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.
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.