmouth and then Luton Town, whilst Bob was a player for Alloa Athletic and Falkirk FC.

3. Preston North End

Shankly played at Preston North End for 17 years. However, he nearly never signed to the club, as they only offered him a personal fee of £50, plus a signing-on fee of £10 and just £5 wages per week. His brother, Alec, persuaded him to consider Preston as they were a Second Division Club with the potential to regain First status.

4. The Art of Tackling

In his autobiography, Shankly stated that he “specialised in the art of tackling”, and even went as far to say it was an art-form due to its timing. He was, however, an honest player. Proudly claiming that he was “never sent off the field or had name in a referee’s book”.

5. The Referees

Bill Shankly refused to argue with referees. He had learnt a lot about football from his brothers, and was aware that arguing with referees was a waste of time as the referee “always wins in the end”.


Shankly had recently celebrated his 26th birthday when World War II began, and he joined the Royal Air Force. However, the war claimed his peak years on the pitch, as he served in the RAF for seven years. However, he still managed to squeeze in some time for football, as he played in various wartime league, exhibition and cup matches for Arsenal, Luton Town, Norwich City and Partick Thistle. He even played a single game for Liverpool in a 4-1 win over Everton.

Bill Shankly Boxing7. RAF Boxer

Shankly was a keen sportsmen, and even fought as a middleweight during his service, winning a trophy when stationed in Manchester.

8. The Rise from Second Division

Bill Shankly changed the face of Liverpool forever. When he became manager in 1959, he fought to take LFC from second division to make them one of the best clubs in the world. Not only did he strip out the team, but he insisted the club improve the Anfield ground from its disrepair, as they had no means of watering the pitch.

9. Psychology

Bill knew that there was more to the game than physical training, and would use psychology to encourage his own players, whilst raising doubts in his opponents’ minds. He once told Kevin Keegan that Bobby Moore was hungover from the night before. As a result, Kevin Keegan had an outstanding performance, only for Bill to tell him that Moore was a brilliant player that day and that he would “never play against anyone better than him”.

10. English Football Hall of Fame

In 2002, Bill Shankly was made an inaugural inductee of the English Football Hall of Fame, which celebrates the achievements of the finest English footballing talents. It therefore recognised the impact he had on the game as a manager.

Have you got a favourite Bill Shankly fact? Share it with us. We’d love to hear it!

10 Superb Quotes on Bill Shankly

Bill Shankly is a football icon, and an inspiration to football fans, managers and players across the world. We therefore we’d take a look back at some of the best quotes about the legend.

1. George Best

George Best, former Manchester United Winger, once said:

“Bill Shankly, like Matt Busby, was a canny Scot who was never lost for words. I liked him a great deal and I know he liked me. I respected his knowledge of the game and loved his keen wit, which was as sharp as legend has it”.

2. Bob Paisley

Bob and BillBob Paisley was a member of the Liverpool coaching staff, working alongside Bill Shankly when he managed Liverpool FC. He was Shankly’s successor in the role upon his retirement in 1974. Here’s what Bob had to say about his friend Bill:

“You had to learn from Bill. He was football crazy, and I mean crazy. He was fanatical, like no-one else I met. If I had to sum up Bill’s effect on Anfield it’s quite simple that he got the whole thing going. We were nothing before he came, and look at us now. He’s very sadly missed”.

3. Ian St John

Ian St John, a former Preston North End player, spoke of Shankly:

“You have never met anybody with more drive and enthusiasm for football. His special ingredient was his love of the game. Other managers may have hobbies – they might play gold – but his hobby was football”.

4. Chris Lawler

Chris Lawler, a former Liverpool footballer, spoke of Bill:

“He thought the fans were important. For the big games, we would be asking for tickets as player and he would give them to the fans instead”.

5. Rafa Benitez

Former Liverpool manager spoke of how Shankly’s spirit was very much alive at the club:

“When people talk about the “Liverpool Way”, it was always to win. We try to do this and that is our priority if possible. We try to do things properly, like Shankly did”.

6. Kevin Keegan

Bill and KevinFormer England player Kevin Keegan spoke of how Bill Shankly’s managerial outlook:

“Bill gave everyone connected with the club great belief and principles. Everyone counted for something, whether you were the kitman or you cut the grass. I played for a lot of good managers but none were in the same country, let along the same street, as Bill”.

7. Brendan Rodgers

The current Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers, reflects on Shankly’s legacy:

“When you take the job of manager of this great sporting institution, you are fully aware that you are following in the footsteps of true giants. There is no-one more fitting of the phrase ‘greatness’ than Bill Shankly, and his influence is as strong today as it has ever been”.

8. Geoff Twentyman

One of Bill Shankly’s players at Carlisle United spoke of his manager’s attitude towards his players:

“Shankly was a strict disciplinarian. He was always up-to-date on any player’s misbehaviour. If he head that players were womanising or drinking, he’d down on them like a ton of bricks”.

9. Jimmy Jackson

Jimmy Jackson, a former Carlisle United player, talked about Shankly’s love for the game:

“The Shankly brand of enthusiasm made you feel there was no team in the country that you were not able to match”.

10. Ian Callaghan

Ian Callaghan, a former LFC player, spoke of how Shankly would have approached modern-day football:

“I have often heard the theory that Shanks would not have been able to cope in an era when players earn £100,000 a week. I don’t agree. He knew how to handle footballers because it was in his blood”

Have you heard a better quote about Shanks? We want to hear it, so drop us a comment below.

So…did Shanks end up an Evertonian after he resigned?

Bill Shankly


In my last blog regarding Grandy’s resignation and the reasons behind it; I intimated I’d shed some light on THOSE Bill Shankly rumours.

Those rumours I refer to are in relation to one of the most asked questions we get, “Did Shanks end up an Evertonian?”

A direct follow on from the question as to whether Liverpool treated him poorly after he left.

The truth is that the answer to both could be either yes or no. As with everything in life; it isn’t black or white, there are shades of grey.

The Rumours

Bill Shankly Boardroom

If I can take the latter question first.

When Grandy left the club; he struggled to adapt to life without football. It had been all he knew, from a young age, from morning until night. To go from that extreme to the other is hard for anyone. As a result, he would often travel to Melwood to indulge in the facilities, to keep fit and to stay around the thing that he loved most; football.

Having spent 15 years at the club, and having personally bought and/or nurtured many of the players at the club, many of them; when coming into contact with his person would still call him ‘boss’ and in truth, the club felt like this would potentially undermine Bob Paisley’s authority.

His job was already on paper, hard enough; having taken over from the godfather of the club; it’s most successful manager and a man revered by football fans all over the world. The club therefore took the hard task of advising him of this.

Manchester Utd have just gone through it with Ferguson stepping down and Moyes taking over.

Moyes failed where Bob was a success.  Ferguson was however; offered a directorship at the club, giving him impetus there, whereas Grandy never was.

In truth, it was this that rankled with him. He could live with not being around the training ground, what hurt, and he says as much in his autobiography; was not even being approached about being a director.

Whatever way you look at it; and you can be the most mentally strong, composed individual in the world, hearing these words and sentiments from a club, organisation or person who you have given everything to, and taken to the pinnacle of success; is always going to hurt.

It’s like being dumped by your first love!

In typically true fashion however, he took it on the chin and very, very rarely spoke about it, electing only to really go on record with his feelings in the late seventies when he published his autobiography.

It was through this vehicle that he used the phrase; ‘Over the last few seasons I have been received more warmly by Everton than I have been Liverpool.”

So did he end up an Evertonian?

It is true to say that he did end up with a soft spot for the blue side of the City, and it is absolutely true that he spent a lot of time at both Bellefield and Goodison.

Bellefield was a two minute walk from his home and he would often take the dog for a walk (Scamp!), visiting Bellefield as part of his route.

He would enter the training ground and converse with the ground staff, players and management, and was widely welcomed and looked after by all in situ (many Liverpool fans like to think he took the dog there to do its business but alas that wasn’t the case!).

He was also a frequent visitor to Goodison.

In the wealth of memorabilia we have that will be displayed in the museum at the hotel; we found ticket stubs for the directors box there and for other parts of the ground; and the family were also regaled by the story of how when he was there one week; such had been the frequency of his visits; our blue neighbours even began singing his name.

So did he become an Evertonian?

Bill Shankly & LFC

The answer not quite. Liverpool was his life. But did he have a soft spot for them.  In truth, as we already know; he was a man of the people.

Everyone loved his personality and his charisma so it was hard not to be fond of him, rival fans included. More so; he loved Liverpool as a city. He had a great fondness for its people. Nanny Ness said of him once, “In Liverpool, with its traditional love for football, Bill found kindred spirits who shared his enthusiasm for the game.”

Grandy saw a successful Everton side as much a catalyst for success for his Liverpool team as any other element, highlighting that the intensity of rivalry and competition brought out the best in both sides.

He reflected;

“When they had a good team which was the equivalent of Liverpool or better, the games were tense.The rivalry is like it is for Celtic and Rangers, but without bigotry. I’ve seen supporters on Merseyside going to the ground together, one wearing red and white, and the other blue and white, which is unusual elsewhere.

You get families in Liverpool, half Everton and half Liverpool. They support rival teams but they have the same temperament and they know each other. They are unique in the sense that their rivalry is no real aggro between them.

This is quite amazing. I am not saying they love each other. Oh no. But I’ve never seen a fight at a derby game. Shouting and bawling, yes. But they don’t fight each other. And that says a lot.”

Everton’s warmth towards him following his resignation from Liverpool only fuelled his warmth for the people of this city and it is on that note that I end this particular blog; with a reflection from Grandy to these sentiments.

“If I had a business and needed a work force, I would take it from Merseyside. And we would wipe the floor with everybody. They’ve got hearts of gold. They’d give you their last penny….and they can work. So I’d pick my workforce from Merseyside and anybody else can pick theirs from anywhere else and we’d have a go with them. And I’d win. They’ve got a big spirit…when they’re on your side and all working together they take a bit of a beating.”


Christopher William Shankly Carline

40 Years Since Shanks Resigns & Still Questions Why He Did

Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of Grandy’s ‘bombshell’ resignation from Liverpool FC, and as his grandson and family; I have to say it is still one of the most asked questions I am posed.

“So why did Shanks resign?”

I spoke a number of times to both my Nan and mum on the situation over the years, and the answer has never really changed. For his family. The subject is frequently speculated on with a more sinister, contentious vibe by the general populace and fans; with people often looking for more than meets the eye.

The Shankly Family

But the truth is that Shanks’ decision to resign was simply for family reasons. Grandy even states it in his own auto-biography!

Only The Best Will Do

The simple fact of the matter was that he had been involved in football all his life. Playing, coaching and managing, a period of time also containing a spell in the forces during the second world war; where he met my nan, Nessie.

He was tired. His personality, his ethos, his very being meant that in everything he did, he gave 100% of himself; and he was never still; always on the move.


As a man in his 60’s, this was always going to eventually catch up with him and the dedication he gave to the job, and excellence he commanded and expected of himself meant he could never do the job at anything less than his best.

A Family Man

He was a husband, and a father to two daughters, Barbara and Jeanette. His family unit had moved round with him from job to job.

Whilst its hard to appreciate life before LFC; he and the family very much had one that took them from town to town, city to city. Glenbuck, Glasgow, Preston, Carlisle, Grimsby, Workington, Huddersfield (in no particular order before you eagle eyed stato’s pull me up); just some of the places that he and the family put down roots before they were eventually yanked up and firmly planted once and for all in his Liverpool home.

For a family; a wife and young kids, this can be hard, especially when Grandy himself was rarely around at home to be able to console and comfort as much as the ‘conventional husband and father.’ It can be stressful and over years, the stress can mount up and eventually take its toll.

Time To Draw the Line

With roots firmly planted in Liverpool, the family unit grew. Daughters met potential husbands before the lucky ones eventually did become husbands. Soon followed grandchildren.

Shankly wedding

Six of us would come along eventually!

From the conversations with Nan and Mum; there simply became a realisation from him that he had missed out on enough family time, and the stresses combined with this and their after effects; plus the physical and mental demands of the job; meant it was time to draw a line and commit to family life.

Did he really want to? Probably not. To try and say otherwise even as the family would be futile. But it didn’t mean he loved his family less than the job. If anything; it proved he loved them more.

It was time however; to spend some more quality time with Nessie (even actually take her on a date for the first time in quite a while!).

Time to spend more time with Barbara and Jeanette and their burgeoning families including his grandchildren. Time to relax and enjoy his life. Enjoy his life’s work and achievements and time to enjoy the city he came to love. Outside of the trials and tribulations of football management.

Tough Choices

He was a man of football, born and bred. It had been all he knew. So to elect to leave the game he loved; to leave Liverpool FC, his life’s work; when they were just at the pinnacle of their prowess, was the biggest sacrifice he could make. But he did. For his family.

As for all THOSE rumours post resignation, stay tuned for future blogs……..

Christopher William Shankly Carline

40th anniversary of Shankly’s LFC retirement

12th July 1974: The date the Godfather of the Kop, Bill Shankly, announced his retirement.

The Unexpected

Nobody knew what to expect when a sudden press conference was called by John Smith, the club’s chairman at the time.
As the press filtered in with their notepads, cameras, and Dictaphones at the ready, there wasn’t a buzz of excitement. Unlike a usual event of this kind there was instead a dullness in the air.

1974-SHANKLY RETIRESA pin drop could be heard when Smith stepped up to make his opening statement:

“It is with great regret that I as chairman of Liverpool Football Club have to inform you that Mr Shankly has intimated that he wishes to retire from active participation in league football. And the board has with extreme reluctance accepted his decision. I would like to at this stage to place on record the board’s great appreciation of Shankly’s magnificent achievements over the period of his managership.”

Shankly agreed to a three-year contract with Liverpool Football Club during the signing of his last contract in July 1971. He was then offered the option of having it extended to five years. When the three year mark was met, Smith asked if he would like to continue for two more years. Shankly declined.


It was widely speculated as to why he refused to stay those two more years. Even those closest to him like his wife and Bob Paisley had their own theories regarding the subject.

Conclusions were drawn that former England captain Emlyn Hughes once asked Bill why he chose to retire. Shanks said “I’m going to tell you the reason why I left” but his small grandchild came running in, and he got sidetracked. Emlyn never found out.

Without realising it or not, Hughes actually got the truthful answer to his question. Bill became anxious to spend more time with Nessie, his children, and his grandchildren.

In his autobiography, Shankly mentions his decision to retire. He says:

“After the FA Cup Final I went into the dressing room and I felt tired from all the years. I said to a bloke who was looking after the dressing room, ‘Get me a cup of tea and a couple of pies, for Christ’s sake.’ When I sat down with my tea and pies, my mind was made up. If we had lost the final I would have carried on, but I thought, ‘Well, we’ve won the Cup now and maybe it’s a good time to go.’ I knew I was going to finish.”


Rumour has it almost immediately after resigning, Bill thoroughly regretted his decision. By the time the new football season came around, Shanks was back at Melwood FC, training with the players, enjoying the camaraderie and the chance to put his boots on again. Some players were calling him ‘boss’ and treating him as equally as their real manager Bob Paisley, to his annoyance.


Shankly in Goodison Dir Box
“I wasn’t feeling ill or anything like that, but I felt though that if I was away from the pressures of Anfield for a while, and rested, it would make me fitter and rejuvenate me. I felt I could contribute more later on. I would never leave the city of Liverpool, and still wanted to be involved in football. I still wanted to help Liverpool, because the club the club had become my life. But I wasn’t given the chance.”

The retirement was a clean break between LFC and Shankly, to both side’s disappointment. However living close to Everton’s training ground, Bill would often call in and join in the training sessions, proving that many of his cutting comments about Liverpool’s city opponents were no more than harmless shots to fabricate a sense of bitter rivalry.

Shanks spent his first Saturday afternoon in retirement watching Everton Vs Derby County as the club’s special guest, and was met by a rapturous applause by the Goodison crowd.

He would talk to anyone about football and go anywhere to put his boots on again. Simply because, he just loved the game.
To him, the beautiful game was just that.


What would Shanks have thought of Suarez – a Shankly’s take on the Uruguayan

So the saga finally came to an end on the afternoon of 11th July, 2014. The will he won’t he questions as to whether Luis Suarez will leave Liverpool Football Club has finally been answered and the Uruguayan will head to the Nou Camp for an as yet undisclosed fee (but much speculated on fee).

As a Liverpool fan who has followed the club from the age of 7, home and away, beginning in 1989, Ill hands down tell you he is the most technically gifted footballer I have seen in Liverpool red, and vies only with the Captain for my title of best player Ive seen play for Liverpool in my lifetime. The man in unquestionably a genius and I don’t care what you say but on current form is the best player in the world and will go down as one of the greatest to play the game. These are big words and statements but as someone who got to watch him week in week out for over 3 years; I can qualify the claims.

The man can do ; and did things with a football that if you sat and thought for seconds, minutes, even hours as to how he quite managed it, you’d be none the wiser. Quite how he therefore did it within the blink of an eye only he can answer. He single handedly won my football team matches and dragged us back where we belong. He scored 82 goals in 133 games for my football team. He sweated every ounce of effort from his body for my football team every time he entered a football field and never gave anything less than all of himself in every game he wore the Liverbird on his chest. He gave the impression he would have died for us.

That maybe goes someway to answer as to why Liverpool fans so vehemently defended him. We aren’t an ordinary football club. We’re extra-ordinary and Scousers are fiercely loyal to their own. To us, he was one of our own because he constantly proved himself to us.

Id be here all day if I had to relay the individual moments of ecstasy he has given me at football grounds all round this country in the last 3 years or so. Just ask Matty Evo (@M_EvoLFC) about his first away goal for the club at Sunderland and what happened there. El Pistolero cutting in along the by line and from an impossible angle smashing the ball past the keeper when it looked like there was no chance of finding the net without a pull back. Over to you there Mr Evans.

Suarez gave us some of the hands down best moments of our lives and maybe that gives some incite as to why when shrouded with controversy he was so supported. Gordon Strachan talked about football not having morals. It is a valid point, and when a player of such ability gives you so much on the pitch, he will be supported. Look at Utd with Cantona and Keane. Everton with Duncan Ferguson. John Terry at Chelsea. Let’s not forget, Barcelona are shedding out a lot of money for a player who can’t play for 4 months and comes with more baggage than Heathrow and Manchester combined, simply because he will win them football matches.

And that is how I have always looked at him and how the majority of Liverpool fans do. He has been an outstanding player for this football club and I am privileged to have witnessed his ability with a football week in week out.

I accept that fact he has left and wish him all the best. He seemingly had an unquenchable thirst to play in Spain and that has now been realised. It should be stated however; that whilst I genuinely wish him all the very best in pastures new, I can’t help think that he needs to heed a few warnings.

When he signed for Liverpool FC, we didn’t exactly beat teams off with a stick, nor break any transfer records. Fernando was going the other way (to the exit door) for £50 million the same day; Luis was a mere 50% of that. My point is that he arrived here a very good player with potential. We turned him into the best player in the world with a phenomenal goals to game record, with a host of personal accolades in tow. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Just ask Fernando. Liverpool’s style of play is set up for Suarez. To get the best from him. It was the same with Torres. When he moves to Barca, he is a smaller fish in the big pond. Their team is and will always be geared around Messi whilst he is there. Not to mention Neymar in the mix. He may find himself having to take one for the team a lot more often than he ever did at Liverpool.

Additionally; he will never feel support and backing like he has from Liverpool fans and the Club, anywhere else in the world. If he misbehaves over in Spain, he will find himself on his own, unquestionably and may find his thoughts quickly turning to his Liverpool ‘home’.

I suppose football is a fickle sport and can be as much about the absence of fairy tales and romanticism as it can be about the prevalence of them. Im my Suarez ‘heart on sleeve fairy tale world,’ I’d have liked to have thought that maybe, just maybe he would have taken stock for a moment and considered all the above and realised that sometimes, players just find a team and a place that they belong. Regardless of trophies and everything else, a place where they fit and where it clicks for them and brings the best out in them. I really feel Suarez had that here, and I think he may come to learn that in time but I’d have just loved him to have turned round and said;

“You know what, I am at home here. Im loved by the fans, Im supported, by family are at home here. Im at a huge club that plays to my strengths and supports my game, where my team mates make sacrifices for me and a club that has turned me into the player I am today and a club that can achieve great things and I want to help them do that.”

It wasn’t to be however; and I wish him and his family all the best and that his football does ALL the talking for him from now on as it deserves to. He is a genius and I’ve loved every minute of it and will remember all those moments he gave us until the day I die and Ill be telling my kids when they are old enough all about the crazy Uruguayan who sent Daddy and Uncle Evo off their barnets on many occasions. He was worth the entrance fee to any game alone.

Many ask, “What would your Grandad Shankly have said.” I tell them, he’d have loved the man, because he was a crazy genius who lived the game and loved this football club, scoring goal after goal and winning games for his team; leaving nothing on the pitch every time he went out there. And that is how we will remember him.

The people of Norwich will breathe a collective sigh of relief this evening, as will my wife probably as she won’t have to hear me go on about El Pistolero!


Chris William Shankly Carline

Agnes Wren ‘Nessie’ Shankly: Nanny Ness the inspiration behind the man

Behind every man, there is a great woman


The Shankly Hotel and The Shankly Family Foundation; all ventures carrying the name Shankly invariably default thoughts to Grandy Bill and what he achieved.

I thought it apt however to explain how all these achievements were fuelled via the support of the REAL and original iron lady, his wife and our Nan, Agnes Wren Shankly, affectionately known as Nessie and to us, Nanny Ness.

Read any book, any biography, any interview, any literature on Grandy; and you will always find mentions of Ness, conveying how ‘behind every man, there is a great woman.’ The phrase could have been written specifically for her.

The Original WAG

The personal sacrifices she made, leaving her native Scotland; putting roots down only to be uprooted years later for new pastures (the life of a wag eh!), can never be downplayed.


She unreservedly supported him in everything he did. She was strong and would give her opinions, always speaking her mind, always with wise words; but always in a supportive manner ensuring the best for Grandy and of course the family; my Mum Jeanette, her elder sister Barbara, and later all of us grandchildren.

My Inspiration

Everyone knows the stories of how fans would constantly knock at the house looking for Grandy; and she would always go above and beyond to make them feel welcome, often usually ending up cooking for them or giving them refreshments!

The role she played in supporting Grandy can be read and heard in many forms of literature and media, but I wanted, via this piece to convey her role in inspiring me. Inspiring me towards launching ventures such as the hotel and museum, the tour and of course; The Shankly Family Foundation.

If I had to sum her up, I would say she was the best human being I have ever known. One of the most generous, strong, wise and loving people I have ever met. She was completely selfless. Where Grandy was all about the people, so was she. She never took anything for herself, she simply gave.

A True Philanthropist

She was patron for many charities; and was an avid supporter of charitable activity; attending and lending her support to as many events and organisations as possible. I remember her often telling me as a small child, how she was off to the ‘Piles of Pennies’ or doing work for the RNIB and others.


She would NEVER have classed herself as a celebrity, to suggest such a thing would have offended her; but she would lend her presence and name if it meant helping an organisation or people.

Don’t Mess with Ness

She was the first lady of football.  I remember hearing a story where she had attended an event in the north of the City; I think it was a presentation to a local amateur football team. She had been driven there and left her bag in the car. The car was broken into and some of her belongings taken. Word spread of the incident and who the items belonged to. Within an hour, they were returned no questions asked. I love that story.

A Proper Brew and a Pop Quiz

Nanny passed away on August 2nd 2002. I was 20 years of age. My memories of her are of her simply always being there. We never wanted for anything.

She lived around the corner in the house she and Grandy lived in from when they moved here in 1959 to when she passed away in 2002. When we would visit, you could count on the following.

Firstly; a cup of what we called, ‘Nanny’s Tea.’ It was a Brazilian tea, made the proper way with a strainer. Her and Grandy had always had it imported as he too loved to drink it. It was a sweet tasting tea that we as kids loved to drink. It’s proper name for those interested was Yerbhama (although don’t quote me on the spelling!).

We referred to it so often as ‘Nanny’s Tea’ that my cousin, Emma, once entered a well known supermarket chain and asked if they sold ‘Nanny’s Tea’!

Secondly, she would quiz you if you needed anything. Did we need new trainers. Did we need  new clothes. Did we have enough money. You would rarely leave the house without having been given something; despite our protestations that we were ok.

Fond Memories and Choc Ice’s

I used to ‘play out’ in the road she lived in with friends who also lived in that street, and I would often make my way to see her a few times a day when in the street.

I vividly remember I would ring the bell, slide open the porch door and stand in, looking through the frosted glass of the interior door until I saw here come out of the living room to make her way down the hall towards the front door.

I’d put my head against the frosted glass at that point and she would playfully punch the other side of the glass as I did so before opening the door. Then I’d ask her usually for my pocket money (as you do as a kid) or a Chunky Choc Ice (she always had them in), which was the third thing you could usually expect when you went around.

Always Laughing

I’ve got so many fantastic memories of her, like the time she took me into West Derby Village at Christmas when we had torrential snow as a young child, and we both slipped and fell over on the ice and snow laughing as we took each other down.

When we used to take her shopping with us to Sainsbury’s for a combined weekly shop (she’d usually try to pay for that too!).


There was one time when we picked her up for this, and the winds were so strong that as she got to the door of the car to get in, she was nearly swept away by a large gust, saved only by clinging onto the seal of the rear passenger door window.

Her little face was up against the glass as she clung on but she was laughing at the same time, and as kids, we were hysterical laughing in the car. And don’t get me started on her rain hood, as I will be here all day.

A Shining Light

She was simply a light that shone over our family and made everything ok. She spent her life giving to people and when in her older age, she got sick, people gave right back. None more so that her daughter Jeanette; my Mum, who is more than a chip off the old block from Nanny Ness.

She dedicated everything to caring for Nanny in her last years. Despite illness however, her spirit never broke. It never altered her as a person. She remained everything she was until the end.

Still Giving Back

She was and is my inspiration. The Foundation. The Hotel. Everything that comes with it, she has been my inspiration for it all. Ensuring that all these ventures give something back to the people. Give people memories. Give people a genuine great experience.

All in the name of Shankly; Bill and Nessie; the couple who made people happy.

The First Lady of Football

When Nanny died in 2002, her funeral was held at St Mary’s Church in West Derby as had Grandy’s. The church was packed to the rafters. People had to wait outside as they couldn’t get in due to capacity issues. A who’s who of Liverpool players (and other teams) past and present attended to pay respects.

Proof that she was the first lady of football, our Nanny Ness, my inspiration.

Agnes Wren Shankly - Nanny Ness