Bill Shankly is arguably one of the most famous figures in Liverpool Football Club’s history. Notably leading them to great success during his reign.
Shankly, or ‘Shanks’ as he is more affectionately known by Anfield faithful lead Liverpool Football Club to win; three First Division titles, two FA Cups and the UEFA Cup in his fifteen years at the club.
Recently, Liverpool Football Club stadium underwent a dramatic redevelopment which saw the main stand increase its capacity by 8,500 seats. Now total capacity at the stadium stands at just over 54,000 people.
The new development took a grand total of 643 days to complete and with it came a number of changes. One of which was the replacement of all seats in the Main Stand.
A gift that kept on giving
When Bill retired from management at Liverpool Football Club, the club gifted him two season tickets for the Main Stand. These seats were row 17, seats 134 and 135 which he regularly used for himself. When Bill passed away in 1981, the Shankly family took over the seats and when Shankly’s grandson Chris Carline was 7 years old, he began regularly attending the game, sitting in the very seats his grandfather was gifted.
Chris sat in seat 134 for 27 years, attending all Liverpool Football Club home games until May 2016 when the last home game was played before the redevelopment of the main stand began.
A piece of Liverpool history
The original seats which were used by Bill Shankly have been transferred into The Shankly Hotel where they can be admired along with a whole host of Shankly Memorabilia which is displayed in the reception area of the hotel and within the Bastion Bar & Restaurant.
It’s a huge honour to have these seats with us and we hope you enjoy them as much as Bill and his family have over the years.
To book a stay at the iconic Shankly Hotel, please call our reservations team who will be able to help you to make your trip to Liverpool and The Shankly nothing short of magical.
Whether it’s a fresh Tom Collins or a fruity Harvey Wallbanger, sometimes there’s nothing better than a colourful drink in a great atmosphere – and that’s exactly what you can expect to find at The Bastion Bar & Restaurant.
In addition to offering a wide selection of delicious dishes and a varied drinks menu, we also offer 2-4-1 cocktails every single day until 7pm*. How nice are we?!
You can sip a scrummy drink as you dine in our stylish Liverpool restaurant and bar. Immerse yourself in displays of genuine Bill Shankly memorabilia donated from the Shankly family’s private collection.
Our best drinks
We offer a wide variety of amazing cocktails that you will hope will never come to an end. These include the Classic Champagne Cocktail, an Old-Fashioned, The Long Island Iced Tea, The Godfather and a Pornstar Martini.
A most popular cocktail at The Bastion Bar & Restaurant just has to be the Liverpool G&T, which includes Liverpool Organic Gin with a Fever-Tree tonic and your choice of garnish.
Join us for dinner
Why not marry a cocktail up with one of the scrumptious dishes on our menu? Choose from beer battered fish and chips, the award-winning Shankly Burger, Thai green chicken and lemongrass curry or a Cajun chicken Caesar salad.
If you would like to take advantage of our fantastic 2-4-1 cocktail offer at The Bastion Bar & Restaurant, book a table today. Call us now on 0151 236 0166 or email email@example.com.
*The 2-4-1 cocktail offer will apply until December 2015
The Kop Magazine is one of the most popular football magazines in the country, providing fans with LFC insights for over 20 years. After 243 editions, The Kop Magazine published their final edition, and we here at The Shankly Hotel are honoured to be featured in the last publication.
If that wasn’t enough, we are thrilled to announce The Kop Magazine has presented us with a fantastic donation to The Shankly Museum. Back in September 2013, the magazine produced a giant birthday card in honour of Bill Shankly’s 100th birthday, which went on display at the Shankly 100 Exhibition in the Capital Building, Old Hall Street, Liverpool. LFC fans and stars signed the card, including Jamie Carragher. After nearly two years of gathering dust in The Kop Magazine storeroom, they proudly donated the card to The Shankly Museum for football fans to enjoy for many years to come.
The Kop Magazine also donated numerous other LFC memorabilia, including a signed John Aldridge photograph and a pile of Kop Challenge entries.
Bill Shankly’s grandson, Chris Carline, recently commented: “I’m made up to receive the giant card that The Kop Magazine recreated and got fans to signs to mark my granddad’s 100th birthday. The response around that anniversary reminded the family of the influence of the man. Even so far on after he passed away, his legacy is still as strong as ever and that was one of the reasons for the hotel.
“The family wants to keep his legacy alive and even when I go to the match now, young lads come up to me and say ‘I love yer granddad, he’s a God’ when they weren’t even born until after he died.”
Other items include the key to The Shankly Gates and the legendary manager’s This Is Your Life book, plus many more. The items will be displayed in The Shankly Museum and will be free of charge to the public.
Chris added: “A big thing for me was getting the ethos of the hotel right. My granddad was a man of the people, he had a socialist persona, so it would never have felt right to me to charge people who are not staying here to see the museum.
“If anyone wants to come in off the street and wander around that’s fine. If you want to come in and have a bite to eat and a drink while viewing then it’s entirely up to you. It’ll be open to everyone because it should be.”
Last week saw the 1st birthday fundraiser of The Shankly Family Foundation. For those who may not know; I set the charity up 12 months ago in Grandy’s honour, in what would have been his 100th birthday year; to support grass roots football and provide positive activity for children and young people, two causes that were close to Grandy’s heart.
What The Shankly Family Foundation actually does
The Foundation is chaired by myself and run by a board of 5 volunteers including me. In 12 months, we have achieved some unbelievable stuff, supporting Liverpool Schoolboys under the grass roots umbrella.
We have funded training, equipment and costs for taking the players to tournaments abroad. Sourced coaches and volunteers for the lads whilst and provided FA badges for budding coaches.
We delivered the first ever Shankly Family Foundation Cup for local county FA teams in May. This was completely free of charge and achieved a positive activity for children and young people across some of the most deprived areas of the City.
We also organised a fully funded Summer Programme for children and young people in Croxteth, Norris Green, Yew Tree, Knotty Ash and Huyton that engaged nearly 1000 participants.
Last Tuesday saw our first ever fundraising night to commemorate our 1st birthday.
Whilst on that topic, I can’t thank Lawrence and Katie Kenwright and their staff enough for the help, support and generosity they displayed in the lead up to and delivery of the event. Everything about them and their company conveys the Shankly ethos and the hotel is going to be a sight to behold next year, which will mean our 2nd birthday fundraiser will actually take place, excitingly at The Shankly Hotel.
Shankly’s Team Values
The main purpose of my blog however is that following the evening; I felt compelled to speak about the warmness, and humility of those members of grandy’s team who attended on the night to speak; in particular Mr Kevin Keegan.
We had Ian Callaghan, Chris Lawler, Roy Evans and Kevin Keegan who all answered the call to help raise some funds for the charity, and none of them disappointed.
They spoke with a warmness and emotion about my granddad that couldn’t help to elicit a tear, especially to those in attendance from the family like myself. We were regaled with stories and anecdotes that had everything; comedy, facts, emotion, passion and inspiration. It was Mr Kevin Keegan in particular who led the way however.
Another Great Man
Keegan was debatably the superstar of all the Shankly teams. A hero to millions, a legend and genius of the game; one of the first real global icons of the game.
Status like that in modern day football has given birth to one or two diva’s. Not Mr Keegan though and not any of the lads in attendance, all of whom have been schooled in the Shankly arts. I have met him on several occasions but this the most time I have spent in his presence. He is hands down one of the most down to earth, humble and warm people I have ever met.
Kevin delivered a power point presentation to the audience. Its topical content was of course about my granddad but in a way that showed Kevin’s life and career story and how grandy influenced that. The audience laughed. The audience cried and the audience were inspired.
Keegan and his fellow colleagues speak about grandy with such passion and emotion that it is something to behold. Kevin profoundly proclaimed,
“whenever anybody asks us to do something to support Bill Shankly, we are there, no questions asked. That is the impact he had.”
As he uttered those words, he fixed his stare on myself and the family.
It is both refreshing and proud to witness how one man really did shape their careers and their lives, to the extent that they live to this very day by his visions and values; and that they hold them dear.
Auctions and Raffles
As the auction and raffles proceeded on the night; the lads even participated; Keegan even successfully bidding for a framed Kenny Dalglish shirt, the man who inherited the famous number 7 from him.
As the evening drew to a close; and fans were given the opportunity to meet the lads, have photos taken and have items signed; all stood for whatever time was necessary to meet the wishes of those who had come to meet their heroes.
Keegan even brought a replica England shirt from his time playing for his country which he raffled off for The Shankly Family Foundation charity; signing and personalising it for the winner. All done off his own bat as he thought it would be nice and raise some money.
It is at times like this that you ask yourself whether the modern stars of today; many of whom aren’t as good ability wise as those in attendance and many of whom won’t have won half of what these lads won or would be so humble and giving.
I suppose the difference is that they haven’t had Shankly as a manager and a mentor, although I do have to say, we can’t stereotype all modern day players and I am sure there are many who hold Shankly-esque values dear.
Kevin was keen to highlight his and the lads support for our hotel coming neat year, vehemently proclaiming
“This City has a statue and has gates, but it doesn’t have anywhere near enough to celebrate the life and achievements of Bill Shankly. This hotel is a fantastic, exciting idea and something we will wholly support!”
A resounding endorsement indeed!
Since the event we have been inundated with people who attended on the night, thanking us for a wonderful evening at a fabulous venue with unbelievable service and company; everyone stating they cant wait for the 2nd birthday bash (at The Shankly Hotel!), but far and away, all commenting on the warmness of Keegan and the ex players.
Whilst on this topic; I really have to say a huge thanks to all those who attended, who bought tickets and put their hands in their pockets for raffle tickets and auction prizes. Your generosity really is so appreciated and The Shankly Family Foundation will prosper as a result of these efforts.
Before they left, I spoke to the ex players about events and promotions leading up to the opening of The Shankly Hotel next August. All pledged their support. It really is going to be something else!
I thought it may be on interest to give some insight into why I decided to explore the idea of a Bill Shankly themed hotel in Liverpool.
As his grandson, one of the most important things for me and the family is to enhance and sustain his legacy for future generations. One of the most humbling things as a Liverpool fan who travels everywhere with the team is that when I continue to meet fans from all over the world of all ages, they all still worship Grandy. When youngsters who are barely in their teens talk to me with so much passion about him; it shows the profound effect he had on generations of Liverpool fans; as the love for him has clearly been passed down from parents to children, to grandchildren and beyond.
He was more than a football manager, he was an icon and an inspiration for many people, and the phrase, ‘He made the people happy,’ emblazoned on the Shankly statue summed him up perfectly. He just wanted to make people happy. His personality was infectious. His beliefs were invariably socialist and his quote which highlighted his mantra in this respect is one of my favourite Shankly quotes;
“The socialism I believe in is everybody working for the same goal and everybody having a share in the rewards. That’s how I see football, that’s how I see life.”
It is one which I try to live by myself and is at the heart of all the ventures I have started in Grandy’s name. As a family therefore, we are trying to continue this ethos of using his name and influence to make people happy via these ventures.
So why a hotel? It was simple really. Liverpool FC is one of the biggest football clubs in the world. Liverpool as a City is one of the most visited cities in the wold. Shankly is the godfather of Liverpool FC and much loved by the people of the City. The City welcomes thousands and thousands of fans into its midst every week. Providing them with a venue to stay, that offers a genuine football experience, that offers them an experience that is MORE than just a room for the night; but instead, a complete unique experience that will send them home with memories for life; is something that is, to coin a phrase, ‘very Shankly.’ He would most definitely approve, as it is for the people and he made the people happy.
As some of you will probably know; I am the founder and Chair of The Shankly Family Foundation, a charity I started in September 2013 in what would have been Grandy’s 100th birthday year. The aims of the charity are to support grass roots football and children and young people and you can check out more detail on www.theshanklyfamilyfoundation.com and @shanklyFF
There is no doubt that having a charity operate in his name would have ticked the Shankly socialist mantra, it gives something back to the people and epitomises his beliefs conveyed above. I have already made a commitment that the commercial success of The Shankly Hotel will make a contribution to The Shankly Family Foundation to help it sustain and grow. It is quite simply, ‘everybody working for the same goal and everybody having a share of the rewards.’
So how did we manage to achieve such a feat and what can you expect from ‘The Shankly?’ Stay tuned for subsequent blogs…….