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!

Looking Back at England in the World Cup Semi-Final 1990

Though choruses of ‘It’s Coming Home’ may have started with a hint of British sarcasm, the greatest plot twist of the World Cup 2018 is that football could actually be coming home.

With waistcoat sales soaring thanks to Gareth Southgate and the sunny backdrop of Britain’s heatwave keeping beer gardens busy, World Cup fever has been spreading thick and fast.

It’s been a competition to remember so far, and it’s safe to say that we’re clinging on to high hopes for the England vs Croatia semi-final.

To celebrate England’s success, we thought we’d take a step back in time to the last time England made it to the semi-final of the World Cup.

England vs West Germany Semi Final 1990

So, it’s back to 1990 we go. The World Cup semi-final of the new decade saw England take to the pitch against West Germany. It’s been 28 years since the game, and football fans who remember the highly anticipated match have been reminiscing on the atmosphere and moments that stood out most.

At the time, England were managed by Sir Bobby Robson. The team had played impressively throughout the competition, finally knocked out of the game by West Germany on penalties.

In Gazza Misses the Final, a collection of minute-by-minute reports written by Rob Smyth and Scott Murray, the classic World Cup match of 1990 is documented as it played out.

One extract summarises:

“England were the better side in normal time and West Germany in extra time. The Germans will go on to their third consecutive final, hoping to avenge their defeats in 1982 and 1986. England go into a third-place play-off with Italy on Saturday after a night of raw emotion and proud heartbreak that will live with us all for ever. Gazza has tears streaming down his reddened face as he salutes the England fans. Time to listen to ‘World in Motion’ on loop while drowning a million sweet sorrows.”

England World Cup 1990 Penalties

A bittersweet era for England supporters, fans shared some of their best memories of the 1990 World Cup with the East Anglican Daily Times.

Chris Wright recalled:

“I had a tough decision to make. Forego my ticket for the Rolling Stones Urban Jungle Tour at Wembley Stadium or stay at home and watch the game. I went to see the Stones and everyone brought along radios, so we were totally in touch with what was going on. Of course these days it would be possibly to watch the game on the phone and be at the gig.”

Though fans remembered the disappointment and heartbreak following the semi-final result, they were also quick to remember the highlights throughout the 1990 World Cup. A particular fond memory amongst fans was David Platt’s goal while playing against Belgium.

The timeless goal took place as extra time was heading towards a pentalty shoot-out. England got a free-kick with about a minute left to spare. Broadcaster John Motson describes the goal fondly in The Telegraph:

“Bobby Robson and the England bench were signalling frantically as to what they thought they should do with this free-kick but I don’t think Paul Gascoigne was paying any attention at all. Gazza floated his free-kick into the penalty area and David Platt, who was quite new then to international football, swivelled and volleyed it into the net.”

So, with England inching one step closer to the World Cup final once again, we can only hope this semi-final goes in our favour. Supermarkets such as Lidl and Aldi have already taken to social media to announce their employees will finish at 3:00pm should England make it the final on Sunday 15 July.

It seems this enthusiasm has filtered down to smaller workplaces. For example, AMI, a metalwork company in Sheffield has promised to offer all staff a paid day off on Monday 16 July if England really do win the World Cup.

Excitement is certainly building across the country, with nearly 20 million viewers tuning in to watch England beat Sweden in the quarter-finals last weekend.

We’re wishing the England boys the best of luck! Here’s to hoping football’s coming home.

Not sure where to watch the match? We’re showing the World Cup semi-final on our rooftop terrace at The Shankly Hotel. You can register for your spot on the roof here.

Where to Watch the FIFA Club World Cup Live in Liverpool

The FIFA Club World Cup has kicked off to a great start for England if you are wondering where you can catch all the live action, look no further than The Shankly Hotel. In the Garden of Eden, we will be screening each and every match live as it happens on our glorious rooftop terrace.

We inviting you to come and bask in the rare summer sunshine whilst cheering our lads onto glory in style, join us for all the FIFA Club World Cup action.

Here are some FAQ’s answered in detail.

Which Games Will Be Showing?

Let’s start with every England game, and let’s hope there are plenty this year.

England fixtures for FIFA Club World Cup

England’s competition started well with two goals in the back of Tunsia’s net by the final whistle blow. Now we look forward to seeing what else our lads can do as they face their next opponents.

We will also be showing all the other major contending team matchups as well as keeping you up to date with any exciting news and events surrounding the competition.

Where Is It All Happening?

Garden of Eden - where to watch FIFA Club World Cup

Our stunning Garden of Eden will be transformed into a World Cup spectators paradise complete with huge projector screen, comfortable seating and the chance to soak up some British summer sun.

What’s more, there’s enough space in The Garden of Eden to host your very own football match so the more the merrier.

If the weather allows it our very stunning rooftop terrace will also be opening its doors giving guests an exclusive place to catch all the World Cup action.

Will there be drinks?

Is the Pope a Catholic? Of course, there’ll be drinks!

Garden of Eden FIFA Club World Cup Live

Our Garden of Eden bar will be serving up some of our famous in play offers such as four-pint pitchers for £10, five bottle of Carlsberg for £12 and double house spirits for just £1 extra, if our England boys do well so does your bar tab.

Better still we’ve just unleashed a fabulous new summer cocktail menu which has been beefed up to include more cocktail options with a kick.

What Else Can You Look Forward To?

Well if the Champions League Final was anything to go by the atmosphere on our rooftop Garden of Eden will be a football fans paradise.

Garden of Eden FIFA Club World Cup Live

Those with a passion for the game will love visiting The Shankly Hotel and the unparalleled views over the stunning city skyline are enough to lift anyone spirits up to the heavens.

Did Shankly Ever Play in The World Cup?

The answer is no but he managed a few players who brought home the trophy in 1966.

Gerry Byrne, Roger Hunt and Ian Callaghan were all members of the squad that led England to victory in 1966, the year that England hosted the FIFA Club World Cup and the year England beat Germany 4-2.

Callaghan remembers Shankly fondly and says that even after their success he remembers Shanks walking up to him and saying;

Well done, son. But you can forget about winning the World Cup because you’ve got more important things to think about!

To Shankly, all that mattered to the rest of the team, the people of Liverpool and the fans was that Liverpool came out on top again that season.

How Do I Book Tickets?

The best place to watch the FIFA Club World Cup in Liverpool is the Garden of Eden and rooftop access can be bought and pre-booked for just £10.

Once you’re in, you’re in, you can stay and watch as many matches as you’d like for just one entry fee.

Tickets to watch England vs Tunisia - FIFA Club World Cup Live

Everyone and their dog will want to be in The Garden of Eden to watch England play in the FIFA Club World Cup as well as all the other top contending teams. Every game will be screened to watch live as they happen so, to avoid disappointment, get your tickets booked for the games you want to see.

Why Not Make A Night Of It?

Instead of trying to get a taxi home after the match or struggling to get to the train, why not book to stay in the lap of luxury in The Shankly Hotel.

Accommodation for FIFA Club World Cup Live

The superb suites are just a few floors below The Garden of Eden and we have some excellent mid-week offers on during the FIFA Club World Cup this summer.

The Shankly Hotel have the best accommodation offers in Liverpool for groups, couples and families so call 0151 601 8801 to book a room or 0151 541 9999 to arrange your seats to watch the FIFA Club World Cup live in the Garden of Eden.

Book today for one of a kind football hotel experience in the heart of the Liverpool city centre.

Brilliant Boys Offers at The Shankly During World Cup Season

Guys get together for 2018 world cup season in Liverpool’s only football-themed hotel. Enjoy some of these amazing accommodation offers on throughout every one of the world cup fixtures and experience Liverpool’s football fandom on a fab boys break in the city.

Here Come The Boys

No matter what date England’s world cup fixtures happen, our superb Here Come The Boys Offer gives you and the guys the chance to get together to enjoy the game in style.

Our Shankly themed hotel suites can sleep groups of up to 8 in luxurious surroundings and, along with an unforgettable two-night stay, you and the lads will be welcomed by a bucket of chilled beers on arrival.

 

Before or after the match, sample some of the finest drinks ever made on a Whiskey or Rum tasting experience and then the next morning sit down to a hearty full English in The Bastion Bar and Restaurant to refuel after what we hope was a celebratory night on the town.

The entire Here Come the Boys offer is just £159 per person and is ideal for getting the lads together for a few days of football fuelled fun.

Ultimate Boys Weekend

If we are lucky more of England’s matches will fall on the weekend and if so you and the lads can really make a holiday of things with a two night weekend stay at The Shankly Hotel.

Take a break away from the missus and pack your bags for some fun in the city that lives for its football. Check into your luxurious Shankly Hotel suite and get ready for an unforgettable weekend in Liverpool.

Depending on when the match kicks off you can plan your choice of Signature Experience around the main event and chosing from a range of city centre sporting activities.

There’ll be further opportunity to taste some delicious liquor and to fuel you guys up in between a beer and burger each awaits in The Bastion Bar and Restaurant.

What really matters is where you can watch the match and of course, The Bastion Bar and Restaurant guarantees a great seat with views of huge flat screen TVs  no matter where you sit.

Alternatively, our fabulous location provides easy access to the cities top sports bars and big screen public TVs in town. No matter what you’ll be able to get a great view of England’s world cup fixtures in Liverpool from The Shankly Hotel.

The Ultimate Boys Weekend offer is only £189 per person and provides the perfect lads getaway for watching the world cup.

Ultimate Boys Midweek Break

Make any midweek world cup fixtures memorable with the lads by booking a boys break at The Shankly Hotel.

You and the guys can enjoy one night stay in a luxury suite right in the heart of Liverpool city centre. Either catch the game in the Bastion Bar whilst enjoying beers and burgers or head out after enjoying your meal to one of the nearby sports bars.

Choose a sporty Signature Experience such as bubble football, to keep things interesting and spend some quality time with your besties.

After a comfortable nights sleep, you and the guys will love chowing down on a fabulous full English breakfast and recapping all the fun you’ve had together.

Better still the Ultimate Boys Midweek offer is only £79 per person, so it’s a no brainer for any of the world cup fixtures you guys want to see.

To book you and your boys in for an amazing football experience inside Liverpool’s only football themed hotel call 0151 601 8801 or email info@signatureliving.co.uk for more details.

Make the most of the world cup this year and enjoy a lads break in Liverpool with The Shankly Hotel.

Chris Shankly Carline – My Reflections on The Champions League Final

I don’t think we should be downbeat. Gutted losing the final of the biggest game in world football but we competed with Madrid all game. They weren’t better than us. It’s not rocket science to say they were gifted things at crucial points in the game.

Mo’s injury being the first, it rattled us and we lost our shape. Team wasn’t balanced as Lallana isn’t a wide player as hard as he may try. Mo and Sadio play as inside forwards almost.

Clearly Karius did what he did and we won’t say anything more on it. He cost us the game with what are inexplicable errors. I said from day one he wasn’t good enough and I said I preferred Mignolet out the two. He lacks the basic attributes to be a good goalkeeper. Poor decision making, terrible handling and no command of his penalty area. Just because he makes a few Hollywood saves now and then doesn’t mean he’s a solid good goalkeeper as when you lack those basics you’ll always always get found out. A goalkeeper is a must in the Summer and a world class one. I just hope Jurgen doesn’t fall into the same traps that other managers have at the club, displaying a stubbornness towards players they have signed who clearly aren’t good enough but whom continue to be pushed into the team in the hope there is a ‘Eureka!’ moment with them.

I think we have to take positives that the difference was the goalkeeper and that we competed well despite losing Mo.

The game showed things that we must learn from and address in the Summer, namely the lack of plan B and the fact the squad is way too thin in terms of quality. No disrespect to the bench but there was no real quality in it meaning when Bale scored what is a goal that you simply have to applaud, you got the sense we were spent. That needs sorting ASAP with the goalkeeper situation so we can mount the challenge again next year. It is good to see that we have already begun, with the signing of Fabiano who is a much needed real quality defensive centre mid. Keita coming will also be a fantastic signing meaning a midfield that has often been thin on the ground and most definitely devoid of genuine quality already has the makings of being able to stand toe to toe with the front 3 ahead of it and that of our top 4 rivals. I think Fekir plus a world class goalkeeper would represent fantastic business for the Summer ahead.

I’m proud of us though. They’ve given us some unbelievable moments this season and as everyone says, we’ve seen things they’ll never see. Proud of all the reds over there too who showed what real football fans are.

Liverpool Game: Champions League Match Day Offers at The Shankly Hotel

The Reds have made it to the semi-finals and are up against old foes Roma, a team they haven’t played against in 34 years. To celebrate this momentous Liverpool game The Shankly Hotel have some excellent match day offers for the fans to enjoy.

The excitement in the city is almost as hot as the weather and to help our football fans really get into the Champions League spirit we’re inviting them to join the Champions League Club for the last few games of the season.

The Champions League Club Offer

Join us at the Bastion Bar and Restaurant and watch the Liverpool game this Tuesday in style, after all it is the Champions League semi-finals.

Make your way to The Shankly Hotel on the 26th of April and enjoy food and drink on arrival, in the form of a juicy burger and beer, then take a seat in the buzzing atmosphere of The Bastion Bar and Restaurant.

Here the Liverpool game will be shown on huge screen TV’s all around the bar for all to see and live entertainment will be provided before and in between the game.

Bring the family along as the little ones can eat for free, and this is a Liverpool game every football fan should get to enjoy, no matter how big or small.

There will also be exclusive match day offers including giant 4-pint pitchers for just £10, 5 bottles of larger for £12 and the option to double up on house spirits for just £1 more.

This is just one of the ways we like to spoil our customers at The Shankly Hotel giving the people of Liverpool what they want, the best place to watch the Liverpool game in the heart of the city.

Liverpool Game Matchday in-play offers

Only in town for one Liverpool game and it’s the semi-finals?

If so chose the Bastion Bar and Restaurant and bag yourself a great seat to watch all the action.

Not only does the Bastion provide a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere for each and every football fan, there are some terrific in play offers to take advantage of at the bar.

Of course, it’s always a great thing when Liverpool are in a winning position, but that gets even better when you’re watching a Liverpool game in the Bastion.

 

If the Reds are up at halftime, the prices of the drinks go down as selected drinks become buy one get one free. Should Liverpool be skilled enough to score the first goal then its time to celebrate with buy one get one free on any shots at the bar?

At the end of the game, when the final whistle blows and Liverpool are victorious by one get one free will continue on for an hour more to help toast the Reds success.

Better still, all customers who are watching the Liverpool game in the Bastion Bar will be given a special 50% discount off the Bastion Restaurant menu to use on a meal anytime during the following week.

Football at The Shankly Hotel

The Shankly Hotel has become the go-to place to watch the football in Liverpool and it’s little wonder why.

The entire hotel is dedicated to preserving the legacy of footballs greatest player/manager Bill Shankly. From the moment you step into The Shankly Hotel guests are greeted by endless displays of Shankly memorabilia relating to the great man and his career.

People are invited to look over a rare and extensive collection of Shankly archives and keepsakes that was kindly donated by the Shankly family. Everything from Bill’s training tracksuit to his handwritten tactics notes and personal correspondence with colleagues, friends, there’s even a telegraph from the FabFour.

Why not make a break of the Champions League semi-finals with the family and bring everyone along for an overnight stay in any of our Shankly themed rooms?

Every Shankly Hotel room is luxurious and spacious with comfortable double beds, extravagant ensuite bathrooms and facilities that will make any guests stay enjoyable. Explore the city after staying from the amazing central location of the hotel and check out the superb culture of Liverpool during your stay.

Call 0151 601 8801 or email info@signatureliving.co.uk today.

The Ultimate Liverpool Football Club Fan Hotel

The Shankly Hotel is the number one destination in the city for a Liverpool Football Club fan.

We pride ourselves on offering the most electric match day atmosphere, as well as amazing drinks offers, unique surroundings that are sure to impress any football fan and luxurious rooms that are perfect for group stays.

So, with lots of LFC fixtures fast approaching, it’s time to start planning where you’ll be celebrating the goals.

The Only Place to Watch the Game

Bowing day football in Liveprool

Dedicated to the legendary Bill Shankly, the Bastion Bar and Restaurant is the best place in Liverpool to watch live football.

Set within the Shankly Hotel, this beautiful city centre restaurant allows visitors to delve into the iconic personal and professional life of Bill Shankly.

Discover some of the football manager’s most treasured memorabilia, which is displayed throughout this unique restaurant and explore the history around Liverpool Football Club.

Every time the reds take to the field, the action is screened on our huge TV’s, creating an electric atmosphere that can’t be found anywhere else.

Join us on a match day and enjoy exclusive prize giveaways, bar deals and in-play drinks offers that create match winning crazy drink offers that really get you in the party mood!

Liverpool Football Club fan

The amazing Premier League Club or Champions League Club also allow you to earn loyalty points for every game you attend. In return, you will get access to unbeatable rewards, including offers for overnight stays, the Shankly Tours, dining and access to LFC merchandise and memorabilia.

You can even tuck into some delicious food whilst you watch the action in the Bastion Bar and Restaurant.

Soak in the wonderful atmosphere as you enjoy delicious home cooked meals from an eclectic menu, expertly crafted by our talented chefs.

The Bastion Bar and Restaurant is the ideal destination for a Liverpool Football Club fan.

The Ultimate Liverpool Football Club Fan Hotel

The Shankly Hotel

The Shankly Hotel in Liverpool offers luxurious accommodation that’s as unique as its namesake, Bill Shankly.

The perfect place to rest your head if you’re a red, The Shankly prides itself on being a tribute to the life and career of one of football’s finest managers and a footballing hero of Liverpool.

The hotel is home to never-before-seen memorabilia which has been donated by the Shankly family and displayed around the building.

There’s even the ‘Tactics Wall’, a collection of handwritten notes by the man himself covering everything from scouting to playing tactics and match reports.

Football Memorabilia Bill Shankly

And a 30ft video wall in the reception area features moving images, quotes and iconic photos from the legendary manager’s life and career.

Our rooms and suites have been designed with comfort and luxury in mind, featuring unique quotes and memorabilia from the main man himself.

We are the ideal destination for those who appreciate luxury, fun and flexibility, providing the ultimate hotel experience in Liverpool.

Situated close to all major transport links, The Shankly is the ideal place to stay if you’re going to the match, or if you’re looking for somewhere to watch all of the action.

Experience a Football Tour With a Difference

Shankly tours - Anfield

Source: Wikicommons

Always wanted to learn more about Liverpool Football Club and one of their most famous and loved managers, Bill Shankly? The Shankly Experience is the perfect football-themed tour for you.

With a range of different routes and themes to choose from, we can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

You can enjoy match day tours, where you’ll be taken around Anfield before the game, soak up plenty of Liverpool’s interesting culture and take a trip around the city’s most celebrated historic landmarks and vibrant cultural.

Maybe you’d like to delve into the life of Bill Shankly? You can visit the house where the great man lived, enjoy a training session on the Bill Shankly Playing Field in West Derby and visit the places he loved in Liverpool.

bill shankly

If you can’t decide which tour is best for you, we also offer bespoke packages that allow you to book a tour tailored to your interests. Whether you are a fan of culture, architecture, sport, music or history, The Shankly Experience has it all.

At the end of every tour, you will have the chance to explore the Shankly museum, set within our beautiful hotel.

You can view everything from Bill’s original LFC contract, his telegram from Neil Armstrong, the key to The Shankly Gates and his This Is Your Life book. No place on Earth offers such a unique look at the legendary manager’s career.

The Shankly Experience Tours are the perfect treat for any Liverpool Football Club fan.

The World’s First Football Quarter

football quarter

Last year, it was announced that a brand new hotel, dedicated to the Everton legend Dixie Dean would be opening opposite The Shankly Hotel.

Set to celebrate the friendly rivalry that unites football fans across the city, the road between the two hotels is to become the world’s first Football Quarter.

Showcasing the unique and long-standing football history of the city, the quarter will be lined with unique statues of footballing legends.

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.

We are sure this area will become one of the top destinations for football fans travelling to our great city.

To book a stay at the ultimate Liverpool Football Club Fan Hotel, get in touch with our friendly team today and make the most of match days. 

We hope to see you soon. 

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.

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.

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! 

30 Bellefield Boxing Day Bonanza at The Shankly Hotel

Spend a brilliant day watching boxing day football in Liverpool with the whole family at The Shankly Hotel. We’ve tailormade a special boxing day football event for families of footy fans to come together and enjoy the match in an amazing atmosphere.

Pop your new team shirt on and make your way to our 30 Bellefield Boxing Day Bonanza this boxing day in Liverpool.

The best place to watch boxing day football 2017

Where else could you gather together with the whole family, enjoy a menu of delicious food, superb drinks offers and get a guaranteed seat to watch boxing day football in Liverpool?

At The Shankly Hotel, there’s nothing more important than family (but football comes close). Bill Shankly himself was a man who wholeheartedly dedicated himself to the game of football but still made time for his loving family.

Our Bellefield Boxing Day Bonanza celebrates Shankly’s love of the game and his devoted family by giving people a safe and welcoming place to enjoy boxing day football in Liverpool.

The match will be screened on 10 TV’s dotted all around The Bastion Bar and Restaurant giving every fan unobstructed views of the action.

For just £19.95 per adult, a choice of meal from The Bastion Restaurant’s favourite dishes and a free drink is yours and better still your little footy fans eat for free.

Wait there’s more . . .

Throughout the game, a gifted local musician will be keeping the match day atmosphere alive playing a superb song list of LFC and other football-themed tunes.

To keep the whole family entertained we will also be giving you the chance to get your hands on some unbelievable prizes that include food, drink and accommodation in The Shankly Hotel.

Those in town to watch boxing day football in Liverpool will also have access to The Bastion Bar’s legendary drinks offers and enjoy the “In Play Drink” promotions where the prices are dictated what happening on the pitch.

 

On top of all this visitors will be able to peruse the wonderful collection of rare Shankly memorabilia including family photos telegrams and coveted LFC treasures.

The Shankly Hotel is Liverpool’s only football-themed hotel, that has family fun at its core so come enjoy the boxing day football in Liverpool as Shankly would have, surrounded by family.

Why Bellefield?

When Shankly came to Liverpool he and his loving family settled down in West Derby in a house that is now a footballing landmark.

This family home is situated in the leafy suburbs of Liverpool on Bellefield Ave, within an easy walking distance of Walker Playing Fields, Melwood Training Ground and what is now known as the Bill Shankly Recreation Ground.

It was common practice for the large Shankly family to come together in the Bellefield family home where Shank’s would have the footy on and Nanny Ness would whip up a delicious family meal for everyone to tuck into.

 

Why not book your family a Shankly Tour including a trip to the hallowed ground which is the Shankly family home?

This, as well as a guided trip around the city’s most iconic cultural and footballing landmarks, ensures the whole family enjoy a fun, family day together before sitting down to watch the boxing day football in Liverpool at The Shankly Hotel.

Book today to watch boxing day football in Liverpool

The Liverpool vs Swansea match kicks off at 17:30 pm giving you and the family plenty of time to enjoy a scrumptious evening meal, some “In Play Drinks” and toe-tapping music.

At The Bastion Bar and Restaurant, the homely atmosphere is perfect for bringing families together and for true football fans, a chance to learn a little more about the sports greatest player-manager.

Thanks to the Shankly family there’s plenty of fascinating Shankly stories associated with his time at Liverpool Football Club and hilarious anecdotes detailing Shankly as a family man can be found among the memorabilia.

Our Bellefield Boxing Day Bonanza is the perfect combination of footballing family fun and the best way to enjoy the boxing day football in Liverpool this year.

Also is you are hanging around in town consider the amazing Stardust Boxing Night Disco taking place in Eden our fabulous rooftop events venue click here for more details.

Call to book your table on 0151 541 9999 and check out some of our amazing seasonal accommodation offers here built for families of football.

Bill Shankly as Remembered by the People of Liverpool

Bill Shankly was a true hero of Merseyside. Not only for his raging success in turning Liverpool football Club into the undeniable force it is today, but for his demeanour and connection with the people of the city he came to call home.

If he wasn’t driving down the street with Nessie’s knickers stuck to his car roof, he was touching the lives of many, many people in Liverpool

To help celebrate The Shankly Hotel’s second birthday, we invited our Facebook followers to share some of their stories of the great man himself, offering an endearing insight into how Liverpool’s greatest football manager was a down to earth and well-loved man.

“Sometimes you have to lose to know how to win”

Bill Shankly stories

“When I was 11 my Dad used to run the local Boxing club when I had my first fight I was so excited partly because it was my first fight but mainly because Bill Shankly was giving the trophies out.

Well, I got beat and instead of picking up my runners up trophy I ran out of the ring and into the changing room. I was really upset because in my eyes I had let my Dad down and I had done it in front of the great man. My Dad was trying to console me saying it would be ok.i wasn’t having any of it. Then in came Shanks which reduced me to a blubbering jelly.

You forgot this and gave me the runners up trophy. He put his hand on my shoulder and said: ‘Don’t worry son sometimes you have to lose to know how to win.’

With that he went out to watch the next bout. There was me with a smile as wide as the Mersey I’ve never ever forgot that day and told the story many times over the years. The word legend is used too often these days but in my eyes, there couldn’t be a more appropriate word to describe Shanks”

Barry Robinson

The Letter to a Fellow Footballer

Bill shankly stories

“This is the letter Bill Shankly sent to Jeff Twentyman the father of my friend Will Twentyman congratulating him on his move to Liverpool and his step up from the third division to the first which is now the premier league and top tier of English football.

This letter which also features in his book the secret diary of a Liverpool scout all about the scouting work Jeff did as he continued to be a great servant to the club for many years after he finished playing for them.

The reason the story is also amusing is because the reason behind the move was a floodlight fire causing part of the ground at the club he was at before was the reason he was sold as the most valuable player at the club at that time to raise funds!”

Joanne Noone

Mobbed at a Charity Football Match

Bill Shankly stories

“In the early 1970’s, when I was about ten, the local football team Poulton Victoria had a football pitch at the back of our house in Wallasey and they hosted a charity match with some big celebrities such as Rod Stewart and Jimmy Hill and it was even filmed by the BBC!

Towards the end of the game Bill Shankly turned up and was absolutely mobbed by fans, I was so overwhelmed I touched his coat and he looked down at me and smiled.

I can still feel that coat, it was a brown raincoat and the memory is as fresh as yesterday over 40 years later.”

Pamela Quinn

Bill Shankly’s Toilet

Bill Shankly stories

Photo by Michael Webb/Getty Images

“We used to play football on Barnfield Playing fields now known as the Shankly playing fields when I was about 10. We had our jackets as posts and he lived opposite and used to come across and ref.

One day I needed the loo and was about to leave early but instead, he took me home to his to use his toilet so I didn’t miss the footy. Couldn’t believe I was sat on his loo. He also told me that if I wanted to play for Liverpool I should play for a team instead of watching them.

I did just that on his say so. Never played for Liverpool but love playing and love Mr Shankly as we used to call him. An absolute legend who always looked out for us kids.”

Keith Duckworth

Always the Life of the Party

Bill Shankly Boardroom

“It was either the 1971 or 1973 FA Cup Final when I would have been 10 or 12 years old. We were having a street party for the cup final in Handel Street (which was off Lodge Lane but sadly no longer there).

The road was partially blocked off due to the party and a car came down the street, stopped and out got Bill Shankly. He was made up we were having a street party for Liverpool. He stayed for a while and chatted to all the adults and children. I said “Hello Mr Shankly” and he shook my hand.

I couldn’t believe how friendly and down to earth he was and the memory will last forever.”

Jackie Curry

The Man Who Could Walk on Water

“When my husband and I were walking down Muirhead Avenue one afternoon Bill was waiting in his car for his wife Nessie to come out of the hairdressers.

My hubby asked him if it was true that he could walk on water. Bill looked him straight in the eye and said ‘Aye laddie aye.’”

Jeff Campbell

One thing is for sure, the people of Liverpool loved Bill Shankly and Bill Shankly loved Liverpool. Although he was raised in Scotland, the people and the city of Liverpool will always have space in their heart for the man that changed football forever.