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.

Summer Days Out: Bespoke Tours of Liverpool

Not sure how to spend the summer? Whether you’re a Liverpool local or simply plan on visiting soon, look no further than our bespoke tours of Liverpool.

Perfect for sunny family days out in Liverpool, our Shankly Tours invite you to embark on a range of jam-packed adventures.

Brought to you by the Shankly family in collaboration with The Shankly Hotel, you’ll discover the city that Bill Shankly loved and the Beatles called home.

Experience the very best of Liverpool, from the picturesque waterfront to the leafy suburbs of John Lennon’s childhood.

Following your busy day out, you may be in need of a well earned pint or two! And you’ll be able to enjoy 20% off at The Bastion Bar & Restaurant back at The Shankly Hotel.

Football Themed Tour of Liverpool

Bill Shankly & LFC

Bill Shankly famously said, “Liverpool was made for me and I was made for Liverpool.” And with our ‘Liverpool was Made for Me’ tour, you’ll discover why the footballing legend held Liverpool so close to his heart.

This bespoke football themed tour of Liverpool will take you on an unforgettable journey around the city. On this tour, famous landmarks are interwoven with footballing history and remarkable stories, making it perfect for local football fans as well as tourists.

This tour includes the chance to embark on the new Liverpool FC Stadium and Museum Tour and see sights that shaped two of the biggest clubs in football, Liverpool FC and Everton FC.

Combining the best of the city’s landmarks and football history, this is a fantastic opportunity for groups of friends, family and couples to come along and explore this captivating city.

Bill Shankly/Beatles Themed Tour in Liverpool

For a bespoke Beatles tour of Liverpool, this is just the ticket to ride that you’ve been dreaming of.

With Shankly Tours, you’ll discover how Beatlemania ran parallel to the rise of Liverpool FC with this nostalgic tour of Liverpool.

Perfect for couples and groups with a wider variety of interests, our Fab Four and Shanks Tour incorporates unmissable Beatles landmarks and Bill Shankly/LFC themed sights.

We’ll take you on a journey through time as you find yourself transported to the 1960s – the atmospheric era that saw choruses of “She Loves You” fill the Liverpool Kop.

Catch some tunes at the Cavern Club or snap a shot by Strawberry Field with fantastic Bill Shankly sights and stories along the way.

So for those hoping to avoid a squabble over the map, we’ve got you covered with something fantastic for everyone.

Match Day Tour in Liverpool

Not forgetting, we also offer the fantastic Match Day Tour, designed specifically for Liverpool FC match days.

We’ll take you on a special detour before the match as you visit an array of football themed destinations, followed by the new LFC Stadium Tour before the big kick off!

Customised  Tours of Liverpool

If you’re visiting Liverpool for the first time or with a larger group, you may have a lengthy list of sights and landmarks you’re hoping to squeeze in.

Why not let us take care of the planning with our customised tours of Liverpool?

You can tell us what you’re looking for from your experience of Liverpool and we’ll do our best to create a personalised tour package tailored to you.

We can showcase the best of Liverpool by incorporating scenic suburban spots, famous homes and the most striking landmarks of Liverpool.

We hope to see you soon for an unforgettable summer day out. With our bespoke tours of Liverpool, you can see Liverpool through a whole new light. 

5 of the Best Liverpool Hotel Offers from the Shankly Hotel

Looking to add some excitement to an otherwise boring week, or fancy treating yourself, a loved one or the family to a great hotel stay in Liverpool then check out these 5 amazing Liverpool hotel offers from the Shankly.

The Shankly’s Summer Stay and Spa

Summer stay and spa- Liverpool hotel offers

Great the summer months in style with the Shankly Hotel Summer Stay and Spa offer.

You and one other can take some well-earned time out together by relaxing in the luxury of Morgan’s Spa. Whilst there you can both partake in an indulgent 25 minute Elemis Spa treatment getting you summer ready for those sunny days ahead.

Feel your weekly stresses melt away in the tranquil surroundings of Morgan’s Spa and emerge an all round better you.

After your pampering check into your luxury, Bill Shankly themed hotel room where a bottle of chilled Prosecco will be waiting for you.

Then spend an evening enjoying the amazing facilities in your room. Recline on one of the comfortable double beds or take a dip in the double jacuzzi.

The perfect way to treat yourself in the lead up to the summer months for just £159 per couple.

Bubbles and Breakfast for Two

Bubbles and Breakfast - Liverpool hotel offer

It’s not every day you can indulge in a bottle of bubbly and an overnight stay in an award-winning hotel, but with this amazing Liverpool hotel offer, it could be.

For just £99.00 you and a special someone can spend a luxury overnight stay at the Shankly Hotel.

Make an average weekday special with an overnight break in Liverpool. Check into your suite and enjoy a bottle of bubbly before making the most of the exciting night life of Liverpool.

After you’ve enjoyed a great night out in Liverpool followed by a great night’s sleep make your way to the Bastion Bar and Restaurant where a buffet breakfast will be laid out for you to enjoy.

Choose from a selection of continental breakfast delights, or pick up a freshly baked pastry there’s even the option to have a belly bursting full English breakfast with all the trimmings.

The Bubbles and Breakfast Liverpool hotel offer from the Shankly Hotel is ideal for perking up any weekday and is the perfect way to enjoy a fun night out in Liverpool.

A Perfect Place to Watch the Premier League

Forget heading down your local for a basic pint and a bag of pork scratching. This weekend the Shankly Hotel have out together an amazing match day offer for those who want to dedicate their day to supporting their team.

The match will be screened across all 10 of the large flat screen TV’s and those in attendance can enjoy a host of match day food and drinks offers whilst watching.  The second best place in Liverpool to watch the match live.

On the morning of the hotly anticipated Premier league showdown, we will be serving a never ending breakfast buffet in the Bastion Bar and Restaurant accompanied by a refreshing pint for just £10pp.

Breakfast will be served from 08:00 am – 12:00 pm and for just £10pp this is a Liverpool hotel offer worth booking in for.

To keep you entertained the Bastion Bar and Restaurant have planned some halftime shenanigans. Take part in Bellefield Bingo and occupy those long minutes between halves, be in with the chance of winning some awesome Shankly Hotel prizes and have some fun too.

Pre-booking is essential whether just for breakfast or for breakfast and the game. Call 0151 541 9999 to book you table today, quoting football offers as a reference.

Dream Lunch Dinner Party

Lunch with Shanks - Liverpool hotel offer

We’ve all got dream dinner party guest lists and let’s face it the chance to live that dream dinner our is something we never think will happen.

With the Shankly Hotel, you could make a special somebodies dream dinner party a reality by booking lunch with Shanks.

Thanks to state of the art virtual reality technology when you dine at the Bastion Bar and Restaurant you can have Bill Shankly join you.

For somebody who worships the legend that is Bill Shankly, for any true Red a lunch with Shanks will be the stuff of dreams.

By upgrading to lunch with Shank’s for just £5 on top of your usual food bill, you can make a certain someone’s dream dinner party dreams come to life.

If you know somebody who would love to lunch with Shank’s then call 0151 601 8801 and book today.

Fun Family Fridays

Family Fridays - Liverpool hotel offer

Quality family time together can be hard to come by, so make the most of those rare family moments and spend them at the Shankly Hotel.

Tailored to make sure you and your special people can get together and enjoy each other’s company the Shankly Hotel have created the Family Fridays package.

Built for a family of four this superb Liverpool hotel offer includes a luxurious overnight stay in a family sized hotel room and a delicious two-course meal in the Bastion Bar and Restaurant.

For the kids, there will be a goodie bag waiting in the room on check in and for the adults you can choose from a bottle of Prosecco or free city centre parking.

The Shankly Hotel will provide a handy city sightseeing guide giving you and the family a choice of wonderful Liverpool activities to enjoy together.


So, whether it’s a midweek romantic treat, an indulgent summer spa session, time with the family or a place to watch the footy the Shankly have created an amazing Liverpool hotel offer to cater to you.

All you need to do is book and let the Shankly Hotel take care of the rest. Call 0151 601 8801 or email and book your stay in Liverpool today.

Love Stories of Past and Present from the Shankly Hotel

It’s an undeniable passion that Bill Shankly had for the game of football. In fact, he would probably scoff at the fact that we have just referred to football as a game. Shankly’s love for the sport ran so deep he is known for having just three great passions.

His footballing career, his darling wife Nessie and their family.

First came love, then came marriage

Shankly and Ness

The pair met during Bill’s time stationed as a Corporal at RAF barracks just outside Glasgow where Nessie was working in the WRAF. They were married in 1944 and had their first child, Barbara, shortly after in 1945.

It is rumoured that despite his new-found love for Agnes, Bill couldn’t let go of his passion for football and rumour once had it that Bill took Nessie to see a Rochdale game on their anniversary, something that was however quickly discredited by Shanks himself who barked;

“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.”

Nessie’s unquestioning attendance of a match for a birthday present set the pace for a future life of supporting her husband’s insatiable appetite for football.

There’s even word that Bill took Nessie to a Tranmere match as a birthday present also, this rumour was quickly quashed by Nessie who corrected “it was Accrington Stanley but it wasn’t a birthday present”.


The life of the first WAG

Nessie was a player’s wife before she became the second lady of Liverpool football.

During the early years of her marriage, she married a star player whom 5 years later became manager at Carlisle United.

From here Bill went on to manage Huddersfield in 1956, then came made the final move in his career to Liverpool in 1959.

Through all that Nessie was behind Bill, never complaining and resiliently supporting her husband’s unrelenting passion for football.

Whilst Bill would be out giving his all to LFC, Nessie would be at home helping raise the grandchildren. Having already brought up 2 daughters Barbara and Jeanette Nessie would also devote her time to entertaining and feeding fans of Shankly and the grounds staff of LFC.

Behind every great man, there is a great woman

Bill and Ness Shankly

After all the support Nessie gave Bill over the years, through thick and thin the couple remained a beacon of true love.

It wasn’t until 1974, 30 years after they married, that Bill decided to relinquish his greatest passion in life in favour of spending quality time wife his wife and family.

In his own words during his retirement announcement;

“I’ve been so wedded to Liverpool that I’ve taken Nessie out only twice in 40 years. It’s time she saw more of my old ugly mug”

So, in time Nessie’s utter devotion to the great man paid off. He had come to realise that even though his love for Liverpool football was strong he had a family and a wife who were missing his attentions.

After half a century of living and breathing the game, Bill Shankly relinquished his strong ties to Liverpool football and began devoting more time to his family. After all;

“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.”

Love of the People

Shankly love of the people


Bill Shankly was and still, is adored by the people of Liverpool.

His dedication to the city earned him the title of honorary Scouser. Without the unyielding love and support of Nessie, his achievements would not have been possible.

Today Bill and Nessie are remembered as the couple who made people happy.

After years of tracking his successful career across the country, Nessie and the Shankly family had set up home in Liverpool. Laying down routes that would help them leave the loving legacy that they both created.

Even with the tragic passing of her one true love, Nessie was comforted in the fact that the people of Liverpool would remember Bill Shankly with such fondness and hold him in loving memory.

What the love of Bill and Ness inspired

Today at the Shankly Hotel our guests can come and learn all about the happiness Bill and Ness shared, as well love they passed onto their children and grandchildren.

The Shankly family love

The Shankly Hotel was built upon the strong family values that were made by Bill and Nessie and during their own relationship. The commitment they had to each other’s happiness filtered down into the family we all know today.

Love is always in the air at the Shankly Hotel

Love continues to be a huge part of what goes on at the Shankly Hotel, as we celebrate many happy couple’s special occasions.

Guests at the Shankly Hotel have proposed, others have said yes. Some have celebrated anniversaries of happy marriages and others have started their journey into married life in our stunning Liverpool wedding venue Eden.

Even our own Shankly Hotel Director and grandson of Bill and Nessie; Chris Carline, popped the big question to Lisa, now his intended on the Eden rooftop garden where so many happy dreams have come true.

So on Valentine’s day this year and for the rest of the year ahead, make a visit to the Shankly Hotel to celebrate some fabulous love stories from the past. Or perhaps make some lasting memories of your own.

Call 0151 601 8801 or check out our latest Valentine’s day offers here.

The Shankly Family Foundation Fundraiser: Meet The Team

Happy Birthday

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

Shankly Family Foundation

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.

It was held at 30 James Street: The Home of the Titanic, the hotel owned and run by Signature living whom we are of course delivering The Shankly Hotel with for August 2015.

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.

The Shankly Team


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.

Keegan & Shankly

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.

Old Values

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!

Thank you

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!

by Christopher William Shankly Carline


Fish and Chips from the Chippy. Shanks’ Birthday’s were a very normal affair!

On Grandy’s 101st Birthday I thought it would be nice to bring you all a small snippet. The third installment from an interview with my mum Jeanette and daughter of Bill Shankly.

And there is no better occasion than to bring you a birthday related story. I simply asked the question;

“So what would a normal birthday occasion be like with Grandy?” to be told, “It depends if Liverpool were playing!”

That gives you some idea of what life must have been like with Shanks as your dad. His commitment to Liverpool football club unwavering as ever; but I did manage to glean some extra info from mum via persistence. “So what if Liverpool weren’t playing and he was at home with the family?”

Bill Shankly and family

The response was that it was all rather a normal affair. “We’d just sit with him and take him his presents and cards.” And what do you get the man who has everything (her phrase not mine). “The last present we ever got him for a birthday was a special posh case that contained high end items for cleaning and polishing your shoes. He was obsessed with his shoes being clean and polished and wouldn’t accept anything less, so naturally he was pleased with the gift.”

Following the giving of presents, would the family go out for a posh meal to some swanky restaurant?

Hardly. Mum advises that either Nan would cook or even more so, they would go to the much loved local Chippy on Eaton Road. “He loved our local chippy so we usually just went there and got Fish and Chips. He wasn’t a fussy eater so would get a variety of things whenever we went there. He’d usually send one of the son in law’s down to get it; but more often than not would head down himself; in the car! (see previous blogs to qualify my use of the exclamation mark).”

“Every now and then we would go out to eat but there were only a few places he would go when eating out with one in particular his favourite.”

You’ll have to wait for future blogs and the tour to find out that well known Liverpool location!

Happy Birthday Grandy.


Shankly Family Story: Paint spillage and ripping out apple trees!

The second installment of my interview with my mum,  Jeanette Shankly.

A entertaining follow up from the extremely popular ‘Shankly the Driver’ article published a few weeks back.

Here we will talk about what Shanks was like round the house and how he handled DIY.

It may come as no shock at all to many of you, having read ‘Shankly the Driver’, that his disastrous skills were not exclusively poor behind the wheel. They also but extended to his home improvement skills too.

Mum happily conveys that Grandy did not feel that because he ran one of the biggest football clubs in the world he should be excused from domestic chores. Far from it. Instead he keenly put himself forward as the man of the house when it came to maintenance and repair.

No use crying over spilled paint

Sadly his enthusiasm wasn’t met with the same level of quality finish.

“He was poor at DIY and home related chores. On one occasion he attempted to paint the loft cover and ended up spilling the entire contents of the can of paint down the stairs.

We had the front garden wall re-pointed one day; and when he came home; he saw that the pavement and path was a bit messy from the job that had been done. He got out the hose to clean it all down; but sprayed the wall itself and washed out all of the re-pointing that had just been freshly done.

When we first moved to Bellefield, your Nanny Ness picked out which wallpaper she wanted for each room; but he ended up putting the wrong paper up in the wrong rooms!”

Greenfingers Shankly

It seems also; that his domestic mishaps weren’t just related to general DIY, but also apparent in the garden.

“He loved the garden and again; tried to help out. He cut the grass quite often and that was fine, but there were other times when his ability to come a cropper came about.

Your Nan would often plant bedding plants and flowers; but he would come along and end up either ripping them out or cutting them down as he thought they were weeds!

On one occasion, we came home to find he had cut out an entire apple tree thinking is was nothing more than a weed!”

Like grandfather like grandson

Hearing such stories about Grandy from mum brings a smile to my face, as well as hers. It is lovely to see her remembering such instances so fondly. Naturally this brings her to the extensive comparisons between Grandy and I which everyone has always made, with us being extremely similar.

You will all recall in a former blog on here, the story where mum found me cleaning the cooker after we had lost to Leeds at Anfield some years ago. Mum recounted the story saying she was shocked and felt she’d seen the ghost of Grandy in the kitchen as when Liverpool lost, he too came home and cleaned the cooker (something I hadn’t known at the time!).

It has to be said that I am something of an obsessively clean person, especially round the house, with a slight touch of OCD some may say. It comes as no surprise therefore that mum relays to me that Grandy was

“Immaculate round the house, and nothing was ever out of order.”

Mend and make do

As we come to the end of the conversation; she recalls another story fondly that pops into her head. Grandy’s dad was a tailor and made suits and other clothing. Therefore Grandy also had an aptitude for this sort of thing and was skilled with a needle and thread.

The problem however was that he may have been too skilled.

Mum recalls,

“He could sew really well as his dad had taught him how to when he was little, but he had a knack for sewing stuff too tight, especially buttons. It would be that bad that you actually couldn’t fasten anything. He bought me a brand new leather jacket and took it upon himself to give the buttons a bit of a once over. I couldn’t wear it after that as it wouldn’t fasten!”


Christopher William Shankly Carline


Bill Shankly: A Timeline of Events

Shankly’s life was an interesting one to say the least. From being born in Glenbuck, to living in Liverpool as an honourary Scouser till the end.
Here’s a timeline of important events during Shankly’s 68 year life and beyond!

The early years

02.09.1913 – William Shankly is born in Glenbuck, Scotland.

1931 – He plays football for his local team in Ayrshire, Cronberry Eglinton.

1932 – Shankly moves south where he joins Carlisle United in Third Division North.

July 1933 – After a remarkable season for Carlisle Shankly signs for 2nd division Preston North End. Preston was soon promoted as Shankly’s career flourished.

Young Shankly

09.04.1938 – Shankly was selected to play for his country, Scotland for the first time, playing against England in a 1-0 win at Wembley.

30.04.1938 – Shankly’s highlight as player when Preston wins the FA Cup by beating Huddersfield.

29.06.1944 – Bill marries Agnes “Nessie” Fisher

Bill and Agnes Shankly

From player to manager

22.03.1949 – Despite feeling he had more to offer as a player, 35-year-old Shankly took the manager’s job at Carlisle United.

June 1951 – Grimsby’s board felt Shankly was the right man to revive the club that had dropped from Division 1 to regional football in Division 3.

1951 – Liverpool interview Shankly for the vacant manager’s job at Liverpool.

06.01.1954 – Shankly moves down the ranking in Third Division North, but saving Workington from destruction is a commendable challenge.

05.11.1956 – Takes over as manager of Huddersfield after coaching their reserves for 11 months.

01.12.1959 – Liverpool appoint Bill Shankly as Phil Taylor’s successor in the managerial seat.

Shankly arrives at LFC

14.12.1959 – Shankly takes officially over at Liverpool after finishing his occupancy at Huddersfield.

19.12.1959 – Shankly is in control of his first Liverpool game, but it’s a long way from a perfect start as Liverpool lose 0-4 to Cardiff.

21.04.1962 – After seven years in the 2nd division, Liverpool are promoted with five League games remaining!

18.04.1964 – Liverpool win the championship for the sixth time in their history after a 17 year wait with an impressive 5-0 win vs Arsenal at Anfield.

01.05.1965 – Liverpool win the FA Cup for the first time in the club’s history. Shankly added that it was his finest moment at Liverpool.

FA Cup

12.05.1965 – Liverpool knocked out of the semi-finals in the club’s inaugural season in the European Cup. After a sensational 3-1 win at Anfield in the first leg, Inter beat the Reds 0-3 in Italy after bribing the referee!

30.04.1966 – Liverpool close their second League title under Shankly by beating Chelsea 2-1 at Anfield.

08.05.1971 – Liverpool lose 1-2 to Arsenal in the FA Cup – Shankly delivers the famous Chairman Mao speech.

08.07.1971 – Shankly agrees a new three-year contract with Liverpool which became his last.

23.04.1973 – After 7 years deprived of a title, Liverpool win the championship by beating Leeds 2-0 at Anfield.

23.05.1973 – Liverpool beat Gladbach 3-2 on aggregate in the UEFA Cup final, almost conceding their 3-0 lead from Anfield.

1973 – Bill voted Manager of the year, the only time in his career!

Bill Shankly Memorabilia

04.05.1974 – One of the most one-sided FA Cup finals in history when Liverpool annihilates Newcastle 3-0 at Wembley.

The shock announcement

12.07.1974 – The football world and the whole of Liverpool are stunned when Bill Shankly announces that he is retiring as Liverpool’s manager.

10.08.1974 – Shankly is given the honour of leading Liverpool out at Wembley vs Leeds in the Charity Shield despite retiring in the summer.

12.08.1974 – Bill Shankly legitimately terminates his ‘reign’ as manager of the Reds in Billy McNeill’s testimonial in front of 60,000 people at Celtic Park.

29.04.1975 – Shankly’s testimonial against a Don Revie Select XI – an emotional night at Anfield.

25.05.1977 – Shankly was in attendance when Liverpool won its first ever European Cup in Rome.

The loss of a great man

29.09.1981 – Shankly passes away. Bill suffered a cardiac arrest after battling for life since a heart attack early on Saturday morning. He had been making good progress until his condition deteriorated.

30.09.1981 – Liverpool face Finnish European Cup opponents, Oulu Palloseura, at Anfield. Reds won 7-0 and for the whole of second half the Kop sang Shankly’s name to the tune of Amazing Grace.
A banner in the crowd reads “King Shankly lives”.

King Shankly Lives

03.10.1981 – Bob Paisley and John Toshack lead out their teams at Anfield in the league. Tosh, who was now the manager of Swansea, created quite a stir among the Swansea faithful when he revealed a Liverpool shirt underneath his Swansea tracksuit when Shankly was remembered before the game.

22.11.1981 – “A Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Bill Shankly” held at Liverpool Cathedral.

A series of tributes

26.08.1982 – Shankly Gates unlocked by Bill’s widow, Nessie.

27.04.1997 – The Shankly memorial is erected – a fitting tribute in his hometown, Glenbuck.

04.12.1997 – The statue of Shankly in front of the Kop is unveiled.

June 1998 – Preston North’s End ground was replaced by a new stand named the “Bill Shankly Kop”, designed with different coloured seats providing an image of the great man’s head and shoulders.

18.12.1999 – A mosaic on the Kop to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Bill Shankly’s arrival at Anfield.

02.08.2002 – Nessie Shankly passes away, 82 years of age.

2002 – Bill Shankly is introduced to the English Football Hall of Fame due to his impact on the English game as a manager.

08.11.2004 – Bill is introduced to the Scottish Football Association’s Hall of Fame.

01.12.2009 – 50th anniversary since he signed his contract to become manager of Liverpool Football Club.

16.12.2009 – A “SHANKS LEGEND” mosaic was unveiled on the Kop prior to kick off.

17.12.2009 – Shankly is awarded an Honorary Citizenship of Liverpool in recognition of the 50th anniversary of his arrival as manager of Liverpool FC and his dedication to Merseyside.

May 2014 – A Shankly themed hotel and museum is unveiled by Shankly’s family and Signature Living.

Bill Shankly

What was your favourite Shankly moment?

Let us know on Facebook or Twitter! Credit to for providing the timeline dates.

Jeanette Shankly on…Shankly the driver! Knickers on aerials and losing exhausts on Queens Drive
























So as promised, here is the first in a series of interviews I will be doing with my mum, Jeanette Shankly, on what it was like having Shanks as your ‘arl man!

It’s a fascinating insight into the man himself from the one person who is more qualified than anyone to talk about the man himself. The public side of Grandy has been ‘done to death’ with countless books written. Here, you will get to see the personal and family side of him with some fantastic anecdotes and facts that fans would never have known.

The first focuses on Shankly the driver. I start with this as in many conversations with mum and nan over the years; they would crack up with the mere mention of him and a car.

It seems that whilst Grandy was a genius on and off the football field, he was the exact opposite in an automobile. He had a number of vehicles supplied to him by the club; mum notes; a Capri, Nissan’s and a Ford Zepher amongst them, but it seems whatever he was at the wheel of, the experience for passengers wasn’t a pleasurable one, despite his alluring company.

For a start, his notion of car care was a little overly dramatic. Mum conveys to me that he constantly kept it in the garage as he was convinced cars weren’t exactly weatherproof, and on occasion when he wasn’t at home, if it rained, he would actually dry the car off with a cloth! It was this pre-occupation with keeping cars dry and in the garage that lead to one of the most amusing anecdotes I’ve ever heard. Mum  goes on to explain;

“Mum (Nessie) would often hang her wet washing on the clothes line that had been set up in the garage, especially if she couldn’t put it on the line in the garden due to poor weather. Dad obviously would have the car in there. As he set off out to work one morning at Melwood; he aggressively flew out the garage as he did, wherby as I waved him off, it came to my attention that he had taken a pair of my knickers with him on the aerial! He was gone in a flash before I could alert him so turned up with a pair of my knickers on his aerial from the washing line in the garage!”

Indeed it quickly became apparent that what he had in abundance in terms of skill with a ball, he equally lacked in skill behind a wheel. Mum went on to qualify these comments;

“He was simply a poor driver, always in the wrong gear and way to fast. Of course it didn’t help that on the Capri, the gear lever was on the wrong way round, forward was actually reverse. He took me out for my first ever lesson. I never went again. When I went to work of a morning, he would always offer to drop me off. On the rare occasion I said yes, I made it as far as the bus stop in Tuebrook and asked him to let me out to take the bus! I remember one time his exhaust came off on Queens Drive. He had to go back and get it.”

It seemed that mum wasn’t the only person to take evasive action when Grandy made the offer of a lift. Nanny Ness and others would frequently dodge the area when his car approached.

“Mum would simply take the bus everywhere. She never got in the car with him. We had friends who lived on Sandforth Road, Beech Park. They would often be taking their young children to school of a morning when he passed by. He would always offer a lift. Having experienced it once, they took to the extreme measure of leaving 20 minutes early from then on so as to avoid him and the situation of having to decline his offer of a lift!”

Whilst most avoided him, mum does have recollections of others who were happy to brave the journey.

“Reuben Bennet used to live on Blackmoor Drive. He would walk to ours of a morning to get a lift to Anfield. He used to smoke about 60 cigarettes through the journey; probably I imagine to get him through the experience!”

When talking about Grandy’s driving I try to ask mum to put her finger on just why he was so bad. She reflects;

“I think it was because he just couldn’t stop talking to people. If you were in the car with him, he wouldn’t shut up and would often not concentrate on the road. It was made worse because he of course what you would call a celebrity. If he stopped at a red light; fans would see him in traffic and want to talk to him. Being the way he was; he would want to chat back. Many a time he would simply be stopped at lights talking to people in cars next to him holding up traffic!”

Despite the tales of peril; mum does reflect on some nice experiences with Grandy in cars.

“We used to go up to Glenbuck every Summer, to see the family. He would stop at Carlisle every time to take us to Corierri’s an Ice Cream shop we used to love. He was also so generous. He bought me my first car, a Mini, when I passed my test, brand new; and he bought every other car I had.”

So there you have it. Part 1 of what it was like to have Shanks as an ‘arl man. You might say at times, it drove you crazy!


What is it like to be Bill Shankly’s grandson

I am frequently asked what it is like to be Bill Shankly’s grandson. The grandson of a certified legend. The Godfather of England’s most successful football team and one of the biggest club’s in the world. My answer is rather cliched but an honest one nevertheless; Proud.

The first I remember of it is being at junior school. My full name is Christopher William Shankly Carline and it appeared as so in the register. I remember some kids whose roll was that of the register monitors, had taken it upon themselves to look through said register and noted my rather long name and its ‘famous’ content.

My First Match

Faced with a mountain of questions; it then dawned on me the magnitude of who my granddad had been.

I had been going the match since I was 5 years old, on a season ticket (one of a pair) I still have to this day that had actually been given to Grandy himself when he retired. My love of football and the club however had been fostered not as a result of who my granddad was, but as it would for any young lad growing up in the City; watching a successful team and being encapsulated by a stadium that when in full swing; is unrivaled all the world over.

I knew Grandy had been important, particularly to Liverpool Football Club; that much was obvious; but I never really appreciated in what way and the detail behind it until I was much older. I just knew the reaction it would bring when people conveyed who my famous granddad was, whether it be kids, dads, mums, grandparents, aunties, uncles, whoever, people were always taken with the news.

One of my favourite things that stems from being related to him; is that almost everyone of age who finds out I’m related to him has a story about him. About when they met him. After the initial excitement; the next sentence would always invariably be, “I met your granddad once…….” I love that.


People have told me unbelievable stories that help to build a picture in your mind of the man he was, in addition to everything my Nan and mum would tell me about him too. It was as I got older and became a veteran of these wonderful stories that I began to realise just how amazing a person he was, and how and why his achievements are lauded so greatly.

As a die-hard red who has now clocked up 30 years of going the game; and who has seen my fair share of false dawns at the club in the modern era; it only enhances just how special he was; to have come from nowhere and taken a club from mediocrity to the pinnacle of the game; in the way it SHOULD be done, and not the way these false pretenders haul themselves to the top of the game nowadays based on nothing but the almighty buck.

I’m proud to be able to say that my team is one of the greatest in the world, a dynasty with breath-taking history that was built on proper foundations.

Whatever happens in the future, nobody can take that away from us. It goes without saying therefore that I am even prouder to say it was my granddad that facilitated this.

It’s the eyes lad, it’s the eyes

By far and away the most satisfying for me however; is the fact that my Nan; Nessie and my mum, told me and in my mums case, continues to tell me; that everything about me is him. I literally get everything from him.

Nessie Shankly

My Nan would often get upset when I went to see her, when I would stand up as I was growing up, and with a tear in her eye she would say,

My word love, you are just Bill

I was told by her that I look like him. That I walk like him. That I have his mannerisms. That I have his same thought processes. That I have his distinct lack of dancing ability. That I have his inability to successfully carry out anything DIY related. That I like the same style movies as him.

My mum tells me I’m as bad a driver as he was, but I dispute that!

Nan’s house was like am museum, and one thing I distinctly remember was a brown colored bust of Grandy’s head in the box room. It used to scare me. When I’d go the toilet I would hope the box room door was closed. Of course, many of the artefacts will be on display in the museum.

Even now when people find out, they tell me I am his image “It’s the eyes lad, it’s the eyes,” is the most used comment.

Across a crowded Syntagma Square in Athens 2007, well known red legend and author Peter Etherington approached me as my Shankly t-shirt caught his eye, but that even more strikingly, so had my resemblance to Shankly. He was astounded when he found out and we spent a good couple of hours chatting. He was extremely kind to send my mum and I copies of his books when he returned to Liverpool. A lovely gesture that hasn’t been forgotten.

Family traits

By far and away however; one of the best stories and most bizarre came a good few years back now.

When I was a lot younger, I took Liverpool losing quite badly. I’d be moody and bad tempered and agitated for hours afterwards. This particular time we had been beaten by Leeds at Anfield. I remember Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink got a couple and it was just as they were coming good under O’Leary I think.

I returned home to West Derby with my mum who was at the time, still going the game with me on the second season ticket. I paced around the house like a bear with a sore head, and found myself in the kitchen, whereby for no real reason (at the time I thought), I picked up the towel and cloth and started cleaning the cooker. My mum at this point was making her way into the kitchen from the living room and upon being greeted with her son cleaning the cooker, stopped dead in her track and let out a bit of a shriek.

I was startled and asked her what was wrong; thinking something bad had happened. Nothing of the sort. She instead proceeded to tell me that unbeknownst to me at this point, whenever Liverpool lost, Grandy had a habit of coming home and cleaning the cooker! Here was me, his only grandson, stood with cloth in hand giving the cooker a good going over in the face of defeat to Leeds Utd at Anfield. It was spine tingling to say the least for us all.

The Shankly Legacy

It makes me proud to know that I am so like him. I’ve been going the game since I was 5, and when people find out; I get treated like royalty. It’s surreal but nice at the same time.

When I started the Shankly Family Foundation; I did it as it was something I wanted to do for people; and a way of celebrating and sustaining the Shankly legacy. I hadn’t really stopped to think how it was very similar to Grandy’s socialist ideals. To coin the phrase, ‘he made the people happy’ and everything he did was with his strong socialist ideals in his heart.


I think in that respect therefore he’d have been extremely proud, along with my Nan of what we are doing with the Foundation and the hotel and it gives me heart to know that it’s further evidence that I am very much like him.

After all, I couldn’t have a better person to look up to.


Christopher William Shankly Carline

So…did Shanks end up an Evertonian after he resigned?

Bill Shankly


In my last blog regarding Grandy’s resignation and the reasons behind it; I intimated I’d shed some light on THOSE Bill Shankly rumours.

Those rumours I refer to are in relation to one of the most asked questions we get, “Did Shanks end up an Evertonian?”

A direct follow on from the question as to whether Liverpool treated him poorly after he left.

The truth is that the answer to both could be either yes or no. As with everything in life; it isn’t black or white, there are shades of grey.

The Rumours

Bill Shankly Boardroom

If I can take the latter question first.

When Grandy left the club; he struggled to adapt to life without football. It had been all he knew, from a young age, from morning until night. To go from that extreme to the other is hard for anyone. As a result, he would often travel to Melwood to indulge in the facilities, to keep fit and to stay around the thing that he loved most; football.

Having spent 15 years at the club, and having personally bought and/or nurtured many of the players at the club, many of them; when coming into contact with his person would still call him ‘boss’ and in truth, the club felt like this would potentially undermine Bob Paisley’s authority.

His job was already on paper, hard enough; having taken over from the godfather of the club; it’s most successful manager and a man revered by football fans all over the world. The club therefore took the hard task of advising him of this.

Manchester Utd have just gone through it with Ferguson stepping down and Moyes taking over.

Moyes failed where Bob was a success.  Ferguson was however; offered a directorship at the club, giving him impetus there, whereas Grandy never was.

In truth, it was this that rankled with him. He could live with not being around the training ground, what hurt, and he says as much in his autobiography; was not even being approached about being a director.

Whatever way you look at it; and you can be the most mentally strong, composed individual in the world, hearing these words and sentiments from a club, organisation or person who you have given everything to, and taken to the pinnacle of success; is always going to hurt.

It’s like being dumped by your first love!

In typically true fashion however, he took it on the chin and very, very rarely spoke about it, electing only to really go on record with his feelings in the late seventies when he published his autobiography.

It was through this vehicle that he used the phrase; ‘Over the last few seasons I have been received more warmly by Everton than I have been Liverpool.”

So did he end up an Evertonian?

It is true to say that he did end up with a soft spot for the blue side of the City, and it is absolutely true that he spent a lot of time at both Bellefield and Goodison.

Bellefield was a two minute walk from his home and he would often take the dog for a walk (Scamp!), visiting Bellefield as part of his route.

He would enter the training ground and converse with the ground staff, players and management, and was widely welcomed and looked after by all in situ (many Liverpool fans like to think he took the dog there to do its business but alas that wasn’t the case!).

He was also a frequent visitor to Goodison.

In the wealth of memorabilia we have that will be displayed in the museum at the hotel; we found ticket stubs for the directors box there and for other parts of the ground; and the family were also regaled by the story of how when he was there one week; such had been the frequency of his visits; our blue neighbours even began singing his name.

So did he become an Evertonian?

Bill Shankly & LFC

The answer not quite. Liverpool was his life. But did he have a soft spot for them.  In truth, as we already know; he was a man of the people.

Everyone loved his personality and his charisma so it was hard not to be fond of him, rival fans included. More so; he loved Liverpool as a city. He had a great fondness for its people. Nanny Ness said of him once, “In Liverpool, with its traditional love for football, Bill found kindred spirits who shared his enthusiasm for the game.”

Grandy saw a successful Everton side as much a catalyst for success for his Liverpool team as any other element, highlighting that the intensity of rivalry and competition brought out the best in both sides.

He reflected;

“When they had a good team which was the equivalent of Liverpool or better, the games were tense.The rivalry is like it is for Celtic and Rangers, but without bigotry. I’ve seen supporters on Merseyside going to the ground together, one wearing red and white, and the other blue and white, which is unusual elsewhere.

You get families in Liverpool, half Everton and half Liverpool. They support rival teams but they have the same temperament and they know each other. They are unique in the sense that their rivalry is no real aggro between them.

This is quite amazing. I am not saying they love each other. Oh no. But I’ve never seen a fight at a derby game. Shouting and bawling, yes. But they don’t fight each other. And that says a lot.”

Everton’s warmth towards him following his resignation from Liverpool only fuelled his warmth for the people of this city and it is on that note that I end this particular blog; with a reflection from Grandy to these sentiments.

“If I had a business and needed a work force, I would take it from Merseyside. And we would wipe the floor with everybody. They’ve got hearts of gold. They’d give you their last penny….and they can work. So I’d pick my workforce from Merseyside and anybody else can pick theirs from anywhere else and we’d have a go with them. And I’d win. They’ve got a big spirit…when they’re on your side and all working together they take a bit of a beating.”


Christopher William Shankly Carline

40 Years Since Shanks Resigns & Still Questions Why He Did

Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of Grandy’s ‘bombshell’ resignation from Liverpool FC, and as his grandson and family; I have to say it is still one of the most asked questions I am posed.

“So why did Shanks resign?”

I spoke a number of times to both my Nan and mum on the situation over the years, and the answer has never really changed. For his family. The subject is frequently speculated on with a more sinister, contentious vibe by the general populace and fans; with people often looking for more than meets the eye.

The Shankly Family

But the truth is that Shanks’ decision to resign was simply for family reasons. Grandy even states it in his own auto-biography!

Only The Best Will Do

The simple fact of the matter was that he had been involved in football all his life. Playing, coaching and managing, a period of time also containing a spell in the forces during the second world war; where he met my nan, Nessie.

He was tired. His personality, his ethos, his very being meant that in everything he did, he gave 100% of himself; and he was never still; always on the move.


As a man in his 60’s, this was always going to eventually catch up with him and the dedication he gave to the job, and excellence he commanded and expected of himself meant he could never do the job at anything less than his best.

A Family Man

He was a husband, and a father to two daughters, Barbara and Jeanette. His family unit had moved round with him from job to job.

Whilst its hard to appreciate life before LFC; he and the family very much had one that took them from town to town, city to city. Glenbuck, Glasgow, Preston, Carlisle, Grimsby, Workington, Huddersfield (in no particular order before you eagle eyed stato’s pull me up); just some of the places that he and the family put down roots before they were eventually yanked up and firmly planted once and for all in his Liverpool home.

For a family; a wife and young kids, this can be hard, especially when Grandy himself was rarely around at home to be able to console and comfort as much as the ‘conventional husband and father.’ It can be stressful and over years, the stress can mount up and eventually take its toll.

Time To Draw the Line

With roots firmly planted in Liverpool, the family unit grew. Daughters met potential husbands before the lucky ones eventually did become husbands. Soon followed grandchildren.

Shankly wedding

Six of us would come along eventually!

From the conversations with Nan and Mum; there simply became a realisation from him that he had missed out on enough family time, and the stresses combined with this and their after effects; plus the physical and mental demands of the job; meant it was time to draw a line and commit to family life.

Did he really want to? Probably not. To try and say otherwise even as the family would be futile. But it didn’t mean he loved his family less than the job. If anything; it proved he loved them more.

It was time however; to spend some more quality time with Nessie (even actually take her on a date for the first time in quite a while!).

Time to spend more time with Barbara and Jeanette and their burgeoning families including his grandchildren. Time to relax and enjoy his life. Enjoy his life’s work and achievements and time to enjoy the city he came to love. Outside of the trials and tribulations of football management.

Tough Choices

He was a man of football, born and bred. It had been all he knew. So to elect to leave the game he loved; to leave Liverpool FC, his life’s work; when they were just at the pinnacle of their prowess, was the biggest sacrifice he could make. But he did. For his family.

As for all THOSE rumours post resignation, stay tuned for future blogs……..

Christopher William Shankly Carline