Liverpool FC History: How Bill Shankly Led Liverpool to Greatness

Liverpool FC weren’t always in the top half of the footballing league tables, before Bill Shankly took over as manager, the club were struggling. When Shankly arrived at Anfield on Monday 14th December 1959, Liverpool had been in the Second Division for five years and had been beaten by non-league Worcester City in the 1958 – 59 FA Cup.

However, their success all came down to a pivotal year when Bill Shankly led Liverpool to promotion from Division Two, showcasing both Shankly’s shrewd ability in the transfer market and his outstanding management skills.

We take a look back at some fascinating Liverpool FC history and discover how Shankly built the club into the force we know it as today.

Building a New Team

Shankly training

When Shankly arrived at Anfield, the team and ground was in disrepair. There was no means of watering the pitch, the training ground at Melwood was a shambles and the Liverpool squad consisted largely of average players, with a few promising reserves.

Shankly quickly decided that he needed to strengthen the team through the middle, they needed a strong goalkeeper, a centre half who could stop goals and somebody up front who could create and score goals.

Shankly highlighted a list of 24 players that he wanted to replace, all were placed on the transfer list and had left the club within a year. One of the men on the list was legendary Billy Liddell, a player that was so loved that for a short time Liverpool were referred to as ‘Liddellpool’.

Liddell had played for the club for 22 years and remains the oldest goalscorer in the Reds’ history. Although the decision may not have seemed too hard to make, as Liddell was now an aged player, it was still difficult to replace a man of that stature within the club. But, Shankly knew the squad needed a change and he needed to build a whole new team of his own.

Gaining Financial Support

Bill Shankly was aware that Liverpool FC were struggling for money. They hadn’t won a trophy for 13 years and had spent six years in Division Two, meaning that the Board of Directors were reluctant to invest any money in them.

However, with the help of Eric Sawyer, Shankly was able to secure the signatures of the two players at the top of his transfer wish list, Ian St John and Ron Yeats. These two players, as well as goalkeeper Tommy Lawrence, were described as the backbone of the new team.

St John was a hugely important influence at Liverpool and played for the team for 10 years. Similarly, Yeats proved to be a great signing for Shankly and went on to captain Liverpool, lifting seven trophies during his career with them. Both players instantly went down in Liverpool FC history.

Unrivalled Managerial Ability

iconic photos of Bill Shankly

When Shankly first came to Liverpool, he had orchestrated a lot of departures from the team. However, those that showed real talent and success stayed at Liverpool, which showed Shankly’s real skill as a manager.

Liverpool FC’s key striker, Roger Hunt, was a driving force in the club’s improved performance. He scored 41 goals in 41 league appearances in the 61/62 season and Shankly used Hunt extensively in the two previous seasons, too, showing the strength in his judgement.

It was clear that Shankly was not just selling players to make a profit for a whole new squad, he was remoulding the one he had and making them into a Division One side.

And that is exactly what he did, in the 61/62 season Shankly lifted Liverpool out of Division Two forever. Shankly had built a squad that the fans had no fear would lose, they won their first six games and won the league title in April with five games to spare.

Liverpool FC Become Champions

Bill Shankly

When Liverpool made the leap from Division Two to Division One, it was a hugely significant event in Liverpool FC history. It kick started the golden age for football on Merseyside, the promotion saw Liverpool gain access to a better level of football and much more prestigious trophies were now up for grabs.

After their second season in Division One, Shankly won the league title with Liverpool FC and the following year they won the FA Cup for the very first time.

In his autobiography, Shankly recounted that among his many achievements, winning the 1965 FA Cup was his “greatest day”.

By the end of Bill Shankly’s management career at the club, Liverpool FC had become a First Division club that had won two FA Cups (1965 and 1974), the UEFA Cup (1973) and the FA Charity Shield in 1964, 1965 and 1966.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our look back some Liverpool FC history and how the legendary Bill Shankly developed LFC into the amazing football team they are today. 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.

We hope to see you soon!

Liverpool Graduation Offer: Stay & Dine at The Shankly Hotel

If your Liverpool graduation is just around the corner, don’t miss out on our best graduation offer yet…

Join us at The Shankly Hotel and get ready to say ‘cheers’ to all your hard work paying off.

Graduation Meal and Hotel Offer

Our unmissable graduation deal includes everything from a luxury stay and your graduation meal to celebratory touches.

£179 per couple or £55 per person based on min 4 sharing includes:

  • Overnight stay
  • Prosecco in room on arrival
  • Congratulations balloons and banners
  • 3 course dinner in restaurant

*T&Cs apply.

Shankly room

Rooms at The Shankly Hotel offer a stylish fusion of contemporary and classic style. Amenities include a double whirlpool Jacuzzi bath, 50″ TV screen, Bluetooth and free WiFi.

Shankly Hotel jacuzzi - Graduation offer

Signature Suites at The Shankly Hotel

Our fabulous graduation deal can also be applied to Signature Suites at The Shankly Hotel. One of the latest of our rooms and suites is the stunning LMAO suite.Sleeping up to 6 guests, this stylish spot is one of the most colourful and creative rooms within The Shankly Hotel.

Perfect for hosting graduation parties with your uni girls, the ethereal suite is designed in a blend of of lilacs, pinks and greens and finished with our signature gold detailing.

Plus, you can make the most of your graduation celebrations with amazing amenities. This room includes three opulent double beds, twin copper baths, an en suite bathroom, TV, Bluetooth audio and WiFi.

Graduation Meal Offers in Liverpool

We know your graduation meal is one of the best bits of the day, especially after sitting through the long ceremony! It’s always a good idea to organise your graduation meal in advance to avoid disappointment.

Our graduation deal incorporates a delicious 3 course meal, making your experience all the more smooth sailing.

new summer menu - The Bastion

At The Bastion Bar & Restaurant, we serve everything from hearty, high quality meals to lighter bites, perfect for sharing with friends and family. Our new summer menu offers a range of refreshing dishes and indulgent treats for one of the most special occasions of your life.

Not forgetting, our menu intertwines flavoursome vegetarian dishes certain to hit the spot!

A Very Special Theme

The Bastion Bar & Restaurant is in keeping with the unique theme of The Shankly Hotel. You’ll discover exclusive Bill Shankly memorabilia, stories and photographs celebrating the life of the football legend. Overnight guests can also enjoy hidden gems around the hotel.

The special theme fills the stunning building with character and charm that simply can’t be found elsewhere. For football fans and those simply looking to delve into Liverpool’s history, this is the perfect venue for an atmospheric experience.

If your family don’t live in Liverpool, celebrating your graduation at The Shankly Hotel is a wonderful chance to showcase the best of Liverpool.

Capture Some Memories

While celebrating your graduation with us, you can also make the most of the best rooftop bar in Liverpool. A hidden gem above The Shankly Hotel, Eden rooftop terrace offers the ultimate backdrop for your graduation photos.

Showcasing panoramic views across Liverpool city centre, soak up the sun as you enjoy a summer cocktail. Perfect!

To enquire further or to book this amazing graduation offer in Liverpool, simply give our team a call on 0151 601 8801.

The Art of Football Liverpool: See Vintage Bill Shankly Shirt

Set to celebrate the creative culture and social fabric of The Beautiful Game, don’t miss The Art of Football in Liverpool.

Coinciding with the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the season will run throughout June and come to a close on 15th July 2018.

The Art of the Football Shirt

When: 14 June – 28 June (Shankly shirt displayed over 2 selected dates)

Where: Camp & Furnace

We’re delighted to announce that The Shankly Family Experience will be contributing to The Art of the Football Shirt in Liverpool.  Hosted at Camp & Furnace, we’ll be showcasing an extremely rare football shirt worn by the one and only Bill Shankly.

The shirt we have chosen to feature in this spectacular free exhibition dates back to Bill’s early days of football at Preston North End Football Club. The vintage jersey will only be displayed for a limited number of set days.

The Shankly Hotel Preston

So, make sure you’re there on Wednesday 27th June or Thursday 28st June to see for yourself. The special shirt will be revealed from 4:30pm and available to see until 7pm.

Bill Shankly slipped on the famous jersey during the 1938 FA Cup Final. The victorious match saw Preston come out on tops over Huddersfield with a 1-0 win. The game was the pinnacle of Bill’s playing career.

The Art of Football Liverpool – What’s On

Brought to you by fashion historian Neal Heard of Bido Lito! Magazine and Culture Liverpool, this summer will see the city play host to major exhibitions.

Late June and early July will be filled with things to see and do. This is just some of what you can look forward to:

Disco Socrates

When: 30 June 2018

Where: Constellations

Hosted in one of Liverpool’s best-loved music venues, this insightful event will showcase live performances from artists drawn from the World Cup nations. The selection is set to reflect the power of musical movements for making a positive change.

I Don’t Love Soccer Because Soccer Has Never Loved Me

When: 29 June – 15 July 2018

Where: Camp & Furnace

This special event will showcase football culture through the lens of graphic design and illustration. The artwork is taken from an international selection of talented graphic artists.

Soccerama Symposium

When: 12 – 13 July 2018

Where: Liverpool Central Library

Soccerama is a symposium exploring football in a whole new way. A mixture of clever conversations and debates will see football explored from a variety of angles; women’s rights, naturalist populism, LGBTQ, consumer culture, race and class politics will all be touched upon.

Shankly Experience Liverpool

To get your fix of Shankly memorabilia, look no further than The Shankly Family Experience. A fantastic treat for LFC fans, Shankly Tours offer unrivalled insight into the life of a football genius.

Brought to you by the Shankly family, our bespoke tour packages offer something special for everyone. From exclusive family anecdotes to fascinating memorabilia, why not take a browse of our tour packages?

the art of football liverpool

The Memorabilia Tour is a popular favourite amongst our lovely customers. You’ll be greeted by a member of the Shankly family at the start of the tour and treated to a personal, guided tour of the memorabilia by those who knew Bill best. We also provide a free drink and the day comes to a close with our Virtual Reality Shankly Experience.

To get in touch for more information or to book your experience, please contact Ashley Bromilow on 0151 242 1522 or email info@shanklyexperience.com.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

How the Remote Scottish Village where Bill Shankly Grew Up Shaped His Career

In Liverpool, Bill Shankly’s name brings to mind the glory and success of his managerial years at Liverpool FC so you might be surprised to discover that the Liverpool Legend grew up in a remote and poverty-stricken village in Scotland.

Known amongst fans as Shankly’s lost village, Glenbuck is the birthplace and childhood home of the world-class manager who steered Liverpool FC to three English league wins, two FA Cups and a UEFA victory.

bill shankly glenbuck

The legendary Bill Shankly

The former football legend was born in the remote East Ayrshire village on September 2nd 1913. One of 10 children, Bill Shankly was the second youngest child.

The iconic football manager had a modest upbringing, claiming that he didn’t have a proper bath until he was 15 and that he would regularly steal turnips for boiling and eating.

But it was this tough upbringing that shaped Shankly’s humble attitude to the beautiful game and grounded his ethos and values in equality and fair-play.

The Village of Glenbuck: Home of Footballers

For most of Glenbuck’s history, it had only two exports: coal and footballers.

Glenbuck was a struggling coal mine village in the 19th and 20th centuries. Residents lived under constant threat of mine closure as the coal seam began to run out.

By the end of the 1930s, the pit mines had closed. In the late 1990s, the old mine was converted into a open-cast mine, which saw the destruction of many of the  homes in the village.

Glenbuck

The village of Glenbuck

But this tiny village in the Scottish hills also  produced 50 footballers who went on to play professionally – an impressive figure for a village whose population never exceeded 1,700.

Alongside Bill Shankly, other renowned footballers to come from this small Scottish settlement included four English FA Cup winners, five full internationals and 50 professionals.

Bill’s uncle Bob Blyth who played for Rangers, Preston North and Portsmouth also heralded from the village. Alex Tait, a Tottenham Hotspur player when the club won the FA cup in 1901, was also Glenbuck born and bred.

 

Bill Shankly’s Football Experiences in Glenbuck

According to former inhabitants of the tiny village, football and mining went hand-in-hand in Glenbuck. When the mine was open, it was normal for the workers to have a game every night after finishing in the pits. The football pitch, Burnside Park, was only a short walk away from the mines.

When Bill Shankly left school he worked in the mine with his brother Robert for 2 years before it closed.

Bill Shankly Glenbuck

Bill Shankly in his youth

Appearing on the TV Show ‘This is Your Life’ in 1973 with her brother, Bill Shankly’s sister Netta reminisced about the antics the Shankly brothers used to get up.  The five brothers would blow up balloons and kick them around the cramped quarters of their childhood home, often breaking vases and sideboards as they went.

Glenbuck’s local team was called the Glenbuck Cherrypickers, but the team folded before Shankly was old enough to play for them.

Instead he played for Cronberry, a semi-professional junior team located 12 miles away from the village. It was here that Shankly was scouted for Carlisle United, kick-starting his footballing career.

Professional footballers like Shankly were part of the fabric of the village, and this might be why so many successful players were raised in the village. Many of the footballers continued to socialise with younger players, encouraging their sporting efforts.

The Community of Glenbuck

According to former residents of the Scottish village, the mining settlement had a collective attitude to life and were happy to help any family in need. This was later reflected in Shankly’s humble attitude on the pitch, and his belief in playing as a team and not as a group of individuals.

Bill Shankly Glenbuck

After his pitch-side success, Bill Shankly used return to Glenbuck and often joined in games with local youngsters. According to former residents, he often asked how families were getting on, before kindly gifting them financial support.

The family atmosphere of the village must have rubbed off on the LFC legend as Bill Shankly’s family was always important to him. Just 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”.

Today, an LFC support’s group called the Spirit of Shankly are dedicated to keeping the legacy and values of their hero relevant to the club. Their grassroots activism aims to represent the best interests of Liverpool fans on a local and international level, in keeping with Bill Shankly’s values on community and support. In  2015 they made a trip up to Glenbuck to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Liverpool’s first historic FA Cup win.

The Future of Glenbuck

The village of Glenbuck is currently uninhabited, but there are plans to revive the birthplace of the renowned Liverpool Legend.

Schemes are in discussion to restore the historic football field, establish a museum in the area and even reinstate the once mighty local team, the Glenbuck Cherrypickers.

A charitable football academy has been set up in the village’s name which trains young players in Douglas, South Lanarkshire (one of Scotland’s most deprived areas).

The mine is likely to become a centre for research and education due to its unique geological exposure according to the Scottish Mines Restoration Trust.

Bill Shankly Glenbuck

The Bill Shankly Memorial at Glenbuck

Unsurprisingly, the largest number of visitors to Glenbuck are Liverpool supporters visiting the ‘lost village’ of their club legend. Nestled on the roadside in the village is a simple memorial to Bill Shankly, ‘The Legend, The Genius, The Man’.

Dedicated fans can also travel to Muirkirk Heritage Park a short distance away to see the larger memorial unveiled by LFC legends, Alan Kennedy and Roy Evans, in 2014.

Celebrate Bill Shankly’s Memory at The Shankly Hotel

The Shankly Hotel is a fitting tribute to one of football’s greatest managers. Offering spacious luxury rooms, a lively bar and restaurant and unseen memorabilia, The Shankly will bring the story of Bill Shankly to life during your stay.

The Shankly Hotel

To book your stay at The Shankly Hotel, give our team a call on 0151 601 8801 or email reservations@shanklyhotel.com today.

 

 

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

thisisanfield.com

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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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

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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 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

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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.

Baskerville

When: Saturday 9th December

Where: The Playhouse Liverpool

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.