Bill Shankly and Dixie Dean: Friends Until the End

Bill Shankly and Dixie Dean: Friends Until the End

On March 1st 1980, the football world lost one of its greatest sons, and Dixie Dean’s death ended a long-standing friendship with Liverpool Football Club’s Bill Shankly. Despite their friendship being one of the more unusual football friendships, with the two having allegiances to the city’s rival clubs, Bill Shankly and Dixie Dean remained friends following their careers in opposing clubs.

The Day of Dixie Dean’s Death

Dixie had cemented himself as an Everton legend when he became a record goalscorer during his time with the club and became firm friends with Bill Shankly when Shanks retired from Liverpool Football Club in 1974.

It’s famously reported that Shankly was more warmly welcomed at Goodison Park than at Anfield in the years following his retirement and the legendary Reds managed frequently attended Everton games in his twilight years.

On the morning of Dixie Dean’s death, on March 1st 1980, the two enjoyed lunch together in the run-up to the 1980 Goodison derby match. They chatted and laughed at Liverpool’s Moat House Hotel on Paradise street and Dixie was given high praise from the man that changed Liverpool football club.

Bill Shankly said: “Dixie was the greatest centre-forward there will ever be. His record of goal scoring is the most amazing thing under the sun.He belongs in the company of the supremely great, like Beethoven, Shakespeare and Remembrandt.”

Little did Shankly know, these were the last words he’d speak of Dixie in public while the Everton legend was still with us.

At the Place He Cherished Most

bill shankly and dixie dean

Dixie Dean had not been in good health for a while in his final years, having had a leg removed due to an unfortunate condition and he hadn’t been to watch his team play for several years.

The Liverpool Derby was his first time being back at Goodison for a while but decided to attend to support his team against their friendly rivals.

He suffered a heart attack before the final whistle and breathed his last breath at the stadium that he loved so much and in front of the team that helped shape him into who he was.

A Fitting Tribute

Dixie’s daughter, Barbara, later scattered her father’s ashes on the halfway line at Goodison so he would always be with the team he loved.

His funeral was attended by all the people who loved him and respected him, the day of mourning took place at St James’ Church on Laird Street, a fitting circle as the street was the place where he was born. At his funeral, Shankly light-heartedly remarked: “I know this is a sad occasion but I think that Dixie would be amazed to know that even in death, he could draw a bigger crowd than Everton can on a Saturday afternoon.”

Bill Shankly and Dixie Dean Together Again

Bill Shankly and Dixie Dean

The Shankly Hotel is already the most exciting football-themed hotel in Liverpool, but, just like the mighty Reds, it’s set to get a worthy competitor in The Dixie Dean Hotel.

The success of The Shankly Hotel has paved the way for Everton to get a hotel dedicated to one of their legends too. Bill Shankly and Dixie Dean will stand side by side once more once the development has been completed in the coming months. Victoria Street will become a mecca for football fans as it creates the world’s first Football Quarter, join us as we celebrate our city’s friendly rivalry and connect over the thing that brings us together: football.

10 Reasons Why Everyone Falls in Love with Liverpool

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! And we thought we’d celebrate the special occasion with some love for Liverpool.

The Maritime Mercantile City is bursting with things to see and do, perfect for a short and sweet break or romantic adventure.

From world famous landmarks to unique hidden gems, join us as we take a look at why everyone falls in love with Liverpool…

The Picturesque Pier Head

places to visit in liverpool

It wouldn’t be a visit to Liverpool without taking in the city’s most breathtaking architecture. The world famous Three Graces define Liverpool’s picturesque skyline.

The most famous of the 3 is the Royal Liver Building. A Grade I listed venue, the building is a symbol of the city, adorned by the iconic Liver Birds.

Neighbouring buildings the Cunard and Port of Liverpool Building are both Grade II* listed, filled with enthralling histories and character.

Only a short stroll away, you’ll find Liverpool Museum, offering a fantastic view looking out towards the Three Graces.

The World Famous Albert Dock

places to visit in liverpool

At the heart of Liverpool’s waterfront, you’ll find the famous Albert Dock in all its glory! And it’s simply one of a kind.

Bustling with everything from quirky souvenir shops to the  Tate art gallery, it’s well worth spending an afternoon exploring the sights.

Take a wander along the cobbled waterfront and you’ll also find romantic rows of love locks. And if you’re lucky, you may just catch a clear and calm golden red sunset.

The Charming Georgian Quarter

places to visit in liverpool

Source: Simon James

The elegant Georgian Quarter means you don’t have to walk far to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. While you’re here, why not take a stroll and admire the opulence of Liverpool’s Georgian town houses?

Transporting you back to times gone by, you’ll soon fall head over heels for the beautiful terraced houses, leafy streets and cosy independent bistros.

Not forgetting, at the heart of it all is enchanting Hope Street, the winner of the Academy of Urbanism Awards for ‘Best Street’.

Liverpool’s Amazing Theatres

places to visit in liverpool

The Guide Liverpool

Liverpool is also home to an array of charming theatres and the grand Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. You’ll find the Liverpool Playhouse, Everyman Theatre and Royal Court only a short distance from The Shankly Hotel.

The Liverpool Playhouse dates all the way back to 1866 with exquisite interior details taking inspiration from Greek Revival style. Alternatively, the Everyman offers a more contemporary and bohemian feel, showcasing productions with a political edge.

If you’re simply after a local favourite, the Georgian Quarter’s Unity Theatre is a cosy hidden gem, located along Hope Place.

Two Cathedrals to Explore

places to visit in liverpool

Liverpool is home to two stunning cathedrals, situated at opposing ends of scenic Hope Street. As the song goes, if you want a cathedral, we’ve got one to spare!

Grade I listed Liverpool Cathedral is noted as the fifth-largest cathedral around the world. Visitors can take in spectacular views across the city on The Tower Experience tour.

And if that’s not enough to sweep you off your feet, simply take a wander down towards Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral for another dose of dazzling architecture.

The Footsteps of The Fab Four

places to visit in liverpool

It goes without saying that many visit Liverpool to fall even more ion love with The Fab Four. And once you’re here, you won’t be disappointed!

When in Liverpool, you can walk in the footsteps of John, Paul, George and Ringo as you relive everything from their childhood memories to rise to fame.

From the suburban streets that they called home to the one and only Cavern Club, it’s easy to see why Beatles fans never forget their visit to the city.

Views from Rooftop Bars in Liverpool

places to visit in liverpool

Perfect for warmer months relaxing in Liverpool,  you could spend a sunny day out soaking up the views from the best rooftop bars in Liverpool.

Carpathia Champagne Bar & Restaurant is home to one of the very best in the city, serving up tasty tapas dishes and stylish cocktails as you take in the sights.

Meanwhile, waterfront Pan Asian restaurant Matou is perfect for late night celebrations and spectacular views before hitting the town.

Discovering Cosy Hidden Gems

places to visit in liverpool

Source: Snackophagus

One of the many charms of Liverpool is its magical hidden gems. Tucked neatly away, it takes a thorough stroll around the city to discover their character and charm.

But if you’re in the know before you visit, you can definitely save yourself some time! Only a stone’s throw from the Shankly and from the Pier Head, you’ll find Ma Boyle’s Alehouse.

Best loved for lively jazz nights, local ales and fabulous cocktails, this historic gem dates all the way back to 1870. And it’s certainly worth a visit.

The City’s Unique Football History

places to visit in liverpool

Liverpool Football Club fans will find themselves right at home at The Shankly Hotel in Liverpool, celebrating the life and legacy of a football icon.

Whether you’re an overnight guest or simply wining and dining, you can enjoy a range of exclusive Bill Shankly memorabilia in our Bastion Bar & Restaurant.

Our guests can look forward to admiring everything from Bill Shankly’s prized typewriter, fan letters, telegram from Neil Armstrong and original LFC contract.

The Ferry Cross the Mersey

places to visit in liverpool

A trip to Liverpool isn’t complete without taking a ride on our Ferry Cross the Mersey. Made famous by Gerry & The Pacemakers, the Mersey Ferry is still one of the top attractions in the city. And it’s easy to see why.

A fantastic way to see the stunning waterfront, taking a cruise will certainly leave you with some special memories. The cruise includes a full commentary so that you can enjoy learning more about the city and take plenty away with you.

Offers at The Shankly Hotel

At The Shankly Hotel, we always have an unmissable range of offers to choose from. Whether you join us for a tasty Afternoon Tea or romantic break, we’ve got it covered!

If you’d like to enquire further or book your stay with us, you can get in touch on 0151 601 8801.

5 Things Liverpool Can Thank Bill Shankly For

In Liverpool, there is plenty of home-grown talent. We’re a city renowned for birthing The Beatles,  Cilla Black and Kim Cattrall, but one of the most influential figures in our history wasn’t a Scouser, but a Scotsman whom the city took under their wing. In return, the one and only Bill Shankly changed Liverpool forever, and not just on the pitch.

Frequently credited as the manager who revolutionised Liverpool Football Club, Shankly was a firm favourite with everyone in the city.

We’re taking a look back at all the things Liverpool can thank Bill Shankly for.

LFC’s first Victory in the FA Cup

Bill Shankly

Despite being crowned League champions twice in the 1920s and again in the 1946-47 season, LFC had been in a steady state of decline in the years prior to Shankly’s reign, even being relegated to the Second Division in the 1953-54 season.

But Bill Shankly had faith in his players and faith in his team, persevering and working hard to turn them into a ‘bastion of invincibility’. After months of hard work, the change in training and dedication to the players paid off and LFC was finally being recognised for their impressive talent.

The team were promoted back to First Division in 1962 and in 1964 Bill Shankly led the way to the club’s first FA Cup victory with a final like no other against Leeds United. The match ended 2-1 in additional time and Shankly cemented his team as a solid force to be reckoned with.

Turning Melwood into a World-Class Training Facility

thank bill shankly

Melwood is one of the top training facilities in the world, with three full-size synthetic pitches, rehabilitation rooms, a gym, swimming pool and even a restaurant.

But this wasn’t always the case. Upon visiting Melwood for the first time Shankly was shocked at the state of the training ground, famously stating it was a shambles and ‘a sorry wilderness’.

He put in the orders and it wasn’t long before Melwood was made a suitable fit for champions. The transformation was a success and, along with Shankly and his team’s great training plans, was an important factor in the future successes of the club.

The training ground continues to be the site of LFC’s rigorous training, despite plans to move training to Kirby being announced in 2017. It was redeveloped again in 2001 under the careful eye of then manager Gerard Houllier, but still maintains the Shankly flair.

Outstanding Impact as a Manager

thank bill shankly

Shankly was one of the pioneers of legendary football managers, bringing a new style of management to the beautiful game. Inspiring his players, being hands-on in training and always taking time to speak to the fans who made it all possible.

A lot of football managers have dabbled on the pitch themselves before turning their hand to taking charge, but Shankly brought his fire with him to the top spot.

He always instilled the importance of football and what it means to the fans into his players, encouraging them to set standards and helping them to realise how privileged they were to be playing for the club.

His impact as a manager at Liverpool did not go unrecognised, with awards, accolades and tributes flowing in following his retirement and his untimely death in 1981. In 1982, his widow, Nessie, ‘unlocked’ the now iconic Shankly Gates at Anfield, he was given an OBE in 1974 and he was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002 in recognition of his impact as a manager.

Bridging the Divide Between Liverpool and Everton

thank bill shankly

The story of Liverpool FC and Everton’s rivalry dates back to the creation of LFC by Everton’s former club president John Houlding. It’s hard to imagine LFC being called anything else, but when the team was first conceived, it was named ‘Everton Athletic’.

The rivalry is fierce but friendly, with reds and blues frequently going head to head but always having an undertone of love and respect. Shankly only helped to further this bond with his famous friendship with Dixie Dean, star player and record-breaker at Everton in the 1920s.

Following his retirement as manager in 1974, Shankly struggled with the concept of no longer having football to rule his life and spent a lot of time at Melwood. New manager Bob Paisley felt undermined by Shankly’s empowering presence and the legend soon felt compelled to stay away from the team he loved the most.

He did, however, get regular invites to be a spectator at Goodison Park to watch the blues play top-tier teams from around the world. Chris Shankly, the grandson of the former manager, remarked that Bill developed ‘a soft spot for the blue side of the city’ and the man himself even said that he was welcomed warmly every time he visited Everton’s ground and training site.

Shankly Playing Fields

Shankly is often revered as one of the friendliest managers football has ever seen. Stopping frequently to chat with fans and always taking the time to acknowledge those that did the same to him.

His home in West Derby was a hotspot for kids of the area and football fans alike to come and hope to catch a glimpse of one of Liverpool’s biggest legends. As well as being just a few minutes walk from Melwood, a community football pitch sits nearby.

Even during his time as manager, the fields were used by people from the local area for honing their football skills and coming together for friendly competition. It’s reported that Shankly often walked by these fields, stopping to watch or even dabbling in the game himself.

These football pitches were officially named ‘Shankly’s Playing Fields’ in 1990, with Nessie coming along to give her blessing and open the fields to the youngsters of the area.

An Undeniable Icon

Shankly and young fans of football

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Bill Shankly was, and still is, a true icon in the eyes of the people of Liverpool. He changed Liverpool Football Club forever and stole the hearts of the city in the process.

Liverpool has plenty to thank Bill Shankly for, not that the city needs telling. We’ll always hold the Scotsman in our hearts as a true Scouser thanks to the incredible work he did on the pitch and the shine he exuded wherever he went.

The Most Iconic Photos of Bill Shankly

Regarded as one of the most inspiring football managers in history, these iconic photos of Bill Shankly capture him as the powerful, determined and loved manager of Liverpool we all remember.

A self-confessed man of the people, Bill Shankly touched the lives of many Scousers and his illustrious career resulted in some of the most significant professional achievements in football the world has seen.

Take a step back in time and discover some of the most iconic moments of Shankly’s career, captured in these fascinating images.


This brilliant images shows Bill Shankly with Preston North End’s midfielder Hugh O’Donnell before the Cup final on the 15th of April 1937. Shankly only played for two clubs – first Carlisle for one season, then Preston from 1933 to 1949.


Preston North End players carry the trophy after their 1-0 extra-time victory over Huddersfield Town in the 1938 FA Cup final at Wembley, Bill Shankly is to the right of the policeman.


Bill Shankly leads out Preston North End in February 1948.

iconic photos of Bill Shankly

Photograph: REX/Daily Mail

After 10 years of managing various teams, Shankly made the move from Huddersfield Town to Liverpool in 1959.

Bill Shankly

Liverpool F.C enjoy champagne in the dressing room after they clinch the title with a home win over Arsenal in 1964. Roger Hunt and Milne get their glasses topped up by Ian St John, Lawrence, Thompson, Bill Shankly manager, Steveson, Ron Yeats behind Moran, Byrne and Ian Callaghan.

photos of bill shankly

Bill Shankly celebrates victory in the 1965 FA Cup after Liverpool defeated Leeds United 2-1 in extra-time. Later, in his biography he described this as his ‘greatest day’.

Bill Shankly

Photograph: Popperfoto/Getty Images

One of the most iconic photos of Bill Shankly, this image shows Liverpool’s parade through the streets with the FA cup after their victory over Leeds United in the FA Cup final. The trophy is being held by Liverpool captain Ron Yeats and Willie Stevenson (right), with Bill Shankly standing just behind them.

Shankly leans out of the parade bus to greet fans.

bill shankly

Arguably the most iconic image of Bill Shankly, this shows the manager revelling in the support after losing to Arsenal in the 1971 FA Cup Final.
Despite the score, the Reds returned to the city to an incredible homecoming. Steve Hale stood on St George’s plateau and was amongst a bunch of other photographers who called out to Bill Shankly to turn around and face them, this is one of the images that was captured.

keegan and shanks

Kevin Keegan pictured with Liverpool FC boss Bill Shankly when he signed for the Reds.


Shanks practises some of his own football skills on the training pitch.

Shankly celebrates a win in front of The Kop.

Bill Shankly was a legendary manager, leading Liverpool F.C for 753 games, spanning 15 years.


Shankly and the Liverpool team pose for pictures with trophies in 1966.

fa cup

Shankly with the FA Cup trophy on board the train back to Liverpool in 1974

bill shankly

Photograph: PA Archive/Press Association Ima

In 1974, Bill Shankly retired as a manager. This picture shows him leading out his side for the 1974 FA Charity Shield alongside Brian Clough, the new manager of Leeds United

the kop

Photograph: Liverpool FC via Getty Images

He died on 29 September 1981. Here, a Liverpool fan holds aloft a homemade banner declaring ‘Shankly Lives Forever’ as he and all of Anfield commemorate the much-loved former manager.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the most iconic photos of Bill Shankly, if you’d like to delve into his fascinating life more, visit the Shankly Hotel and check out the never-seen-before memorabilia in the Bastion Bar and Restaurant. Or, why not try a Shankly Tour Experience and see the Liverpool Shanks loved.

Derby Food & Drink Offer: Liverpool v Everton this Friday

This Friday, come in from the cold and enjoy a cosy night at The Bastion with an unmissable offer!

Situated within Liverpool’s luxury Shankly Hotel, you can look forward to an unrivalled atmosphere.

Celebrating the life and legacy of Bill Shankly, visitors to The Bastion can also make the most of our exclusive memorabilia.

Provided by the Shankly family, our stylish bar and restaurant features a museum of special belongings.

Guests can admire everything from Bill’s personal typewriter to original LFC contract.

Derby Deal at The Bastion

Our fantastic Derby deal is available for just £12.95pp and includes live entertainment, food and drink.

You can look forward to delicious food and a drink on arrival plus the live game on big screen TVs.

Plus, you won’t want to miss our In-Play drinks offers including 2 for 1 on shots when LFC score first.

Not forgetting, LFC winning at halftime means 2 for 1 at the bar and an LFC win means 2 for 1 for an hour after the full-time whistle.

If you’ll be joining us with a group of mates, you can also enjoy 4 pint pitchers for £10 , 5 bottles for £12 and double up on house spirits for £1 extra.

This dazzling deal also incorporates a Triple AAA Sports memorabilia raffle and live themed music to keep spirits high!

So, there’s plenty to get your hands on while watching the match in action.

Staying at The Shankly Hotel

A blend of contemporary and classic style gives The Shankly Hotel a luxury yet comfortable feel.

Rooms at The Shankly exude charm and character with fantastic facilities for the perfect stay.

Spend a night in style with your very own double whirlpool Jaccuzi bath, 50″ TV Screen, Bluetooth and free Wifi.

Situated in the heart of Liverpool city centre, enjoy some New Year’s shopping the following day or explore the best of local attractions.

And there’s plenty more to keep you busy in your room. Our Midnight Munchies menu is available from 11pm – 5am so you can make the most of your stay.

The jam-packed menu includes 2 for £10 on selected cocktails plus a range of tasty snacks including sandwiches, pizzas and hot dogs.

And the next day, why not enjoy a lazy morning? Our Lazy Beer Brunch is available from 12pm – 2pm.

This includes full breakfast and chips served to your table with fresh orange juice, coffee, or tea and a hair of the dog pint!

The Upcoming Football Quarter

Last year, we announced the upcoming Football Quarter in Liverpool. And if you’re an Everton fan or you have one in the family, it’s well worth keeping an eye out!

Set to celebrate the friendly rivalry that unites football fans across the city, The Dixie Dean Hotel will sit opposite The Shankly.

The ‘Football Quarter’ will be the first in the world, showcasing the unique and long-standing football history of the city.

Following the success of The Shankly Hotel, the Dixie Dean themed venue will follow a similar format with close involvement from the football icon’s family.

So join us this Friday for an unforgettable Derby night! To book your table simply get in touch on 0151 541 9999.

The Shankly Hotel: What’s On in January Liverpool 2018

Leave the January blues behind and let the fun continue with a winter visit to Liverpool.

With so much to see and do, why not start the New Year in style at The Shankly Hotel?

Find yourself within walking distance of Liverpool’s world famous attractions and top theatres and shops.

So if you’re looking for the best of what’s on in Liverpool this January, take a browse of our recommendations…

Gerry and the Pacemakers

When: Until 7th January 2018

Where: Museum of Liverpool

liverpool 2018

This January, don’t miss the last few days of the Gerry and the Pacemakers at Museum of Liverpool.

This spectacular exhibition captures the Merseybeat group at their very best.

Find yourself swept away by sentimental 60s nostalgia as you explore captivating images taken by Graham Spencer and Peter Kaye.

You can look forward to seeing Gary Marsden’s infectious charisma captured inside Liverpool’s world famous Cavern Club.


When: Saturday 9th December

Where: The Playhouse Liverpool

liverpool 2018

Prepare to sit on the very edge of your seat this January in Liverpool.

Liverpool’s charming Playhouse theatre will be filled with the twists and turns of Baskerville, the Sherlock Holmes mystery.

Cosy up with a misty and mysterious moors tale as you laugh along to genius wit and gasp with suspense!

Fast and Furious Live

When: 11th – 12th January 2018

Where: Echo Arena Liverpool

liverpool 2018

Get ready for a night of non-stop thrills at Fast & Furious Live this January in Liverpool.

The atmospheric Echo Arena is set to play host to two action-packed preview performances that you won’t want to miss!

This adrenaline-fuelled show is sure to keep you hooked from start to finish with showstopping stunts and precision performance driving.

You can also expect to feel transported straight into the Fast & Furious movies with the help of immersive 3D projection mapping.

The Late Wake Club: David Bowie

When: Saturday 13th January 2018

Where: Camp and Furnace

liverpool 2018

Celebrate the life and legacy of the one and only David Bowie this January in Liverpool.

The Late Wake Club will be returning on Saturday 13th January for a night of dazzling music brought to you by Camp and Furnace’s resident DJ.

Get ready to hear every iconic Bowie hit as Liverpool’s leading warehouse venue is filled with electric atmosphere.

Not forgetting, you’ll have the chance to get Bowied over at the makeover station!

Celebrating Sgt Pepper: Live

When: 13th January 2018

Where: Liverpool Echo Arena

liverpool 2018

Beatlemania is back this January at Echo Arena Liverpool. And it’s certain to be an evening of singing, dancing and non-stop entertainment.

The Bootleg Beatles and award-winning Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra will be teaming up for an unmissable fusion of live music.

This spectacular night is set to celebrate 10 years of the arena and a half century of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Hear the iconic album in its entirety, as well as timeless favourites including ‘Strawberry Fields’, ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘All You Need is Love’.

The Band: Take That’s New Musical

When: 23rd January – 3rd February 2018

Where: Liverpool Empire

liverpool 2018

The ultimate musical for anyone who grew up with a favourite boyband, get ready for a nostalgic coming-of-age journey with The Band.

Award winning writer Tim Firth tells the story of five friends in 1992 and 25 years later as they set out to meet their favourite band.

Hear the infectious sounds of Britain’s most successful boyband of all time with hits including ‘Never Forget’, ‘Back for Food’ and ‘A Million Love Songs’.

So don’t miss this breathtaking production at Liverpool Empire Theatre before it takes to the stage at London’s West End!

A Luxury Stay at The Shankly Hotel

Christmas doesn’t have to be the end of relaxation. Why not start January off in utter luxury at The Shankly Hotel?

Our stylish rooms and suites are perfect for enjoying an overnight stay in the heart of the city.

Rooms feature fantastic facilities including everything from double whirlpool baths to 50″ TV screens, Bluetooth and free WiFi.

As Liverpool’s unique Bill Shanky-themed venue, you’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy an abundance of exclusive memorabilia.

See Bill Shankly’s original LFC contract, personal typewriter and lots more within our hotel and stunning Bastion Bar & Restaurant.

To book your stay with us or to enquire further about what to expect, simply get in touch with our helpful team today on 0151 601 8801. 

Christmas With The Shankly Family

Every household has their own special Christmas traditions and the Shankly family are no different.

Despite his unwavering commitment to football; Bill Shankly was a big family man and loved to spend Christmas with his loved ones.

One of 10 children born to John and Barbara Shankly, his siblings were Alec, James, John Jnr, Bob, Netta, Elizabeth, Isobel, Barbara and Jean. Shankly placed a lot of worth and tribute to the family unit and carried these values into his own family when he married Nessie and had his own children.

We spoke to Jeanette Shankly, Bill’s second daughter, about what Christmas was like in the Shankly household with Bill, Nessie and her sister Barbara.

A Shankly Christmas

Christmas was a very traditional affair in the Shankly household. Every year, the Shankly’s would spend Christmas at their home and Nessie would cook their traditional Christmas dinner.

Shankly’s young family did a lot of moving around in their early years, and it wasn’t until 1959 when Bill became the manager of Liverpool F.C that they eventually put down permanent roots in the West Derby area of the City, an area the family never left to this day.

family and nessies dad

When she was young, Jeanette remembers their very traditional, happy family Christmases. However, on occasion, Bill would have to work.

“When we were younger, sometimes we were lucky if he was at home to spend Christmas with us. This was because depending on fixtures, he was usually playing or managing a team on Boxing Day. As a result, sometimes he would have to go away Christmas Eve or failing that, Christmas night.”

If by luck he wasn’t involved in football one way or another, he would spend the festive period with his family.

To celebrate this he would stretch to having a bit of whiskey in his tea. Shankly wasn’t a big drinker but on the rare occasion he did, it would always be a small whiskey.

Jeanette also remembers when Bill was managing Liverpool, every Christmas the Shankly family would receive a huge hamper full of festive food for the family to enjoy. Always a treat!

Bill and Agnes Shankly

As the family grew in size when both Barbara and Jean grew up to find partners, the whole family would usually go round to Bill’s on Christmas Day or Boxing Day and celebrate the festive season together.

However, it was still always touch and go whether he would be able to stay, as of course, football dominated his life!

Barbara gave Bill and Nessie their first grandchildren in the form of Karen, Pauline and Emma, and Jeanette soon followed suit with Jenny and Claire. Jeanette would go on to give birth to a sixth grandchild, and Bill’s first and one and only grandson, Chris.

Right up until the end, Bill Shankly’s family was the most important thing to him. Before his death he said: “There’s nobody closer to you than your own kith and kin; your own blood. I’ve got my wife, my daughters, grandchildren, and my sons in law. They’re the closest to me and I would die for them.”

The History of Football at Christmas

Of course, The Shankly Family weren’t the only ones who knew that Christmas Day and football went hand in hand.

Today, Christmas Day is football free, however up until the 1950s football was once as much of a Christmas Day staple as the Queen’s Speech and pigs in blankets.

One of the great festive traditions that began in 1889 and remained very popular until the end of the 1950s, the Christmas Day home fixture was often the occasion when clubs attracted one of their highest home gates of the season.

But throughout the 1950s, attitudes changed towards playing sport on the 25th December.

Christmas Day 1957 saw a near full round of fixtures: 37 out of a maximum 46 games took place; in 1959 there were just two games.

christmas footall

Understandably, Christmas Day football was very unpopular with the players, who felt it meant they could not enjoy the festivities and see their families.

As transport systems declined and crowds began to dwindle, the fixture eventually disappeared from the football calendar.

The final December 25th programme of games in England was in the 1957/58 season.

Today, games are still played on Boxing Day but Christmas Day football is a thing of the past.

We’ve hope you’ve enjoyed our look inside the Shankly family Christmas.

Shankly’s Liverpool will be taking on Swansea City this Boxing Day 2017, with hopes they can maintain their top 4 place in the league! 

The Perfect Family Christmas Break in Liverpool

This December, why not treat yourself to an enchanting Christmas break in Liverpool?

Whether it’s festive fun, cultural attractions, cosy pubs or endless shopping, Liverpool is bursting with things to do!

At The Shankly Hotel, we’re right in the heart of it all, within walking distance of the best Christmas attractions.

So join us for a magical festive break and make lasting memories with your nearest and dearest.

A Stay at The Shankly

Rooms at The Shankly are ideal for family stays, offering a spacious alternative to sleeping in separate rooms.

Our rooms are designed for spending quality time with your loved ones in the most stylish and comfortable setting.

A blend of classic and contemporary style, rooms have a luxury feel without compromising on cosiness.

You can also look forward to a 50″ TV screen and free WiFi access within the comfort of your room.

liverpool christmas

Our fantastic facilities include double whirlpool baths, perfect for winding down after a day of exploring.

Guests at The Shankly can also look forward to enjoying a range of exclusive Bill Shankly memorabilia around the hotel and The Bastion restaurant.

Choose from an unmissable range of Christmas offers guaranteed to get you in the festive spirit!

what's on

During your stay, don’t miss out on joining us for our Festive Afternoon Tea.

Escape the cold and take some time to indulge in our scrumptious selection of Christmas themed sandwiches and cakes.

Available for £19.55pp or £24.95pp with bubbles, this delightful package is the ultimate Christmas treat.

Pier Head Festivities

The Pier Head is bursting with things to do and see this Christmas in Liverpool.

Embrace the best of the festive season and visit Liverpool Christmas Ice Festival for a truly magical day out.

Only a short walk down from The Shankly, the Ice Festival features a wide range of family activities and attractions.

liverpool christmas

Explore Christmas market stalls serving up sweet and savoury treats with plenty of festive twists. You can even try a Yorkshire Pudding Wrap!

You’ll also find thrilling fairground rides for the whole family to enjoy. Brave this year’s newest ride The Ice Jet or take in spectacular views from the Ferris Wheel.

liverpool christmas

This year has also seen a new Christmas attraction at the Cunard Building, also situated along the Pier Head.

Santa’s Christmas Party has been a hit with families so far. The jam-packed event offers much more than simply a grotto.

The enchanting party features real reindeer, Christmas movies and singing and dancing with Santa and the elves!

Festive Family-Friendly Bars

You won’t find yourself short of things to do later on in the evening!

Why not a pay a festive visit to Liverpool’s very own Home Alone Themed Bar, nestled away in Cains Brewery.

liverpool christmas

Step inside the home of Kevin McCallister as you’re transformed into one of the most magical Christmas films of all time.

The pop up bar features cosy Christmas living rooms, twinkling giant trees and tasty festive treats.

liverpool christmas

Also within Cains Brewery, Baltic Market is serving up a delicious range of food and drink from Liverpool’s top traders this Christmas season.

Since opening earlier this year, Baltic Market has quickly become one of the most popular spots in the city.

Treat yourself to a hot Gin and Tonic, warming mulled wine and tuck in to their famous halloumi fries…yum!

It’s well worth leaving some time to take a wander around the gift and craft stalls too for the perfect stocking filler.

So give your Christmas an extra sprinkle of magic this year and join us at The Shankly Hotel. 

We wish you a Merry Christmas and hope to see you very soon.

To enquire further, you can reach our friendly team on 0151 601 8801.

Take A Look at the Newest Additions to our Bill Shankly Memorabilia

The Shankly Hotel is the best place to visit to see the most amazing Bill Shankly memorabilia in the world. The Shankly Hotel is a lasting tribute to the man that changed Liverpool Football Club forever and this month, we welcomed new memorabilia to the museum.

The newest additions to the collection of Bill Shankly memorabilia are a selection of telegrams sent to the great man himself, an Agreement for Hire of a Player book, handwritten training schedules and an academic book.

A Protégé Sends His Well Wishes

shankly memorabilia

Denis Law, Manchester United

Denis Law was a Scottish footballer who began his career at Second Division Huddersfield Town in 1956 when Bill Shankly was managing the team. Shankly gave Law his first-team debut when Law was only 16 years old.

When Shankly moved teams to take on the task of transforming Liverpool, he wanted to take Denis Law with him, but the reds were unable to afford the rising star at the time. The young footballer eventually moved to Manchester United and it was from here that he sent a telegram with fellow United player, Paddy Crerand, the telegram is on display now at The Shankly Hotel.

There is also another telegram from Law and his family that was sent when Bill Shankly received his OBE award. As well as congratulating the legend on the honour, he stated that Shankly should be receiving a Knighthood next.

From One Liverpool Legend to Another

shankly memorabilia

Jimmy Melia /

Reds legend Jimmy Melia signed to Liverpool straight from school and was a favourite of Shankly’s in his early campaign to make Liverpool a bastion of invincibility.

Under Shankly’s careful eye, Liverpool and Melia rocketed to the First Division and even went on to win the championship.

Melia went on to play for Wolves and Southampton and now coaches youth teams for Liverpool FC in America.

The Shankly Hotel now has a telegram from one Liverpool legend to another, wishing Shankly luck ahead of the FA Cup Final and European Cup quest.

Congratulations from a Firm Friend and Fierce Competitor

Friendly competitiveness between managers is commonplace in football, it drives teams to be better and try harder and is all good natured.

Don Revie was the manager of Leeds United from 1961 to 1974, around the same period Bill Shankly was at the reigns of Liverpool.

Despite the professional competition, the two were firm friends, with reports that they spoke on the phone every Sunday to discuss their teams’ efforts of that week.

When Liverpool beat Newcastle United in 1974 to win the FA Cup Final, Don and his wife Elsie sent their congratulations directly to Bill via telegram.

Sportsmanship from a Blue

bill shankly memorabilia

You don’t have to be from Liverpool to be aware of the fierce competition between Everton and Liverpool. Derby Day is an exciting day that brings everyone together in the name of football and despite the perceived rivalry.

Former Everton player and Northern Ireland native Billy Bingham was quick to congratulate Shankly on his retirement in 1974. After winning the FA Cup in that year, Shankly decided that it was time for him to finally call it a day.

For nearly 15 years, Liverpool Football Club had been his entire life, but he noted that when he returned to the dressing room after winning the FA Cup, he ‘felt tired from all the years’. He had transformed Liverpool and cemented himself in the hearts of everyone in the city and it was time for him to enjoy his life away from the pitch.

Liverpool Actor Offers Congratulations

When Liverpool reached the FA Cup final for the first time in 1965, there were many congratulations that were sent to Shankly. One such message came in the form of a telegram from Anthony Booth, a Liverpool actor who was Cherie Blair’s father.

Gerry Marsden Wishes Shanks Well

shankly memorabilia

Famed for his iconic Liverpool songs Ferry Across the Mersey and for his vocals on Liverpool anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone, Gerry Marsden sent a telegram with his well wishes to Shankly upon his retirement.

The two met on the Ed Sullivan show in the USA when the team came to watch Gerry perform while on tour. The team came onto the stage to perform a special rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone and as the footballers walked off set, Shankly said to Gerry: “Gerry my son, I’ve given you a football team and you’ve given us a song.”

Inspiring the Beatles’ First Manager

Sam Leach, while known more for being a Liverpool promoter and the first manager of The Beatles, was a massive football fan and a keen supporter of Liverpool.

When the club experienced their first ever European Cup Triumph, he sent a telegram to Shankly to express his feelings that the success was partly down to Shankly, despite Shankly having retired three years earlier.

While Sam was friends with John Lennon and Paul McCartney, he always said that Bill Shankly was the most inspirational man he’d ever met.

A Letter Nearly Lost

One of the most fascinating pieces of Bill Shankly memorabilia on display at The Shankly Hotel is the letter from Clementine Churchill, wife of Winston Churchill. The letter was written to thank Bill for the role he played in making a charity game at Wembley for the Red Cross and St John’s War Organisation a success.

The letter was nearly discarded as trash by Bill’s daughter Jeanette and was tore into three pieces before she realised the importance of the paper. Luckily, it was able to be pieced back together and can still be read.

Handwritten Notebooks and Football Documents

Shankly memorabilia

Also on display are several handwritten notebooks that once belonged to the great man. There are two training schedules for his first team at Melwood whilst the other is an academic book from his school days.

There is also an Agreement for Hire of a Player book, which shows the agreements between Shankly and Preston for his remaining playing years at the club. After Shankly returned from his WWII service, his best playing years were behind him, but he wanted to continue his playing career before he embarked on his journey as a manager.

Get the Full Shankly Experience at The Shankly Hotel

At The Shankly Hotel, we’re always acquiring new Bill Shankly memorabilia and it’s the premier destination to get your fill of all things Bill Shankly.

From fan letters to Shankly to his MBE and his original LFC contract, feast your eyes on mementoes from Shankly’s life that have been generously donated by his family.

You can even go the extra mile and enjoy the full Shankly experience with an overnight stay, where you can get a glimpse of some of the stories about Shankly from the people of Liverpool, his colleagues and his family.

Why not embark on a Shankly Tour of Liverpool and experience the city that he loved. Visit destinations that meant a lot to Liverpool’s greatest manager and enjoy a bespoke tour that can be personalised to your interests.

The Perfect Festive Day Out with The Shankly Hotel

At The Shankly Hotel, we’re right in the heart of the top Christmas attractions in Liverpool.

So whether you’re joining us for a short weekend break or longer winter stay, you’ll find plenty to see and do.

And to make your Christmas break all the more relaxing, why not take a browse at our helpful guide?

A Spot of Christmas Shopping

Liverpool ONE

christmas events liverpool

Only a short walk from The Shankly Hotel, discover designer brands and high-street favourites at Liverpool ONE.

Adorned with twinkling lights and decorations, find the ultimate Christmas gift or special stocking filler.

Liverpool Independents

christmas events liverpool

Take a wander along charming Bold Street for a real feel of Liverpool’s independent shopping scene.

Stock up on unique Christmas gifts and hidden gems, perfect for those in search of some sentimental treasures.

Family Fun & Entertainment

Liverpool Christmas Ice Festival

christmas events liverpool

A Christmas day out in Liverpool wouldn’t be complete without the Liverpool Christmas Ice Festival!

Take a scenic stroll down towards the waterfront and find an array of entertainment along the Pier Head.

Get your skate on as you take to the rink, brave this year’s new Ice Jet ride or take in breathtaking views from the Ferris Wheel.

Santa’s Christmas Party

 christmas events liverpool

This Christmas, prepare to be dazzled by Santa’s Christmas Party at the Cunard Building.

Embrace the best of the festive season with the whole family as you enjoy everything from real reindeer to meeting Santa and the Elves.

Not forgetting, you’ll have plenty of magical photo opportunities to make lasting festive memories.

Christmas Treats

Festive Afternoon Tea

 what's on

Escape the cold and join us back at The Shankly for our truly tasty Festive Afternoon Tea.

The perfect break from exploring Liverpool, enjoy a cosy afternoon with the family as you choose from sweet and savoury delights.

Giving our Bastion Bar & Restaurant a sprinkle of Christmas magic, this decadent treat is sure to impress!

Liverpool Christmas Market

christmas events liverpool

Later on, why not head up towards St George’s Plateau and indulge in some classic festive treats?

Choose from sweet and sugary crepes and waffles to the hearty Yorkshire Pudding Wrap.

You’ll also find an array of stalls to pick up some last minute gifts, perfect for foodies!

Catch a Festive Theatre Show

Liverpool Everyman Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto

christmas events liverpool

What better way to celebrate the Christmas season than a visit to the Everyman’s famous Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto?

Prepare for non-stop laughs and family entertainment from this hugely talented cast, starring comedy duo Adam Keast and Francis Tucker.

Miles ahead from your usual pantomime, this annual show is set to give The Little Mermaid a hilarious festive twist.

Christmas with Katherine Jenkins

christmas events liverpool

And if pantomime isn’t calling your name, why not enjoy an enchanting evening at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall?

Start Christmas in style with seasonal music and songs performed by the magnificent Katherine Jenkins.

This spectacular venue is certain to ignite some festive cheer and leave you feeling merry and bright!

A Festive Stay at The Shankly Hotel

Family hotel offers

Treat yourself or someone special this Christmas to a special stay at The Shankly Hotel.

With our fantastically festive offers, you can enjoy a night of luxury for a great price.

Rooms at The Shankly offer the ultimate blend of contemporary and classic style with fabulous features.

Ideal for Christmas party nights out in Liverpool, our spacious rooms are perfect for spending a night with your group of friends in style.

Situated in the heart of the city centre, you’ll find the city’s leading clubs and restaurants right on your doorstep.

To enquire further or to book your overnight stay with us, you can get in touch today on 0151 601 8801.

Watch the Spectacular Merseyside Derby in the Famous Shankly Hotel

Join us in the Bastion at The Shankly Hotel this Sunday 10th December for the hotly anticipated Merseyside Derby.

Liverpool FC will be taking on fellow scouse rivals, Everton, in the first meeting of the season.

Starting at 2.15 pm, we will be showing the game in our famous Bastion Bar and Restaurant and offering exclusive offers to all fans.

We can’t wait to see who comes out on top in this historic fixture.

Amazing Derby Day Offers

derby day

Make the most of this great contest with our derby day offers and watch the game in the amazing atmosphere of the Bastion.

For just £12.95 per person, you can enjoy delicious food and a drink, live entertainment, plus match day drinks offers at the bar.

From arrival and throughout the game we will be offering 4 pint pitchers for £10, 5 bottles for £12 and double up on house spirits for £1 extra.

We will also have some amazing bonus in-play drinks offers including:

  • 2 for 1 on shots if LFC score first
  • 2 for 1 on the bar at halftime if LFC are winning at halftime
  • 2 for 1 for an hour after the full-time whistle if LFC win

Hosted in our Bastion Bar and Restaurant surrounded by the exclusive Shankly memorabilia, the game will be shown live on numerous big screen TV’s.

If you enjoy your match day at the Bastion, which we’re sure you will, you can consider joining our Premier League club. Click the link for more information.

The Merseyside Derby

friendly derby

It is the longest running top-flight derby in England, having been played continuously since the 1962–63 season and is known around the world as the ‘friendly derby’.

Liverpool host the Blues in the 229th Merseyside derby this Sunday, looking to secure a fourth straight victory over their local rivals under Jurgen Klopp.

Saturday’s victory took Liverpool into the Premier League’s top four, with Klopp’s side having won five of their six fixtures since their 4-1 defeat to Tottenham in October.

However, the Blues will visit Anfield in good form, having recorded back-to-back victories to coincide with Sam Allardyce’s arrival as new manager.

It is sure to be a close contest and we can’t wait!

The Bastion Bar and Restaurant


A beautiful bar and restaurant set in the heart of The Shankly Hotel, the Bastion is the perfect place to watch the Merseyside Derby.

You’ll find yourself surrounded by fans just as passionate as you are and have the chance to spend some time discovering memorabilia including Bill Shankly’s personal typewriter and original LFC contract.

We recognise the importance of football to the people of Liverpool and believe that the Bastion celebrates and pays tribute to one of the greatest managers Liverpool has ever seen.

Delicious Food

new menu

This offer also includes a pre-match meal in the Bastion Restaurant.

The menu offers everything from delicious grilled Sirloin Steak to the Shankly pie of the day or a traditional beef burger, served with an array of delicious sides. Don’t forget to wash it all down with a pint and really make the most of match day.

Perfect for groups of family and friends, the Bastion offers an unrivalled atmosphere with a special buzz on match days.

Why not book an overnight stay and have the ultimate football celebration for the Merseyside Derby, The Shankly are here to make your experience the best it could be.

Recently voted the best sporting city in the UK, Liverpool has a long history with football and the Shankly Hotel are proud to be a part of it.

To book your place for this amazing match day offer, call our friendly team on 0151 541 9999.

Gifts for the Ultimate Shankly Fan this Christmas

If you have a dedicated Shankly fan in the family, then look no further for the perfect Christmas gift!

Forget the ordinary and treat someone special to a truly unforgettable Christmas.

Choose from a range of spectacular presents, including Shankly Tours and gift vouchers.

Shankly Experience Tours

Shankly Experience Tours offer bespoke tours of Liverpool.

Choose from an array of fantastic packages for the perfect personalised gift.

Some of our most popular tours include the Liverpool Was Made for Me tour and the Memorabilia Tour.

Liverpool Was Made for Me Tour

liverpool football club tour

Liverpool FC fans will find themselves in heaven with our Liverpool Was Made for Me package.

This football themed tour is a unique fusion of Liverpool’s world famous landmarks and footballing history.

Take a captivating journey through the remarkable past of two of football’s biggest clubs.

We’ll take a look back at Everton FC and its impact on LFC.

This tour also incorporates the unmissable Liverpool Football Club Tour of the stadium and Museum tour.

Memorabilia Tour

liverpool football club tour

The Memorabilia tour is another fan favourite at The Shankly.

Giving you an up close and personal experience, you’ll be greeted by a member of the Shankly family.

From there you’ll be swept away on a personal guided tour of The Shankly Hotel’s exclusive memorabilia.

Our collection includes Bill Shankly’s original LFC contract and personal typewriter.

You’ll also have the chance to experience our Virtual Reality Shankly experience.

For just £20pp this is an incomparable treat for Bill Shankly fans.

A Delicious Meal & Memorabilia

This winter, wine and dine in style at The Bastion Bar & Restaurant.

Treat your other half, friends or family to an exquisite meal in the heart of Liverpool.

The Bastion is a go-to spot for delicious meals prepared to perfection by our talented chefs.

Choose from warming winter dishes and hearty meals guaranteed to hit the spot.

Main Courses include everything from Slow Braised Ox Cheek to Spinach and Ricotta Tortellini.

Our tempting desserts range from mouthwatering Sticky Toffee Pudding to Strawberry Cheesecake.

liverpool football club tour

The Bastion is one of a kind. Ideal for Shankly fans, guests can dine surrounded by our museum of memorabilia.

Admire our archives of rare memorabilia showcasing the life and legacy of Bill Shankly.

One of our most fantastically festive why not join us for Festive Afternoon Tea?

Our famous selection of sweet and savoury treats has been given a special Christmas twist.

Food is without a doubt one of the best ways to the heart. And we’re certain this one will go down a treat!

Come in from the cold and tuck in to tasty scones, sandwiches and delicious cakes from just £19.95pp.

A Luxury Overnight Stay

Treat someone special to a luxury overnight stay at The Shankly.

Perfect for a cosy stay during the winter months, rooms at The Shankly blend classic and contemporary style.

liverpool football club tour

Enjoy a night of utter relaxation with our deluxe beds and rejuvenating whirlpool baths.

Located on bustling Victoria Street, you’ll find plenty to do surrounding the hotel.

We have a range of wonderful hotel offers to make your Christmas all the more magical.

Take a wander of Liverpool’s enchanting Christmas markets or explore the city’s top bars and restaurants.

Shankly Hotel Gift Vouchers

If you’re feeling a little spoilt for choice, our Signature Group gift vouchers could be the answer.

You can purchase and personalise a gift voucher by adding a message and sending it via email, text or 1st class post.

Upon receiving their gift voucher, Shankly fans will be able to choose the ultimate Christmas gift.

To enquire further or to book your visit to The Shankly or Bastion, you can contact us on 0151 601 8801.