World Kindness Day: Touching stories about the kindness of the Shanklys

The people of Liverpool and fans of LFC remember and cherish Bill Shankly’s name and memory as an undeniable force of kindness. On world kindness day we’ve decided to explore some of the ways in which Bill Shankly’s kindness has endured today.

The kindness of Shankly

It’s a well-known fact that Bill Shankly was a man of the people in every interview given by those who knew him well, endless anecdotes are recounted about his unfailing ability to lift people’s spirits.

Accounts of utter selflessness, unyielding determination to get the best out of people and a wicked sense of humour are all available to read about in the Shankly stories.

We have picked out a few instances where Shankly’s kindness stood out for family members and fans, remaining still strong in their memories today.

Grandson Chris Shankly recalls an interview with his mum when probing about what Shankly was like in the home.

Jeanette remembers her father being entirely devoted to football and LFC, but this didn’t detract from his domestic duties around the house. He helped wherever he could and often got involved in household improvements proving he could still be counted on as the man of the house.

The stories, however, did not always involve domestic successes as Jeanette thinks back to a time when the garden wall was repointed. Shanks came home and realised the workmen had left quite a mess on his front path, so he grabbed the hose to wash away the debris only to also remove all the fresh pointing from the wall as well.

The kindness of Bill Shankly certainly didn’t stop at work or at home and it was his love of the people of Liverpool that has kept him held in such high esteem for all these years, a hero of the city.

After retiring from his position as manager at LFC to spend some quality time with his family Shanks often received fan mail and it was his pleasure to reply to as many as humanly possible. One such letter to a 13-year-old boy shows just how much he honoured his fans and cherished their admiration and support.

It’s not hard to see why Liverpool adopted Shanks as an honorary Scouser the man literally lived for his family, the game and the people and was devoted wholeheartedly to all three until the end.

The kindness of Nessie

The woman behind the great man, Agnes Wren Shankly was hailed by many as the first lady of football. A gentle soul with a strong spirit and an unwavering support for her husband, Nessie was credited with being the glue that held the Shankly household together.

When she wasn’t cooking or providing refreshments for fans who knocked to see or speak to Bill she was getting involved in as many local charities as possible including RNIB among others.

Chris has fond memories of calling in on his Nanny Ness whilst playing with friends, asking for his usual weekly pocket money and a Chunky Choc Ice. His memories include having the best cups of tea and being quizzed about his wellbeing.

“Nanny Ness would always ensure we had everything we needed and when she was satisfied we did she would give us something anyway just to be sure”

A story about Nanny Ness that perfectly supports the ideas behind world kindness day is the day Nanny Ness was robbed.

She had driven to show her face at an event and left her belongings in the car which was broken into and her belongings were stolen. When word got out that these belongings were that off Nessie Shankly’s they were returned sharpish showing that because Nessie looked after the people they, in turn, looked after her.

These may seem like the actions of any devoted Grandmother and wife but given the fact that Nessie’s husband was also married to the game of football it must have taken a lot for her to remain such a steadfast support to Bill Shankly and their family.

Shankly Hotel Kindness

Of course, any venture to bear the name of Shankly under the guidance of the Shankly family themselves has at its heart a drive to satisfy and impress; just like Shankly himself.

With this in mind, those who own and operate The Shankly Hotel work hard to ensure every guest through the doors are given exceptional experiences and the chance to make fond everlasting memories.

There have been instances where staff have been able to continue the legacy of kindness left behind by Bill Shankly. These have been wonderful opportunities where a Liverpool hotel has enriched the lives of individuals by extending the type of kindness expected from Bill Shankly himself.

Marie Wright

Like the terminally ill elderly lady who was welcomed at The Shankly Hotel during a trip to Liverpool to see LFC play at Anfield.

Marie Wright’s wish was made true by the wonderful fans at Irish Reds Club and Dublin 15 LFC, who arranged for a carer and wheelchair access into the match so Marie could see her team play a home game at least once in her lifetime.

Upon receiving contact from the groups Chris Shankly arranged for Marie to visit The Shankly Hotel along with her family where she could shake the hand of LFC Legend Roy Evans.

Katie and Sam

Just like Bill Shankly, when an inspiring story concerning a diehard LFC fan reached the ears of Chris Carline he did what he could to reach out and do something kind.

Katie and Sam are a young couple who had planned to visit Liverpool to watch Sam’s team, LFC at, home. This was a gift from Katie and the pair were very excited to visit the city.

Sadly, one January morning in 2016 Katie was unfortunate enough to have a car accident which left her seriously injured and unable to carry out her well-laid plans to join Sam at Anfield. The pair gave up their match tickets worked on Katie’s recovery.

Miraculously Katie did pull through and was able to walk, talk and study again by April 2016. A friend got in touch with both LFC and The Shankly Hotel and between the two Katie and Sam were invited to watch another game at Anfield and enjoyed a two-night stay at The Shankly Hotel.

Bill Shankly would be beaming at his grandson’s actions to both Marie and Katie as his own kindness was his dedication to the fans believing and knowing it was their support that made his time at Liverpool so rewarding.

It costs nothing to be kind

The Shankly Hotel is dedicated to making happy memories for everyone who comes through our doors. From the individual guest to entire wedding parties, we make it our mission to be kind and considerate to everyone we come into contact with every day.

See if you can remember the last time you reached out with an act of kindness on world kindness day 13th November 2017, or let us know if you can remember a time when someone was particularly kind to you.

It costs nothing to be kind.

 

The Rise of Kop and Pop Culture in 1965 Liverpool

In Liverpool, music and football go hand in hand thanks to the rise in both Merseybeat and the quality of Merseyside football in the 1950’s. After Bill Shankly accepted the manager’s role at Liverpool football club there was a dramatic turnaround in performance and of course, Beatlemania began to traverse the globe as the boys made headlines with their unique sound.

The Shankly Museum holds vast archives of rare Shankly memorabilia but none showcase the link between Liverpool music and football so much as the telegram that will be unveiled to mark the two-year anniversary of The Sahnkllky Hotel opening. Shanks received the telegram from the FabFour on the day of the 1965 FA Cup Final when Liverpool played Leeds and won.

This remarkable piece of footballing and music memorabilia marks an upturn in the pop and Kop culture of Liverpool. These two fascinating phenomena took audiences across the world by storm creating a combined passion for Liverpool football and Merseybeat music.

Kop Culture

“I’m just one of the people who stands on the Kop. They think the same as I do, and I think the same as they do. It’s a kind of marriage of people who like each other.”

Shankly was loved by Liverpool, not just for what he did to transform the city’s beloved team but also for his quick wit and sharp humour. Scousers are known for being direct, straight talking people with hearts of gold and that’s just what Shankly was like.

source: Quotesgram

Above all Shankly was a down to earth man who knew the magnitude of the task he had ahead of him when he walked through the main entrance at Anfield in December 1959.

It wasn’t long before his work was rewarded as Liverpool football club climbed the ranks sweeping into division one by April 1962.

The turn around delighted fans who could be heard singing their hearts out from the Kop urging their players onward and upwards.

Fathers would drop their boys into the “boy’s pen” and go stand with their mates bellowing out tune after tune from the charts, which at the time was filled with tracks from local Merseybeat bands.

“The fans here are the greatest in the land. They know the game and they know what they want to see. The People on the Kop make you feel great – yet humble.”

Pop Culture

The rise in the quality of Liverpool football, thanks to Shanks’, mirrored another sweeping craze of the sixties; Beatlemania.

Four boys from the city were taking the music world by storm producing track after track, each hitting the UK top ten and holding their positions for weeks on end.

source: Pinterest

Of course, the people of Liverpool were jubilant at this point as two of their homegrown talents were sweeping the world and coming up trumps.

Liverpool Football club even played the top ten at Anfield matches through the PA system before the game as almost every song belonged to a Merseybeat band. This also became known as the earliest instance of pre-match entertainment.

Gerry and the Pacemakers, Cilla Black and The Beatles had arrived on the music scene as had Liverpool football club in the international world of football.

The synchronicity of the two occurrences stirred something inside the people of Liverpool creating the amazing mix of music loving football fans we have today.

The Beatles and Shankly

The Beatles are known for having no particular ties to either of the Merseyside football clubs and quite famously when Brian Epstein asked for tickets for the 1965 FA Cup final for the boys Shanks replied;

“I have never seen any of The Beatles standing on the Kop, any tickets I have spare will be going to my mates on the Kop.”

Never the less The Beatles sent support to their home team on the day of the 1965 FA Cup final against Leeds, the clubs greatest moment to date and a testament to Shankly, the man who put them there.

The FabFour sent a telegram wishing the team and Shanks the best of luck and letting them know they’d be watching on TV.

source: Twitter

Liverpool went on to play a gruelling match against Leeds, who also gave it their all, and the FA Cup final of 1965 went into extra time with no goals scored.

The first goal of extra time was scored in a matter of minutes putting Liverpool up by one, then Leed’s equalised seven minutes later making it neck and neck. The final goal was scored in the 117th minute by Liverpool winning the game and giving Liverpool their first-ever FA Cup triumph.

source: skysports.com

Could the Beatles telegram have given them the extra push to perform or was it just the brilliance of Shankly and the player’s reluctance to disappoint him and their fans?

All we know is that The Beatles telegram to Shanks now serves as a reminder of one of Liverpool’s finest footballing moments and Shankly’s “greatest day”.

The Shankly Hotel Museum

Come along and learn more about the man and legend Bill Shankly, take a guided tour of the museum and be recounted with heartwarming stories about the great man from those who knew him best, his family.

Take a Shankly Experience tour around Liverpool, discovering important sites of local history and heritage as well as seeing the hallowed grounds of Anfield or Goodison.

You can even stay the night with amazing accommodation offers that can include, overnight stays, breakfast or evening meals in luxury Shankly themed hotel rooms.

After two wonderful years have passed since we opened our doors to the public The Shankly Hotel has helped make some amazing memories for our guests, our staff and the city of Liverpool. We look forward to what the future holds at The Shankly Hotel.

Call on 0151 601 8801 or email info@signatureliving.co.uk and book your stay at The Shankly Hotel, Liverpool’s only football-themed city centre hotel.

5 Shankly Tributes from Past and Present LFC Footballers and Managers

Bill Shankly changed Liverpool Football Club forever. He pulled the team out of second division, which ultimately led to the world-class five times Champions League winning club we know and love today.

His achievements undoubtedly had an impact not just on the club, but on the team’s legacy, future managers and players. We therefore thought it was high-time we took a look back at some tributes to the great man from past and present Liverpool managers and players.

1. Kenny Dalglish

Fellow Scot Kenny Dalglish is one of Liverpool’s finest players and managers, which led to his nickname King Kenny by the club’s supporters. His time playing football at Liverpool were some of the club’s most successful years, as he helped to win six Football League First Divisions, two FA Cups, four League Cups, seven FA Charity Shields, three European Cups and one UEFA Super Cup.

His time as manager was just as successful, as his experience, support and management skill resulted in Liverpool winning three First Divisions, two FA Cups and Four Charity Shields.

The video below shows just how much of an influence Bill Shankly was not only to Liverpool FC but to Kenny Dalglish.

2. Jamie Carragher

Recently retired Jamie Carragher was an integral member of the club since his debt in 1996, and is the club’s second-longest serving player. His honours include two FA Cups, three League Cups, two Community Shields, one Champions League, one UEFA Cup and two Super Cups.

Here Jamie talks about Shankly’s influence on Liverpool FC, the supporters and the city of Liverpool.

3. Roger Hunt

When Bill Shankly joined Liverpool FC in 1959, the club had been in Second Division for five years, Anfield was in a state of disrepair and there were no means of watering the pitch. Bill Shankly insisted the club spent £3,000 to rectify the problem, and placed 24 players on the transfer list. Roger Hunt, however, remained a part of the team and was a major factor in Liverpool’s success during the 1960s.

Roger Hunt was undoubtedly influenced by Shankly during his time with the reds, as the below video demonstrates…

4. Roy Evans

Roy Evans is a former Liverpool player who rose through coaching ranks to become a successful football manager. He joined Liverpool in 1994 when the team were in rapid decline, as the club struggled to recover from Kenny Daglish’s departure four years earlier. Roy Evans was pinnacle in assembling one of the most exciting side’s Liverpool FC had ever seen, picking a team of talented players that created an impressive team, which consisted of Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler, Stan Collymoore and 17-year-old Michael Owen.

It was Bill Shankly that spotted potential in Roy Evans, and it was he who suggested the ex-Liverpool player try a career as a coach. Here Evans talks about how Shankly was an inspiration to him, the fans and the club.

5. Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers has recently been hailed by the press as the new Bill Shankly, as he helped the club end the 2014 league season with 101 goals scored – the club’s highest number since the 1895-96 season, and the third-highest in Premier League History. He was also awarded the LMA Manager of the Year Award in May 2014.

Watch Brendan Rodgers speak about how Shankly inspires him and Liverpool FC.

Has Shankly inspired you? Tell us how by dropping us a comment below.

5 Bill Shankly Stories You Must Read

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

1. John Keith on the suspicions of Bill Shankly

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

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

2. George Best on Bill Shankly vs The Law

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

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

Bill Shankly Liverpool

3. Tommy Docherty on Bill Shankly’s Quick Wit

Tommy Docherty recalls how Adidas planned to honour Bill…

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

4. Patrick Barclay on Bill Shankly on Ian Callaghan

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

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

5. Ian St John on Bill Shankly Banter

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

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

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

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

10 Superb Quotes on Bill Shankly

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

1. George Best

George Best, former Manchester United Winger, once said:

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

2. Bob Paisley

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

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

3. Ian St John

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

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

4. Chris Lawler

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

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

5. Rafa Benitez

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

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

6. Kevin Keegan

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

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

7. Brendan Rodgers

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

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

8. Geoff Twentyman

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

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

9. Jimmy Jackson

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

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

10. Ian Callaghan

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

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

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

10 of Bill Shankly’s Best Quotes

 

Bill Shankly knew how to captivate an audience. Whatever team you support, there’s no denying that he was a manager filled with enthusiasm, intensity and passion for the game. This, combined with his amazing team management, is what made him one of the most celebrated football managers in the world.

bill-shankly-liverpool-anfield-the-kop_3360625

As homage to the man himself, we look back at his top 10 best ever quotes:

1) “Of course I didn’t take my wife to see Rochdale as an anniversary present. It was her birthday. Would I have got married in the football season? Anyway, it was Rochdale reserves.”

2) “The trouble with referees is that they know the rules, but they do not know the game.”

3) “If a player is not interfering with play or seeking to gain an advantage, then he should be.”

4) “My idea was to build Liverpool into a bastion of invincibility. Had Napoleon had that idea he would have conquered the bloody world. I wanted Liverpool to be untouchable. My idea was to build Liverpool up and up until eventually everyone would have to submit and give in.”

5) “A lot of football success is in the mind. You must believe you are the best and make sure you are.”

6) “A football team is like a piano. You need eight men to carry it and three who can play the damn thing.”

7) “At a football club, there’s a holy trinity – the players, the manager and the supporters. Directors don’t come into it. They are only there to sign the cheques”

8) After beating Everton in the 1971 FA Cup semi-final: “Sickness would not have kept me away from this one. If I’d been dead, I would have had them bring the casket to the ground, prop it up in the stands and cut a hole in the lid.”

9) “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.”

10) “Above all, I would like to be remembered as a man who was selfless, who strove and worried so that others could share the glory.”

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